Signed Photo from "Papillon" - 1973
An extremely scarce signed original black-and-white studio photograph of a shirtless Steve McQueen in his memorable role as the French convict Henri "Papillon" Charrière in the 1973 film Papillon, co-starring Dustin Hoffman, who is hunched over behind his co-star in the rowboat. Boldly signed in blue. Accompanied by a small reproduction poster of the film, as shown.
McQueen's signature varied quite a bit over his career. Ours is consistent with several others from this period, as can be seen in the excellent Steve McQueen Autograph Study by Tricia Eaton featured at Autograph Magazine. Note in particular the signatures dated 1962 and 1971, which most closely resemble McQueen's autograph on our Papillon photograph.
STEVE MCQUEEN (1930-1980) was an American movie actor nicknamed "The King of Cool." His "anti-hero" persona, which he developed at the height of the Vietnam counterculture, made him one of the top box-office draws of the 1960s and 1970s. After appearing in the 1974 film The Towering Inferno, he became the highest paid movie star in the world. Although McQueen was combative with directors and producers, his popularity put him in high demand and enabled him to command large salaries.
McQueen's first breakout role would not come in film, but in television, for a new series titled Wanted: Dead or Alive, on CBS in September 1958. He had a series of big films following which made him a household name and a highly bankable movie star: Never So Few with Frank Sinatra; The Magnificent Seven with a cast of major stars including Yul Brynner; The Great Escape; Love With the Proper Stranger with Natalie Wood; The Carpetbaggers; The Sand Pebbles; and ultimately one of the roles for which he is best remembered, Bullitt. McQueen was an avid racer of both motorcycles and cars. He is recognized for performing many of his own stunts, especially the majority of the stunt driving during the high-speed chase scene in Bullitt.
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