Good work. However, I have to say that pointing out that McQueen was not a great actor is beside the point because he really was not an 'actor' to begin with.
McQueen was a screen 'star' because of a certain something that no else had. It is hard to put my finger on it. But let me put it this way, he was able to say lines, like Clint Eastwood - I am surprised you did not make a comparison with Clint - that few if any other actors could say.
Also, he was able to convey things without saying anything at all. Maybe that was the extent of his 'acting' ability. But whatever his ability was he could do things that if anyone else (save Clint Eastwood) attempted them would seem silly or not credible.
Consider the fact that McQueen was not good looking by the traditional standards of Hollywood. In another, earlier time, McQueen would have been relegated to a fill-in character actor status because of his looks. But he had, as I say, a certain something that made him attractive to the camera.
Lastly, I am really surprised you did not examine more closely one scene in the movie 'Papillon' which deserves careful consideration. When Papillon is put in solitary confinement for an extended time and the warden (played by Bill Smithers) asks him for the name of the person who helped him (which we know is Dega), McQueen, with his head stuck through the window in the prison door, delivers a performance or, let's say, creates a moment, which I do not see anyone else giving - not Newman, or Bogie, or even, dare I say it, Clint or Cagney - without calling attention to the fact that they were 'acting.'
Mind you, I do not disagree with the thrust of what you are saying, but merely offering my own clarification of McQueen's ability, whatever you call it.
Just my two cents. Thanks again for what you put together.
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