Lee Van Cleef
Actor
Lee Van Cleef
Clarence Leroy "Lee" Van Cleef, Jr. was an American film actor who appeared mostly in Westerns and action pictures. His sharp features and piercing eyes led to his being cast as a villain in scores of films, such as Kansas City Confidential, High Noon, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. After appearing in the last of these films he was propelled to stardom, becoming the hero in many of his later movies.
Biography
Lee Van Cleef's personal information overview.
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Photo Albums
Popular photos of Lee Van Cleef
News
News abour Lee Van Cleef from around the web
Top Ten Tuesday – The Best of Lee Marvin - We Are Movie Geeks
Google News - over 5 years
In his first scene Valance orchestrates a stagecoach robbery and has to be restrained by his toadies Lee Van Cleef and Strother Martin before he kills lawyer Jimmy Stewart with his heavy, silver bullwhip . Every time Valance sees his victim he calls
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'The 6th Season, Volume 2' to Follow QUICKLY on the Heels of Volume 1 - TVShowsOnDVD.com
Google News - over 5 years
Guest stars include the legendary Bette Davis, Michael Rennie, Ruta Lee, Werner Klemperer, Walter Pidgeon, Lee Van Cleef, Billy Halop, George Kennedy, and Jackie Coogan...plus many more! Here's an early look at the cover art for this newly-announced
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Primus' Les Claypool On His Lyrics, Getting Back Together With His Old ... - Prefixmag
Google News - over 5 years
Tell me about “Lee Van Cleef.” Did you want to write a song about him, or write a song and decide to name it after him? No, I had this notion that I wanted to write a song about Lee Van Cleef, and “don't forget about Lee Van Cleef
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For a Few Dollars More - JustPressPlay
Google News - over 5 years
In the end he settled for perennial bit-part actor and genre veteran Lee Van Cleef, whose hawkish features offered Leone yet another of those conspicuous, striking faces he so loved to work with. For the role of El Indio Leone again turned to Gian
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G'DAY, UDAY: Dominic Cooper in 'The Devil's Double' - Creative Loafing Atlanta
Google News - over 5 years
THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY (1966) 5 stars (NR) Three iconic gunslingers — played by Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach and Lee Van Cleef — double-cross each other across the Italian-looking badlands of the American Civil War in pursuit of a secret
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The Wild West's European vacation - Irish Times
Google News - over 5 years
Simultaneously transforming “backwater” locations such as Almeria in southern Spain into thriving creative hubs, while turning struggling American bit-part players such as Lee Van Cleef and Clint Eastwood into major international stars
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This Weekend At The Movies - Patch.com
Google News - over 5 years
In the heyday of the spaghetti western, he could have modeled a career of playing Lee Van Cleef-style anti-heroes. In “Cowboys,” he manages to keep a straight face amid one ludicrous set piece after another. In the film's beginning, Craig's Jake
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Cowboys, aliens and the good, the bad and the ugly of the sci-fi western - Den Of Geek
Google News - over 5 years
While it's too early to tell whether Cowboys & Aliens will be keeping company with Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef or Eli Wallach, it's not too soon to round up some of the other sci-fi westerns and corral them into their respective categories
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10 Classic Italian Films - Screen Junkies
Google News - over 5 years
Directed by Sergio Leone, the film stars Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach. “I Vitelloni.” “I Vitelloni” is a 1953 Italian comedy film. The award-winner examines five young Italian men at the crucial moments in their lives
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John Carpenter's Snake Returned Safely To His Pants, There Will Be No 'Escape ... - Film School Rejects
Google News - over 5 years
There's a lively supporting cast including Donald Pleasance, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Ernest Borgnine, Lee Van Cleef, and Adrienne Barbeau, but the real stars of the film are Carpenter and Kurt Russell. It's a fantastically fun ride that mixes
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Ask Chris #65: Flashpointless - ComicsAlliance
Google News - over 5 years
It's one of my all-time favorite movies, and my favorite scene, hands down, is the climax in the graveyard where Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach and Lee Van Cleef just stand there staring at each other for five minutes. It's an amazing piece of cinema,
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Tarantino In Franco Nero's Western? - Empire Online
Google News - over 5 years
... where Charles Bronson guns down classic Western veterans Jack Elam, Woody Strode and Al Mulock in the film's opening minutes (legend has it that it was supposed to be Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach, but Eastwood wouldn't play)
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DVD OF THE WEEK: Rango - GreenCine
Google News - over 5 years
In due course, Rango must figure out how to defeat Rattlesnake Jake (Bill Nighy), whose beady eyes and low black hat are modeled on Lee Van Cleef in The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. For inspiration, he turns to the Spirit of the West in a desert
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Report from Blobfest: Day 2 Wrap-Up! - Examiner.com
Google News - over 5 years
In 1956, "King of the B's" Roger Corman unleashed It Conquered the World, the story of a well-meaning, but misguided scientist (a pre-Spaghetti Western Lee Van Cleef) who helps avocado-shaped aliens take over the world. Van Cleef believes the aliens
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DVD Review – Rio Conchos / Take a Hard Ride - Inside Pulse
Google News - over 5 years
Along with the numerous scumbags looking for Brown is Lee Van Cleef (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly). He's a bounty hunter that won't be stopped. Antonio Margherti directs the action in the Canary Islands that qualifies this as a Spaghetti Western
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Lee Van Cleef
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1989
    Age 64
    Despite suffering from heart disease from the late 1970s and having a pacemaker installed in the early 1980s, Van Cleef continued to work in films until his death on December 16, 1989, at age 64.
