Image of Lee Van Cleef

Lee Van Cleef

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.

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Jan 9, 1925 In Somerville, New Jersey, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie High Noon 1952-06-09
Latest Project:
Movie Stracultsat - Speciale Spaghetti Western 2008-06-07
Known For
Movie Stracultsat - Speciale Spaghetti Western 2008-06-07
Movie The Best of Martial Arts Films Himself 1990-01-01
Movie Speed Zone Rock-Skipping Grandfather 1989-04-21
Movie The Commander Col. Mazzarini 1988-04-28
Movie Armed Response Burt Roth 1986-10-01
Series The Master John Peter McAllister 1984-01-20
Movie Master Ninja John Peter McAllister 1984-03-08
Movie Killing Machine Julot 1984-05-10
Movie Escape from New York Police Commissioner Bob Hauk 1981-05-23
Movie The Octagon McCarn 1980-08-14
Movie The Hard Way McNeal 1979-06-01
Movie The Squeeze Chris Gretchko / Ray Sloan 1978-10-25
Movie Kid Vengeance McClain 1977-01-01
Movie The Stranger and the Gunfighter Dakota 1974-01-01
Movie Mean Frank and Crazy Tony Frankie 1973-11-23
Movie Return of Sabata Sabata / Major 1971-09-03
Movie Bad Man's River Roy King 1971-12-03
Movie El Condor Jaroo 1970-06-19
Movie Barquero Travis 1970-08-20
Movie Sabata Sabata 1969-09-16
Movie Beyond the Law Billy Joe Cudlip 1968-04-10
Movie Commandos MSgt. Sullivan 1968-11-19
Movie Death Rides a Horse Ryan 1967-08-31
Movie Day of Anger Frank Talby 1967-12-19
Movie The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Sentenza / Angel Eyes 1966-12-23
Movie For a Few Dollars More Col. Douglas Mortimer 1965-05-10
Movie The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Reese 1962-04-15
Movie Guns Girls and Gangsters Mike Bennett 1959-01-01
Movie The Bravados Alfonso Parral 1958-06-25
Movie Gunfight at the O.K. Corral Ed Bailey 1957-05-30
Movie Last Stagecoach West Steve Margolies 1957-07-16
Movie The Lonely Man Faro 1957-06-21
Movie The Quiet Gun Doug Sadler 1957-07-18
Movie The Tin Star Ed McGaffey 1957-10-23
Movie Gun Battle at Monterey Kirby 1957-10-27
Movie Tribute to a Bad Man Fat Jones 1956-03-30
Movie It Conquered the World Dr. Tom Anderson 1956-07-14
Movie I Cover the Underworld Flash Logan 1955-05-19
Movie The Road to Denver Pecos Larry 1955-06-15
Movie Ten Wanted Men Al Drucker 1955-02-01
Movie A Man Alone Clanton 1955-10-17
Movie The Vanishing American Jay Lord 1955-11-17
Movie Rails Into Laramie Ace Winton 1954-04-14
Movie Arrow In The Dust Tillotson Henchman 1954-04-25
Movie The Yellow Tomahawk Fire Knife 1954-05-01
Movie Dawn at Socorro Earl Ferris 1954-08-27
Movie The Desperado The Crayton Twins 1954-06-20
Movie The Bandits of Corsica Nerva 1953-02-27
Movie Arena Smitty 1953-06-24
Movie Tumbleweed Marv 1953-12-09
Movie Vice Squad Pete Monty 1953-07-31
Movie Jack Slade Bolt Mackay 1953-11-08
Movie High Noon Jack Colby 1952-06-09
Movie The Lawless Breed Dirk Hanley 1952-12-28
Movie Untamed Frontier Dave Chittun 1952-07-22