Happy Birthday to the "King of Cool."
Actor Steve McQueen, full name Terence Stephen McQueen, would have turned 83 today (March 24). The "Sand Pebbles" star died of cardiac arrest on Nov. 7, 1980, at the young age of 50, following a nontraditional operation in Mexico to remove several tumors in his neck and abdomen. Prior to the surgery, McQueen was diagnosed with a type of cancer associated with asbestos exposure, for which there is no known cure.
Despite his death though, McQueen's legacy lives on. In 2005, TV Guide ranked the Missouri native No. 26 on its "50 Sexiest Stars of All Time" list. And McQueen is still seen as one of the most popular celebrities, entering the top 10 of the highest-earning deceased stars in 2007.
McQueen's grandson, Steven R. McQueen, is now a Hollywood heartthrob himself, starring in CW's "The Vampire Diaries" as Jeremy Gilbert.
"I watched my grandfather's projects with admiration and looked up to him, but at the end of the day you have to be true to what's inside," Steven, 24, tells Vanity Fair of his grandfather, explaining that he himself leans toward more "darker" roles.
As for going through life with the same name as the iconic actor, Steven explains, “Luckily, I’ve got a generation gap between me and him. But more than anything it’s a little fuel in the fire.”
Happy birthday to the Steven McQueen.