Steve McQueen’s great escape: inside the actor’s former Malibu mansion

Perched on the sun-drenched Californian coast, the King of Cool’s one-time home has front-row seats to the Pacific Ocean…

There’s nothing cooler than a crisp ocean breeze. Except, perhaps, Steve McQueen. Famously dubbed ‘The King of Cool’, The Thomas Crown Affair actor drifted into Los Angeles in the late-1950s and went on to become one of the 20th-century’s highest-paid, most revered film stars.

All imagery courtesy of The Luxury Level

His taste is the stuff of legend – whether it’s a simple pair of Persol sunglasses or his enduring, iconic style, McQueen knew how to draw a fine line between rugged and refined. And that goes double when it comes to his homes. And this — the sand-whipped, sun-baked one-time Malibu beach house of the big-screen icon and his wife Ali MacGraw, which has been updated several times and recently hit the market for $17m via Coldwell Banker Realty — stands testament to that.

Since taking over the property, the current seller, songwriter Ammar Malik, has renovated the premises from faded, nautical-themed beachside hangout into a light, bright, modernist-style abode — and, while it may not be how McQueen envisioned it, the cool, nonchalant, free-and-easy factor is still evident. 

The house, which is sat on its own bluff, can be found in a private, gated community; features expansive rooms; and is bookended on one side with a stretch of surf-ready ocean. 

Inside, a pared-back scheme of darkwood and white accents follow you from room to room, and large windows offer sensational vistas of the rippling waters. The living area lays claim to a fireplace, a ‘disappearing’ glass wall and a deck that cantilevers above the coast, and the spacious primary bedroom has a spa-like ensuite with soaking tub, as well as a walk-in closet, perfect for stowing away your McQueen-approved ensemble of selvedge denim, plain white T-Shirts and white sneakers.

With four bedrooms and five bathrooms spread over the 4,335-square-foot getaway, it’s also the perfect place to entertain — and likely the scene of many evenings McQueen spent relaxing with his own friends, including Don Gordon and Joe Turkel. 

McQueen, who had a deep love for anything with at least two good wheels and a powerful engine, was also renowned on the motor-racing scene. And, whether it was his famous Jaguar XKSS ‘Green Rat’ or his custom Métisse Mk3 motorcycle, the actor needed somewhere safe and secure to keep his motors.

Thankfully, this spot on Victoria Point Road has a deep garage that is more than up to the task. Discreetly hidden away, it’s the perfect place to protect even the most precious of vintage vehicles from salty spray.

With stainless-steel appliances, the fully equipped chef’s kitchen is an impressive area, too, with an elongated centre island that opens up onto a dining area, and a wine-rack wall around the corner. Lower down, a bottom-floor den features another oceanfront deck, soaking tub, and a staircase that offers direct access to the beach, the location of which McQueen and MacGraw would walk along, unrecognised, to escape the glare of the Hollywood spotlight. 

But this wasn’t the only sandy spot in McQueen’s property portfolio. The actor’s affinity for the outdoors was also evident in Palm Springs, where he kept another getaway home.

But we’d go for the beach house every time. With the wind in your hair, the thrum of your retro motorcycle in your ears and privacy worthy of Tinsel Town royalty, McQueen’s Malibu escape is a sun-soaked slice of Californian lore.

Steve McQueen’s great escape: inside the actor’s former Malibu mansion

Steve McQueen's Malibu mansion

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