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He was considered one of the biggest box-office draws of the 1960s and 1970s due to a captivating on-screen persona.Mc Queen was considered combative and the archetypal "difficult movie star" who disliked working with directors and producers.Bullitt and later films Another successful film came in 1968 with Bullitt, which thrilled audiences with an unprecedented (and endlessly imitated) auto chase through San Francisco, with Bud Ekins again doubling for some of the more hazardous work.Prior to that, he earned his only Academy Award nomination for the 1966 film The Sand Pebbles.At the age of 12 he was reunited with his mother and went to live in Los Angeles, California.However by the time he was 14 she had sent him to the Boys Republic home for wayward boys in Chino Hills, California. Bill, Mc Queen began studying acting and auditioned to study at Lee Strasberg's Actors' Studio in New York.Key appearances Wanted: Dead or Alive After various live and filmed television guest appearances in the mid-1950s, Mc Queen gained both regular employment and his 'break-out' role with the Western series Wanted: Dead or Alive.
The director, John Sturges, then cast Mc Queen in his next movie, promising to "give him the camera".
He never knew his father (who abandoned his wife and child shortly after Mc Queen was born) - although he did find the house where he lived approximately a year after his father's death.
His mother left him at an early age and he was raised in Slater, Missouri by his uncle.
After The Towering Inferno, co-starring with his long time friend and rival Paul Newman in 1974, Mc Queen did not return to film until 1978 with An Enemy of the People playing against type as an overweight, heavily bearded character, in this adaptation of the Henrik Ibsen play.
The film was little seen and has never been released on Video or DVD, but is aired from time to time on PBS.