    More Details Hide Details He collapsed in his home in Oxnard, California, from a heart attack. Throat cancer was listed as a secondary cause of death. Van Cleef is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, Hollywood Hills, California, with an inscription on his gravestone referring to his many "heavy" roles: BEST OF THE BAD. Lee van Cleef's characters in the Sergio Leone movies were inspiration for the character Elliot Belt in the Lucky Luke comic album, The Bounty Hunter. The band Primus has a song about Lee Van Cleef on their album Green Naugahyde. The Warcraft universe sports the villain Edwin Van Cleef, who is inspired by Lee Van Cleef. Phillip Pullman, author of the bestselling His Dark Materials trilogy stated that the first name of his fictional American explorer, airman and crack marksman, Lee Scoresby was a reference to Van Cleef, with the character's surname being an homage to famous Arctic explorer William Scoresby.
  • FORTIES
  • 1974
    Age 49
    He and Drane divorced in 1974.
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  • 1965
    Age 40
    In 1965, the actor's career underwent a dramatic change when Sergio Leone cast Van Cleef, whose career was still in the doldrums, as one of the two protagonists, alongside Clint Eastwood, in For a Few Dollars More.
    More Details Hide Details Leone then chose Van Cleef to appear again with Eastwood, this time as the primary villain Angel Eyes, in the now seminal western The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966). With his roles in Leone's films, Van Cleef became a major star of Spaghetti Westerns, playing central, and often surprisingly heroic, roles in films such as Death Rides a Horse, Day of Anger, The Big Gundown, The Sabata Trilogy, and The Grand Duel. He co-starred with Jim Brown in an Italian-American co-production, Take a Hard Ride (1975). Van Cleef would later have a supporting role in John Carpenter's cult film Escape from New York (1981). In 1984, Van Cleef was cast as a ninja master in the NBC adventure series The Master, but it was canceled after thirteen episodes. In all, he is credited with 90 movie roles and 109 other television appearances over a 38-year span.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1963
    Age 38
    In 1963, he appeared on Perry Mason (episode: "The Case of the Golden Oranges").
    More Details Hide Details That same year, he appeared in "The Day of the Misfits" on The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters.
  • 1962
    Age 37
    He played a villainous henchman of Lee Marvin's title character in the 1962 John Ford movie The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.
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  • 1961
    Age 36
    In 1961, he played a role on episode 7 ("The Grave") of the third season of The Twilight Zone.
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  • 1960
    Age 35
    In 1960, he appeared as a villainous swindler in the Bonanza episode, "The Bloodline" (December 31, 1960) and also made an appearance on Gunsmoke.
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    Van Cleef played a sentry on an episode of the ABC sitcom The Real McCoys, with Walter Brennan. Van Cleef was cast with Pippa Scott and again with Chuck Connors in the 1960 episode "Trial by Fear" of the CBS anthology series The DuPont Show with June Allyson.
    More Details Hide Details A young Van Cleef also made an appearance on The Andy Griffith Show and as Frank Diamond in The Untouchables, in an episode entitled "The Unhired Assassin". He also appeared in an episode of the ABC/Warner Brothers western series The Alaskans. Van Cleef guest-starred on the CBS western series Have Gun - Will Travel, on the ABC/WB series Colt .45, on the NBC western series Cimarron City and Laramie, and on Rod Cameron's syndicated crime dramas City Detective and State Trooper. He guest-starred in an episode of John Bromfield's syndicated crime drama Sheriff of Cochise. Van Cleef starred as minor villains and henchmen in various westerns, including The Tin Star and Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. In 1958, a severe car crash nearly cost Van Cleef his life and career. A resulting knee injury made his physicians think that he would never ride a horse again. This injury plagued Van Cleef for the rest of his life and caused him great pain. His recovery was long and arduous and halted his acting for a time. He then began a business in interior decoration with second wife Joan, as well as pursuing his talent for painting, primarily of sea and landscapes.
  • 1959
    Age 34
    Van Cleef appeared in 1959 as Luke Clagg in the episode "Strange Request" of the NBC western series Riverboat.
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  • 1958
    Age 33
    In 1958, he was cast as Deputy Sid Carver in the episode "The Great Stagecoach Robbery" of another syndicated western series, Frontier Doctor, starring Rex Allen.
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    In 1958, he was cast as Ed Murdock, a rodeo performer trying to reclaim the title in the event at Madison Square Garden in New York City, on Richard Diamond, Private Detective.
    More Details Hide Details Van Cleef played different minor characters on four episodes of ABC's The Rifleman, with Chuck Connors, between 1959 and 1962, and twice on ABC's Tombstone Territory.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1955
    Age 30
    In 1955, he played one of the two villains in an episode of The Adventures of Champion the Wonder Horse.
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    In 1955, he was cast twice on another syndicated western series, Annie Oakley.
    More Details Hide Details That same year, he guest-starred on the CBS western series, Brave Eagle.
  • 1954
    Age 29
    In 1954, Van Cleef appeared as Jesse James in the syndicated series, Stories of the Century.
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  • 1952
    Age 27
    He appeared in episode 82 of the TV series The Lone Ranger in 1952.
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    In 1952, he was cast in the episode "Formula for Fear" of the western aviation series Sky King.
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  • 1951
    Age 26
    Van Cleef appeared six times between 1951 and 1955 on the children's syndicated western series The Adventures of Kit Carson, starring Bill Williams.
    More Details Hide Details He was cast three times, including the role of Rocky Hatch in the episode "Greed Rides the Range" (1952), of another syndicated western series, The Range Rider.
  • 1946
    Age 21
    By the time of his discharge in March 1946, he had achieved the rank of Sonarman First Class (SO1), and earned his mine sweeper patch.
    More Details Hide Details He had been awarded the Bronze Star and the Good Conduct Medal. By virtue of his deployments Van Cleef also qualified for the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal and American Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal. Van Cleef was a rare case of a person known to genuinely have heterochromatic eyes (that is to say, eyes of two different colors). After leaving the Navy, Van Cleef read for a part in Our Town at the Little Theater Group in Clinton, New Jersey. He was given the part. From there, he continued to meet with the group and audition for parts. The next biggest part was that of the boxer, Joe Pendleton, in the play Heaven Can Wait. During this time he was observed by visiting talent scouts who were impressed by Van Cleef's stage presence and delivery. One of these scouts later took him to New York City talent agent Maynard Morris of the MCA agency who then sent him to the Alvin Theater for an audition. The play was Mister Roberts.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1943
    Age 18
    Van Cleef was married three times. He and his first wife, Patsy Ruth, were married from 1943 until their divorce in 1960.
    More Details Hide Details Later that year, he married his second wife, Joan Drane.
  • 1942
    Age 17
    At age 17, he obtained his high school diploma early in his senior year in order to enlist in the United States Navy in September, 1942.
    More Details Hide Details After basic training and further training at the Naval Fleet Sound School, he was assigned to a submarine chaser and then to a minesweeper,, on which he worked as a sonarman. The ship initially patrolled the Caribbean, then moved to the Mediterranean, participating in the landings in southern France. In January 1945, Incredible moved to the Black Sea, and performed sweeping duties out of the Soviet Navy base at Sevastopol, Crimea. Afterwards the ship performed air-sea rescue patrols in the Black Sea, before returning to Palermo, Sicily.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1925
    Age 0
    Van Cleef was born on January 9, 1925 in Somerville, New Jersey, the son of Marion Levinia (née Van Fleet) and Clarence LeRoy Van Cleef.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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