25 Steve McQueen Quotes From The American Icon

Celebrate the reigning king of cool with our Steve McQueen quotes. 

Despite his death almost fifty years ago, Steve McQueen is still recognized by many as the king of cool

Learn more about this influential American icon with our Steve McQueen quotes. 

Who was Steve McQueen?

Steve McQueen was a man of many hats. 

He was a professional race car driver, actor, model, and American icon. 

Check out these Steve McQueen facts below:

  • He has a younger sister he never met. 
  • He spent his teenage years in a reformatory. 
  • He was posthumously awarded a Hollywood Star. 

Was McQueen an actor or a racer?

Despite winning various awards for his roles, even an Academy Award, he often joked, “I’m not sure whether I’m an actor who races or a racer who acts.”

McQueen excelled at racing and at acting. 

Even though he was not the most talented, classically trained actor, he had a presence in film that fans loved. 

Steve McQueen was a multi-talent who dominated several fields. 

Why is Steve McQueen the king of cool?

Some titles are more symbolic than literal. 

Forbes magazine suggests that McQueen is still one of the most famous movie stars in the world despite his death in 1980. 

In 2007, the McQueen estate was in the top 10 of the highest-earning dead celebrities. 

What was his connection to Charles Manson?

Charles Manson is known as one of the most brutal serial killers in American history. 

After his arrest for murder, it was discovered that Manson kept a list of names of people he and his followers planned to kill. 

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Steve McQueen’s name was found on that list. 

Was Steve McQueen a philanthropist?

During his time as an actor, McQueen developed a reputation for being difficult to work with.

On top of disagreeing with directors, McQueen made strange requests in his contract, demanding free items such as toothbrushes and razors. 

Later on, it was discovered that McQueen was making these demands of movie studios and then taking the items and delivering them to teens at reformatory schools. 

To learn more, check out our Steve McQueen quotes below. 

Short Steve McQueen quotes about why he is a bad actor

McQueen often joked that he never felt like a skilled actor; here are some of his best quips. 

1. “I’m not all that good.” — Steve McQueen

2. “I’m not a great actor, let’s face it.” — Steve McQueen

3. “I don’t have a great deal of scope.” — Steve McQueen

4. “I’m not interested in cinema for cinema’s sake.” — Steve McQueen

5. “There are certain things I can do, but when I’m bad, I stink.” — Steve McQueen

The best Steve McQueen quotes about his personality

Here, McQueen opens up about how he sees himself and his interests. 

6. “My influences come from real life.” — Steve McQueen

7. “I don’t believe in that phony hero stuff.” — Steve McQueen

8. “I’m interested in life: what one does and how one interacts.” — Steve McQueen

9. “I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth.” — Steve McQueen

10. “There’s something about my shaggy-dog eyes that makes people think I’m good.” — Steve McQueen

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The top Steve McQueen quotes about insecurities and career choices

Let’s take a look at these super cool Steve McQueen quotes. 

11. “I’m certainly not who people think I am.” — Steve McQueen

12. “Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting.” — Steve McQueen

13. “I’m not sure whether I’m an actor who races or a racer who acts.” — Steve McQueen

14. “I always do whatever I want to do, and my films are personal to me.” — Steve McQueen

15. “I’m not sure that acting is something for a grown man to be doing.” — Steve McQueen

Famous Steve McQueen quotes about challenging belief systems

McQueen was passionate about seeing multiple perspectives in life. 

16. “I’m not that interesting of a person.” — Steve McQueen

17. “I live for myself, and I answer to nobody.” — Steve McQueen

18. “I’m out of the Midwest, it was a good place to come from.” — Steve McQueen

19. “It gives you a sense of right or wrong and fairness, which I think is lacking in our society.” — Steve McQueen

20. “I’m about challenging people: Like, properly challenging them and their assumptions.” — Steve McQueen

Steve McQueen quotes and sayings about life

McQueen led an exciting life on the track and behind the camera, we finish our list with these great quotes. 

21. “I want to get rich and fat and watch my kids grow.” — Steve McQueen

22. “I just want the brass ring and the pine trees and my kids and the green grass.” — Steve McQueen

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23. “I learned that life is a long and difficult road, but you have to keep going, or you’ll fall by the wayside.” — Steve McQueen

24. “When I did The Great Escape, I kept thinking: If they were making a movie of my life, that’s what they’d call it the great escape.” — Steve McQueen

25. “I scrounged around for the next couple of years, trying to get the scam on the human race and just where the hell I fitted in, I discovered there were no openings.” — Steve McQueen

Steve McQueen impacted the world

McQueen has become synonymous with cool; his image and prestige have traveled globally.

What is your favorite Steve McQueen quote?

Let us know in the comments. 

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