To commemorate the 40th anniversary of his death, a new coffee table book based on the life of actor Steve McQueen will hit shelves on Dec. 1. The tome, by Marshall Terrill, features the King of Cool's quotes pulled from decades of interviews, personal letters, and audiotapes — and EW is taking you inside the pages. Click through this gallery to get a preview of Steve McQueen: In His Own Words.
"My first paying role was in a Jewish repertory company stage production on Second avenue. I had three words of dialogue. I had to come out on stage, looking grim and say, 'Nothing will help' in Yiddish. After the fourth night I was fired. I guess it was my lousy Yiddish."
"You know where I got my idea of Randall? From a copy I knew in New York. There was no monkey business with him. When he said he'd shoot, he meant it. Well, I think of him and pretty soon I'm Josh Randall."
"Sometimes, I can't believe what's happened to me. Every morning I wake up I want to check to make sure I'm the Steve McQueen in the movies, has a wonderful wife, two great kids, a home of his own and money in the bank. Man, I can't get used to it. I could have easily wound up behind the eight ball."
"I try not to take myself too seriously. But at the same time, they pay me a lot of money to do my job, and I do everything I can to see that it's done right. I believe today's audiences are smart and that you have the responsibility to articulate apart. I mean, I don't look at it as play acting."