There was once a time in Hollywood where TV westerns served as a way to catapult your career to the next level. After starring in Wanted: Dead or Alive, Steve McQueen became the first TV actor to officially reach movie star status, ultimately being dubbed one of the "coolest" guys in the business. Similarly, after leading the TV show Rawhide, Clint Eastwood went on to become a western icon for playing Dirty Harry and starring in countless box office hits. But despite being two of the biggest stars in the world, did they ever share the screen together?
If what IMDB tells us is true, the two legendary actors have only appeared opposite each other one time. And in an incredibly unexpected TV series -- Alfred Hitchcock Presents. "Human Interest Story" in season 4 of the famed filmmaker's TV show stars a young Steve McQueen as a reporter who interviews a man who claims to be an alien. This was before "The King of Cool" was a huge box office draw, but he still brings his usual swagger and charm to the episode, keeping you guessing until the unexpected Hitchcock twist at the end. If you aren't looking closely you would almost miss seeing co-star Clint Eastwood sitting in the newsroom as a background actor, credited in the role of "Newsman."
At the time, 29-year old McQueen had just wrapped the first season of his CBS series Wanted: Dead or Alive and Eastwood was about to start filming Rawhide, truly the role that would change the entire trajectory of his career. This random TV episode would be the first time and only time the two actors would ever share the screen. What was Hollywood thinking??
McQueen went on to make a name for himself starring in films like The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, and The Cincinnati Kid. From westerns to action movies, he was easily as cool as James Bond. Meanwhile, Eastwood not only went on to become a western icon for starring in Sergio Leone's Dollars Trilogy, but eventually an Oscar-winning actor/director known for films like Million Dollar Baby, Unforgiven, and Mystic River. It's hard not to wonder what we might have missed out on by never seeing these two incredible actors actually work together.