James Lambert
Steve McQueen, who committed to Christ late in life, is featured all day this Friday on TCM
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By James Lambert
August 6, 2013

From 1963 to 1978, Steve McQueen was considered by movie fans and 'big screen' insiders as one of the main leading actors in Hollywood. The rugged faced actor's roles defined "cool" and his persona was idolized by men and women alike. But he wasn't blinded by Hollywood's glitter. Late in his life the famous actor finally realized his need for God's love and decided to commit his life to Christ.

Terrance Steven McQueen was born in Beech Grove, Indiana, in March 1930. At a very young age, the future actor was abandoned by his father – and during his early age in life, was raised by his uncle. His natural mother stepped in and would eventually send him to the Boys Republic, a reform school based in Chino, California. The future actor later credited the Boys Republic for helping him change the direction of his life, and in his later years he gave a very large endowment to the school.

After a stop in the military, McQueen decided to give acting a try. After attending the Actor's Studio in New York City, Steve got his first break in 1956 when he won a role in the film Somebody Up there Likes Me. It was in New York where he met his first wife, dancer and actress Neile Adams. Eventually, he would land the lead role in the made-for-TV western series Wanted: Dead or Alive.

McQueen went on to take the part in many big-screen successes of the day, including The Great Escape, Bullitt, The Towering Inferno, The Magnificent 7, Papillon, Le Mans, The Sand Pebbles (for which he received an Oscar nomination), The Getaway and The Thomas Crown Affair. McQueen co-starred with his second wife, Ali McGraw, in the action movie The Getaway.

Several years before his death in November of 1980 and before he knew he had cancer, the actor moved to Santa Paula (California) where he took up flying bi-planes. The actor sought to find the finest instructor in the region. He found him. His name was Sammy Mason. Mason was a committed Christian who lived his faith. Over time Mason shared his faith with his new friend, Steve McQueen. Eventually Sammy would take his friend to church, where Steve would commit his life to Christ. The media relations department of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association told this writer in 2003 that Dr. Graham visited the actor in his home just prior to his death in 1980.

The well-known evangelist wrote the preface to the book: Steve McQueen, the Final Chapter, written by Grady Ragsdale and published in 1983. In the Fifth Chapter of the newly released book – 16 Amazing Stories of Divine Intervention, Steve McQueen's inspiring story is once again told by author James Lambert.

Finally, this Friday (on August 9th) you can find a wonderful array of the popular actor's movies on the Turner Classic Movie channel (www.tcm.com). Thirteen of Steve's movies will be shown throughout Friday and into the early morning of Saturday August 10th. It would be fun watching some of these wonderful movies if you can. And don't forget to share Steve's wonderful story to all your friends and relatives. The actor wished prior to his death that 'his story' would stir many of his fans to become friends of our loving Savior too. You can helpful in fulfilling that wish this week!

Lambert is the author of the book: 16 Amazing Stories of Divine Intervention (Xulon Press). For more go to: www.16AmazingStories.com

© James Lambert

 

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James Lambert

James Lambert has a broad business background. After receiving his undergraduate degree from Linfield College (McMinnville, Oregon), Lambert pursued a career in banking by working in various management capacities for Crocker Bank, San Diego Trust & Savings Bank and First Interstate Bank (between 1973 and 1995). By 1990 Lambert received his Master in Business Administration from National University (San Diego). For 3 years, Lambert also taught Finance at Mira Costa Community College... (more)

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