Two tough guys: Actor Gary Lockwood pulls no punches with Steve McQueen

Jeremy Roberts
14 min readAug 6, 2017
Macho “2001: A Space Odyssey” star Gary Lockwood minces no words in an exclusive profile recalling his occasionally rocky relationship with the undisputed King of Cool, Steve McQueen. The duo nearly came to blows when Neile Adams dispatched Lockwood to look for her husband after the Academy Awards snubbed McQueen‘s simmering performance as doomed gunboat engineer Jake Holman in “The Sand Pebbles.” Nevertheless, in the accompanying photo Captain Virgil “Cooler King” Hilts temporarily thwarts a platoon of advancing German soldiers during a thrilling chase aboard his customized British Triumph 650 racing motorcycle. McQueen was on location along the Austrian border in Füssen, Bavaria, filming the iconic World War II epic “The Great Escape” in September 1962. Stuntman and motorcycle gearhead Bud Ekins actually doubled his longtime pal, making the 12-feet high, 65-feet down jump over a fence in a valiant attempt to escape to Switzerland. Photography by Lothar Winkler / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / Pinterest

In Steve McQueen’s determined ascent to the top of Hollywood’s ranks, he could often be mercurial, wary, and downright competitive of his fellow actors. Gary Lockwood befriended the King of Cool in the early ’60s, and he is telling his story for the first time in an exclusive interview.

Jeremy Roberts

Retro pop culture interviews & lovin’ something fierce sustain this University of Georgia Master of Agricultural Leadership alum. Email: