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Several previously unknown, long lost television performances discovered

LoC When Steve McQueen fan Daniel Cyr recently asked me if a McQueen related listing on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb.com) was correct, I started on an investigative journey which led to some amazing discoveries.

Daniel had seen Steve credited as appearing in an episode of the 1950's television series The Big Story, titled Malcolm Glover of the San Francisco Examiner. I had never heard of this appearance, but was naturally curious. After a bit of research I discovered that The Big Story was a long-running television show which devoted each episode to telling the "Big Stories" of various newspaper reporters from across the United States, and that therefore this episode was Mr Glover's "Big Story".

I further googled Malcolm Glover and found a few news articles. Mr Glover had only recently passed away in 2010, and the articles referred to Mr Glover's passing and the aforementioned television episode, both stating that Steve McQueen had appeared in the show. (Perhaps this was the source of the new addition at IMDb.com). Now I was VERY curious. Were the articles correct? Was it the fanciful but mistaken memories of Mr Glover's family?

Using the cast information that I found online I considered contacting surving cast and crew associcated with the program, but most had either passed away or were near impossible to locate. It was then that fate led me to the US Library of Congress online website, and my amazing series of discoveries...
Searching the online archives of the Library of Congress I was able to locate data on The Big Story, but found no reference to an episode titled Malcolm Glover of the San Francisco Examiner, but after narrowing my search down to the IMDb.com listed airdate, I did find data on an episode titled Car 83. Reading through the library's information I discovered that NBC Television had gifted the 16mm film elements of that episode to the library in 1986, and that indeed Steve McQueen was listed as an actor in that episode! Car 83 was the Malcolm Glover story!

I contacted the library to enquire on their information. It was confirmed that the library would not have actually watched the program, but took their data from the "NBC program analysis files." With the kind help of Rosemary Hanes from the LoC Moving Image Section I was also given access to the original "NBC personality file" on Steve McQueen. In addition to confirming the library's records (that Steve McQueen HAD appeared in Car 83) it also listed SEVERAL other unknown, long lost television performances and appearances.
Section of the NBC Personality Profile which refers to Steve's appearance in Car 83 aka Malcolm Glover of the San Francisco Examiner
NBC Personality Profile for Steve McQueen - Car 83
One of the several revelations which the NBC Personality profile unearthed is that up until now his television debut had been considered to be The Chivington Raid, which aired in March 1955. We now know that his first recorded television appearance was in January 1955 in an "Armstrong Circle Theatre" episode titled Save me from Treason.

But perhaps the greatest discovery is that Car 83, featuring Steve as the show's protagonist, is sitting available to watch, study and even transfer to DVD (with relevant copyright approval) in the Library of Congress's archives!

Please note that at this time, the library has separate 16mm archival negative and 16mm negative track elements for Car 83. So the episode is not available to view instantly. If a researcher requests a viewing appointment for the episode, the library can transfer the elements to another format. That process takes appoximately six weeks. You can read the library's viewing guidelines here: *Guidelines for Viewing Films, Videos and Digital Files*

Hopefully this new information, laid out in full detail below, will assist those with an interest in finding some of these lost performances, and making them available to the fans to watch.

Read on for the full details of Steve's unknown appearances...

1) Series Armstrong Circle Theatre, episode Save me from Treason. Airdate: Jan 04, 1955

A reference to an appearance on Armstrong Circle Theatre was made by Steve to writer William F. Nolan, which appeared in Nolan's long out of print 1972 book "Steve McQueen: Star on Wheels," however the reference has been completely disregarded in all subsequent biographies (perhaps for lack of proof), and is only now validated for the first time, along with episode name and details.

Episode description taken from "The Classic TV Archive" - An embittered prisoner of war in Korea decides to turn traitor as a means of revenge against his heartless father.
2) Series Goodyear TV Playhouse, episode The Chivington Raid. Airdate: Mar 27, 1955

This appearance was widely known already, however nothing about McQueen's role has hitherto been known. From the "NBC Personality file" we discover for the first time that McQueen's character was "Lt Dunn."

Episode description taken from "The Classic TV Archive" - Colonel Shivington is preparing a revenge attack on Indians and one soldier stands in his way.
3) Series Playwrights '56, episode The Answer. Airdate: Oct 04, 1955

Episode description taken from "The Classic TV Archive" - An Army General investigates an accident at an atomic bomb test area.
4) Series Matinee Theater, episode Silent Partner. Airdate: Mar 26, 1956

Episode description taken from "The Classic TV Archive" - Following the death of her husband, a widow insists on keeping his tailor shop open even though business is falling off. A long-time friend, who has been in love with her for many years, tries to convince the grief-stricken widow she is making a mistake by treating the shop as a shrine to her husband's memory.
5) Series The Big Story, episode Car 83 aka Malcolm Glover of The San Francisco Examiner. Airdate: June 07, 1957 (16mm archival negative and 16mm negative track elements at LoC)

Steve McQueen appears as Chuck Milton. McQueen plays the show's protagonist.

Episode description taken from "The Classic TV Archive" - Malcolm Glover receives a phone call about Chuck Milton, a parolee with a long arrest record, who now has a gun and is taking dope, from his girlfriend Rose. She tried to help him go straight. She calls the police, who corner him but he shoots his way out, killing an officer. He hides in the movie theater where Rose works. She calls Glover again and the police trace her call. They convince her to persuade him to give up. In the concluding interview, Milton was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Excerpt from an SFGate.com article on the real Malcolm Glover - His reputation grew so much that he was asked to be in the television show, "The Big Story," in 1957, starring Steve McQueen. The show dramatized a story he had written about an armed drug addict. Actor Ray Boyle portrayed Mr. Glover, who supplied narration at the end.

TV Guest appearances...

6a) The Bob Hope Buick Christmas Show Airdate: Jan 13, 1960 (video at LoC)

"NBC Personality file" description - filmed in Alaska during holidays for servicemen - one of the troupe who accompanied Hope to Alaska. Guest on show.

6b) The Bob Hope Buick Show Airdate: Nov 16, 1960 (video at LoC)

"NBC Personality file" description - taped at US Airforce Academy, Colorado Springs. Color. - special guest star.

Existence of shows was known but existence of tape at LoC seems to have been unknown.
7) The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson Airdate: April 03, 1963

Two other later appearances were known of, but not this one.
8) Inside the Movie Kingdom Airdate: Mar 20, 1964


Steve's NBC Talent Profile courtesy of the Library of Congress.

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McQueen NBC Talent Profile - page 1
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Article by Darren Wright.