Lee Van Cleef

Lee Van Cleef

  • Born on
    • January 9th, 1925
  • Died on
    • December 16th, 1989
Was an American actor best known for his roles in Spaghetti Westerns such as For A Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Hatchet-faced with piercing eyes, he had declined to have his nose altered to play a sympathetic character in his film debut, High Noon, and was relegated to a non-speaking outlaw as a result. For a decade he was typecast as a minor villain, his sinister features[peacock term] overshadowing his acting skills. After suffering serious injuries in a car crash, Van Cleef began to lose interest in his apparently waning[peacock term] career by the time Sergio Leone gave him a major role in For a Few Dollars More. The film made him a box-office draw, especially in Europe. Military service: After basic training and further training at the Naval Fleet Sound School, Van Cleef was assigned to a submarine chaser and then to a minesweeper, USS Incredible, on which he worked as a sonarman. fter leaving the Navy, Van Cleef read for a part in Our Town at the Little Theater Group in Clinton, New Jersey and received his first stage role.[7] 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.[citation needed] Van Cleef's screen debut came in High Noon. During a performance of Mister Roberts in Los Angeles, he was noticed by film director Stanley Kramer, who offered Van Cleef a role in his upcoming film. Kramer originally wanted Van Cleef for the role of the deputy Harvey Pell, but as he wanted Van Cleef to have his "distinctive nose" fixed, Van Cleef declined the role in favor of the part of the silent gunslinger Jack Colby. He was then cast mostly in villainous roles, due to his sharp cheeks and chin, piercing eyes, and hawk-like nose,[citation needed][peacock term] from the part of Tony Romano in Kansas City Confidential (1952), culminating 14 years later in Sergio Leone's The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) Despite suffering from heart disease from the late 1970s and having a pacemaker installed in the early 1980s,[14] Van Cleef continued to work in films until his death on December 16, 1989, at age 64.[15] He collapsed in his home in Oxnard, California, from a heart attack.[16] Throat cancer was listed as a secondary cause of death.[17] He was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, Hollywood Hills, California, with an inscription on his grave marker referring to his many acting performances as a villain: "BEST OF THE BAD". CLR Description above from the Wikipedia article Lee Van Cleef, licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors on Wikipedia.

Starring Lee Van Cleef on Plex


Acting (49 Credits)

1989Speed Zone as Rock-Skipping Grandfather
1986Armed Response as Burt Roth
1984Code Name: Wild Geese as Archie 'China' Travers
1984The Master as John Peter McAllister
1981Escape from New York as Police Commissioner Bob Hauk
1980The Octagon as McCarn
1977Vengeance as McClainWatch Free
1976Diamante Lobo as Father John / Lewis
1975Take a Hard Ride as Kiefer
1974El karate el Colt y el impostor as Dakota
1972The Grand Duel as Sheriff ClaytonWatch Free
1972The Magnificent Seven Ride! as Marshal Chris Adams
1971Return of Sabata as Sabata / MajorWatch Free
1971Bad Man's River as Roy KingWatch Free
1971Captain Apache as Capt. ApacheWatch Free
1970Barquero as Travis
1970El Condor as Jaroo
1969Sabata as Sabata
1968Beyond the Law as Billy Joe Cudlip
1968Commandos as MSgt. Sullivan
1967Death Rides a Horse as RyanWatch Free
1967Day of Anger as Frank Talby
1966The Big Gundown as Jonathan Corbett
1966The Good, the Bad and the Ugly as Sentenza / Angel Eyes
1965For a Few Dollars More as Col. Douglas Mortimer
1962The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance as Reese
1962How the West Was Won as River Pirate
1961Posse from Hell as Leo
1959Ride Lonesome as Frank
1958The Bravados as Alfonso Parral
1958The Young Lions as 1st Sgt. Rickett
1957China Gate as Maj. Cham
1957The Lonely Man as Faro
1957The Tin Star as Ed McGaffey
1957Gunfight at the O.K. Corral as Ed Bailey
1956It Conquered the World as Dr. Tom Anderson
1956Pardners as Gus
1956The Conqueror as Chepei
1956Tribute to a Bad Man as Fat Jones
1955The Big Combo as Fante
1955A Man Alone as Clanton
1955Ten Wanted Men as Al Drucker
1955The Naked Street
1953The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms as Corp. Stone
1953Tumbleweed as Marv
1953Vice Squad as Pete Monty
1952The Lawless Breed as Dirk Hanley
1952Kansas City Confidential as Tony RomanoWatch Free
1952High Noon as Jack Colby


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