Barbara Minty is an American former model, author, and photographer who is best known for being the third wife of the late actor, Steve McQueen. During her hey days, she was one of the highest-paid models in America. She was seen on the covers of numerous magazines and also starred in many commercials. After she met Steve McQueen, her career fizzled out because they were traveling a lot. After his death in 1980, she retired from the show business and focused on raising his two kids. Her modelling career was short and not much has been written about her professional life in the show business. Later on, she turned to writing and wrote ‘Steve McQueen: The Last Mile.’ The book helped her get over her husband’s death. As her husband’s cancer was linked to exposure to asbestos, she joined the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization to help raise awareness about the deadly side effects of being exposed to the material. She also sought a complete ban on asbestos.
Within a few months of graduating from high school, Barbara Minty was signed by Nina Blanchard and Eileen Ford for a modelling contract. She moved to New York and began a short but illustrious career in modelling. She was seen in numerous advertisements. She became one of the highest-paid and definitely one of the most popular models of her time. She appeared on the covers of popular magazines like ‘Cosmopolitan,’ ‘Glamour,’ ‘Vogue,’ ‘Sports Illustrated,’ and ‘Harper’s Bazaar.’ After she met Steve McQueen, she reduced her workload quite drastically. After her marriage, she did not have any new modelling or advertising assignment. Finally, after his death, she completely resigned from the show business.
It took her nearly twenty-five years to get over McQueen’s death. She wrote a book on her husband, ‘Steve McQueen—The Last Mile,’ originally published in 2006. The book looks into three and a half years of her life with McQueen. It features numerous photos of McQueen, herself, and his associates and friends. In 2007, she appeared on ‘The Late Show with David Letterman’ to promote this book.
Barbara Minty McQueen took up photography and in 2007, she began hosting art exhibitions of her work. So far, she has held exhibitions in London, Liverpool, Tokyo, San Francisco, Phoenix, Nashville, Paris, Hamburg, and Boise. In 2012, she joined the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization.
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Family & Personal Life
Barbara Minty was born on June 11, 1953, in Seattle, Washington, but her family moved to Corvallis, Oregon, when she was quite young. Her father was a dairy farmer and she grew up on a farm. In 1971, she graduated from Corvallis High School. At this point of time, she was interested in earning lots of money so that she could buy her own ranch, where she wanted to keep lots and lots of animals. So, when she got a call from Nina Blanchard and Eileen Ford offering her a chance to become a model, she said “yes” right away. Barbara Minty packed her bags and moved to New York. Within a span of a few years, she became a top model and graced the covers of numerous magazines, including ‘Sports Illustrated,’ ‘Glamour,’ and ‘Cosmopolitan.’
In 1977, her life took an exciting turn. She got a call from her agent, Nina Blanchard, who told her Steve McQueen had seen her in a Club Med advertisement and wanted her to audition for a role of an Indian princess in his next project, ‘Tom Horn.’ Apparently, this was just an excuse; the real reason was that McQueen was smitten and wanted to meet her. The meeting lasted two hours and she fell in love with his deep blue eyes.
They were married on January 16, 1980. However, the same year he was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, a type of cancer. Barbara Minty was there with McQueen throughout his ordeal, and when he died on 7th November, 1980, she was there by his bed side. She was only 28 at that time and his death broke her. She retired from the show business and focused her energy on raising his kids, Terry and Chad. Today, both the kids are well settled in life. She did not have any kids of her own with McQueen. Several years after his death, she married David Brunsvold. Not much is known about him. They do not have any kids together. Currently, she lives in Idaho and prefers to lead a quiet life.
She sold a piece of land that McQueen left for her, and with that money she bought a shopping center in Twin Falls, Idaho. She earns a handsome income from that shopping center.