Snapshot, 1970: Steve McQueen on taxi duty at Le Mans

Steve McQueen was always on the move – even during filming for the racing epic ‘Le Mans’ he swung between scenes on his motorcycle, roaring from set to set. Without a shirt or a helmet, here he rides cheerfully down the grid, naturally with a female passenger or two…

Director Lee H. Katzin filmed many of the movie’s fast-paced scenes live during the actual 1970 24 Hours of Le Mans. But beyond the camera, too, McQueen rarely took his foot off the gas. He became embroiled in an affair with his Swedish fellow actress Louise Edlind, injured himself after crashing his Porsche and threatened his wife Neile with a revolver in order to extort a confession about her fling with Maximilian Schell. He was liberally at leisure and, in the film at least, economical with his words – his first dialogue in ‘Le Mans’ comes in the 36th minute of the film. 

Photo: Rob Walls / Rex

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