It's a date that will induce tearful memories across the worlds of music, moves and sport with Hollywood hero Steve McQueen, former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier and lyrical genius Leonard Cohen all dying on this day.

The trio all hit the heights of their industry but it was their legacies that saw them endure through the years.

Steve McQueen earned a reputation as "The King of Cool" for his anti-hero characters who played by no one's rules but their own in films such The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape and The Towering Inferno.

He was an avid motor sports fan and regular performed his own stunts behind the wheel.

McQueen became the highest-paid movie star in the world in 1974, but despite the huge sums on offer, disappeared from the screen for four years.

Steve McQueen was, at one time, the highest paid film star in the world.
Steve McQueen was, at one time, the highest paid film star in the world. Supplied

The step away from the screen coincided with his health decline, a biopsy revealing pleural mesothelioma in 1979.

Despite exhaustive, and controversial, efforts to beat the disease, McQueen died of cardiac arrest a year later. He was 50.

Joe Frazier, meanwhile, could have dominated boxing, such was his skill and power, for his entire career had he not been born in the same era as the great George Foreman and the iconic Muhammad Ali.

"Smokin' Joe" was the undisputed heavyweight champion during the early 1970s and won gold at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo.

Frazier, thanks to his evasiveness and left hook, climb the ranks until he became champion in 1970, crowning his success by defeating Ali by unanimous decision in 1970.

However, Foreman stripped him of his title in 1973, Ali won their rematch and then his last title fight, the electrifying 'Thriller in Manila', he again fell to his nemesis Ali.

Frazier retired in 1976 after another loss to Foreman, before coming out of retirement for a final bout in 1981.

In 2011, Frazier was diagnosed with liver cancer and died from complications with the disease later in the year. He was 67.

Joe Frazier was the heavyweight champion from 1970 to 1973.
Joe Frazier was the heavyweight champion from 1970 to 1973. Supplied

Finally, Canadian poet, songwriter, musician, writer and artist Leonard Cohen was one of the great voices to emerge from the rebellion of the 1950s and 1960s.

During a revolution of ideas and culture, Cohen sprung to the world's attention as a poet and novelist but made his mark as a musician at the age of 33.

Exploring a range of ideas, from politics to sexuality, religion to relationships, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer bared his soul and dug deep into the psyche of his audience.

However, it wasn't until 1984 that his music became mainstream off the back of arguable his most famous track "Hallelujah" - a song that has been covered by endless musicians across the globe.

In 1994, Cohen retreated from the world and spent five years of seclusion at the Mount Baldy Zen Center near Los Angeles.

But he made a comeback in the 2000 which was capped off by the biography I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen.

Cohen's final album You Want It Darker was released on October 21, 2016 - a mere couple of weeks before his death. He was 82.  

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