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Lee Van Cleef – MovieActors.com


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Van Cleef in Escape From New York.

About Lee Van Cleef (1925 – 1989)
Lee Van Cleef was born on January 9, 1925 in Somerville, New Jersey. On December 16, 1989 he passed away in Oxnard, California from a heart attack.

Van Cleef got his big break when director Stanley Kramer saw him in a touring company and decided to cast him as henchman Jack Colby, in High Noon in 1952. He had no lines in the role.

In the '50s, Lee Van Cleef starred in 49 movies. His output in one decade exceeded what some actors do in a lifetime.

But in the interest of getting himself seen more widely, Van Cleef was willing to take uncredited roles in the early '60s. In 1960, he played Frank Diamond in The Gun Of Zangara. In 1962, he played a river pirate in How The West Was Won.

Usually Lee Van Cleef was cast in supporting roles. But, in 1965 he moved up to leading man; or should we say leading villain! His portrayal of the dastardly villian offered a wonderful contrast to the good guy portrayal offered by the talented Clint Eastwood in two Sergio Leone-directed films: For A Few Dollars More and the 1967 film, The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly.

In 1984, Lee Van Cleef co-starred in the short-lived martial-arts series The Masters.

Lee Van Cleef's notable movie credits include...

Thieves Of Fortune (1990)
armed response (1986)
escape from new york (1981)
the squeeze (1978)
take a hard ride (1975)
commandos (1968)
posse from hell (1961)
the young lions (1958)
the tin star (1957)
gunfight at the ok corral (1957)
high noon (1952)

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Lee Van Cleef in Escape From New York.

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Lee Van Cleef in The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly (1967).

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Lee Van Cleef in The Young Lions (1958).