Steve McQueen achieved national recognition for his role as Josh Randall in the TV western WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE. The King of Cool parlayed his anti-hero persona in this series to win a lead in THE GREAT ESCAPE, which catapulted his name into the bright lights of Hollywood.
His portrayal of a rebel sold well to the youth of America, however McQueen was a staunch republican, who strongly supported the war in Vietnam.
His conservative politics clashed with his riotous behavior leading to a 1972 arrest for driving while intoxicated in Anchorage, Alaska. McQueen was supposedly drinking on 4th Avenue, the city's toughest neighborhood and decided to do donuts in his rented Oldsmobile for the crowd of drunks, miners, hunters, and whores. The police stopped his antics and he responded to their request for a sobriety test by somersaulting down the street.
His audience applauded his exploits. They booed the police for arresting the entertainment. McQueen spent the night in jail.
It took a lot of get arrested for DWI back in 1972.
In the morning he paid bail and flew to California.
An arrest for Steve McQueen remained open until his death.
The star of BULLITT was a happy arrestee and flashed the peace sign for his mug shot, proving once more the veracity of Tom Wolfe's quote.
"A liberal is a conservative who has been arrested."
How true. How true.