Archive of documents related to McQueen’s life insurance policy through US Life, two signed by McQueen, consisting of approximately 110 pages dated between 1968 and 1981, from McQueens’s initial application to the insurance company’s payout to his agency, Guild Management. Contents are loosely bound with metal clips in a 9.25 x 11.75 manila folder. In overall fine condition, with expected document wear.
First document is part of McQueen’s application, signed “Steven T. McQueen,” one page both sides, 8.5 x 12.25, February 5, 1968. Document lists McQueen’s occupation as “Actor,” and includes a detailed medical history report signed by his doctor.
Second continues his application, signed “Steven T. McQueen,” one page, 8.5 x 11.25, March 15, 1968. Document lists’ McQueen’s occupation as “Actor-Executive,” and requests a “4 Yr. C & R Term” insurance policy in the amount of $200,000.
Balance of the archive consists of internal memos and documents, as well as correspondence between McQueen’s agency and the insurance company both before and after his death. US Life expressed concern about his dangerous racing activities, and many inquiries were made into these before approving the policy. One letter addressing these concerns, dated February 8, 1968, in part: “He made it very clear to me that he no longer participates in any kind of racing, either professional or non professional, nor does he intend to again participate in any races. He was very definite in that he has given up this hobby. He does ride his motorcycle occasionally for pleasure purposes only…the studio has also been very vocal in discouraging him from racing projects…Most important his wife discourages him from racing.” Also included is a lengthy typed report on McQueen produced by the insurance company, three pages both sides, 8.5 x 11, February 13, 1968, which details his driving record, drinking habits, career, and finances. This report, in part: “For a number of years, Mr. Steven McQueen had had a reputation for fast and reckless driving…in the past couple of years, Mr. McQueen has slowed down his driving…As of 2-18-68, Mr. McQueen has been in San Francisco, and is starting the shooting of a new picture called ‘Bullitt’ in which he will play the part of a San Francisco Policeman…In a preceding picture, known as the ‘Great Escape,’ there were several scenes showing hazardous motorcycle riding, however, we learned that Mr. McQueen was active only in the close-up shots, and the hazardous portion was done by a Mr. Bud Elkins.” Also includes a copy of his death certificate from Mexico, and a statement for the payout in the amount of $204,233.66 to his management company.
With a reputation for fast and reckless driving, motorcycle racing, and heavy drug use, Steve McQueen was not the ideal candidate for a large life insurance policy in the eyes of his insurance company. This fascinating collection offers the official documents and evaluations, retelling the information that McQueen gave in his interviews with the agents, as well as several internal memos. “He’s back to racing, including a closed track (Riverside 200), and has been trifling with marijuana…(in a recent look magazine article, his wife described him as “crazy as hell.”) We’ve marked our records, do not reinstate,” writes one agent. Despite their reservations, the company maintained his policy, paying out a final amount of over $200,000 upon his death at age 50 from a rare form of cancer. A one-of-a-kind collection holding two crisp signatures from the Hollywood legend. RR Auction COA.