What Was Steve McQueen Net Worth?
Steve McQueen was an American actor and cultural figure in the 1960s and 1970s. At the time of his death, Steve McQueen’s net worth was $30 million. That’s the same as $100 million in today’s dollars. Steve is known for his roles in films such as ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’, ‘The Great Escape’ and ‘The Sand Pebbles’ among many others. In the mid-1970s, Steve McQueen was the highest-paid actor in the world. His $12 million check for 1974’s “The Towering Inferno” is worth the same as $66 million today. He also owned a valuable collection of cars, motorcycles and watches. The cars, watches and motorcycles owned by Steve McQueen are extremely valuable today.
Steve McQueen was born on March 24, 1930 and was given the name Terrence Stephen McQueen. He was born in Beech Grove, Indiana, outside of Indianapolis. He was raised in a Roman Catholic family, mainly by his maternal grandparents. His father William, who worked as a stunt pilot, left his mother Julia Ann six months after meeting her. Julia left the child with her parents and spent her early childhood on a farm. At the age of eight, his mother took him to Indianapolis to live with her and her new husband. However, his new stepfather beat McQueen down, causing him to later move to the streets, where he began committing petty crimes.
Over the next few years, McQueen moved back and forth from his mother to the streets and back to the farm before his mother sent him to the California Junior Boys Republic in Chino. McQueen later enlisted in the Marines and was arrested after taking an unauthorized leave of absence. In the years that followed, he devoted himself more fully to the Marines until he was honorably discharged in 1950.
McQueen used financial assistance from the GI Bill to enroll in acting classes at Sanford Meisner’s Neighborhood Playhouse and HB Studio in New York City. During this time, he managed to earn money by participating in weekend Harley and Triumph motorcycle races. He then began landing minor roles in productions such as ‘The Member of the Wedding’ and ‘Peg o’My Heart’.
In 1955, McQueen moved to California to be closer to Hollywood. His first breakout role came when he appeared in the NBC western series “Tales of Wells Fargo.” He then landed roles in other series such as ‘Wanted: Dead or Alive’ and ‘Trackdown’. These roles helped McQueen become a household name. He then got his next break when Frank Sinatra offered him a role in the movie Never So Few.
From that point on, McQueen began landing major film roles. His first major hit was “The Magnificent Seven”, followed by the 1963 film “The Great Escape”. Later films included “Love with the Proper Stranger,” “Nevada Smith,” “The Cincinnati Kid” and “The Sand Pebbles.” He earned an Oscar nomination for his role in “The Sand Pebbles,” the only such nomination he would receive in his lifetime.
In 1968 he starred in ‘Bullitt’ as well as ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’. His career continued to grow into the 1970s, and McQueen became the highest-paid actor in the world by the time the 1972 film The Getaway was released. However, in 1974, McQueen essentially disappeared from acting to focus more on racing motorcycles. Only in 1978 did he return to film with the film “An Enemy of the People”. His last two films were “Tom Horn”, a western, and “The Hunter”, both released in 1980.
The highest paid actor in the world
For “The Towering Inferno” in 1974, Steve was paid a salary of $12 million. After adjusting for inflation, that’s the same as a whopping $66 million. This salary made Steve the highest paid actor in the world by a mile. A title he held for many years even after his death in 1980.
McQueen began dating Gia Scala while attending acting school in New York. Their relationship eventually ended and he began dating actress and dancer Neile Adams. The couple married on 2 November 1956 and had a daughter in 1959 and a son in 1960. They remained married until divorcing in 1972. Several women claimed to have had affairs with McQueen while he was married to Adams .
In 1973, McQueen married actress Ali MacGraw, his “The Getaway” co-star. Their relationship ended in divorce in 1978. Two years later, in January 1980, McQueen married model Barbara Minty.
McQueen had an intensive daily exercise regimen that involved lifting weights and running, as well as martial arts. He also had multiple drug and alcohol habits and was known to be a heavy drinker, cocaine user, and marijuana smoker. Throughout his acting career, McQueen continued to race both motorcycles and race cars. He also had a large collection of classic motorcycles and vintage and exotic cars. He also flew and owned a number of aircraft.
In 1979, Steve and Barbara Minty bought a 15.5-acre farm in Santa Paula, California, about 1.5 hours northeast of Los Angeles. They were married in this farmhouse living room in 1980. The property has a 4,500 square foot shed where Steve housed his collection of cars and motorcycles. Another benefit for Steve was the property’s proximity to the Santa Paula Airport, where he housed his Stearman Model 75 biplane.
Years after his death, Steve’s collection of cars and motorcycles would prove to be extremely valuable. He owned about 130 motorcycles and dozens of incredible cars, from Ferraris to Porsches and Jaguars.
In 2006, Crocker’s 1937 motorcycle sold for $276,000.
In 2007, the 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lussa Berlinetta sold for $2.3 million.
Steve owned dozens of watches and was a Heuer brand ambassador during his lifetime. Tag Heuer still pays Steve a fortune to this day to use his image in their advertisements. One of the six Monaco Ref. 1,133 watches he wore in the 1970 film “Le Mans” sold at auction for $2.208 million.
In 1978, McQueen developed a cough that prompted him to quit smoking. However, the cough persisted and eventually she discovered she had pleural mesothelioma, a type of cancer attributed to asbestos exposure for which there is no known cure.
After evidence of widespread metastases was found, McQueen sought controversial treatments in Mexico, which ultimately did nothing to cure him. He developed a series of tumors in his abdomen and flew to Mexico to have one removed from his liver, despite being told by American doctors that they were operable. Shortly after the operation, McQueen died of a heart attack in November 1980 while still in Mexico.
McQueen was cremated and his ashes were scattered over the Pacific Ocean. Since his death, McQueen has remained an icon and has been inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers and the Motorcycle Hall of Fame. He has also been featured in a number of museum exhibitions, had documentaries made about his life, and has been portrayed in feature films.