Lee Van Cleef

Lee Van Cleef

About this actor

Lee Van Cleef (January 9, 1925 – December 16, 1989) was an American film actor who appeared mostly in Western and action pictures. His sharp features and piercing eyes led to his casting as a villain in scores of films as in The Good The Bad and the Ugly, though in later years he was often a film's protagonist, such as with his co-lead role as a former colonel in For a Few Dollars More. Van Cleef was born Clarence LeRoy Van Cleef, Jr. in Somerville, New Jersey, the son of Marion Levinia (née Van Fleet) and Clarence LeRoy Van Cleef, Sr. both of Dutch ancestry. Van Cleef served in the United States Navy aboard minesweepers and subchasers during World War II and became an actor after a brief career as an accountant. His first acting experiences were on stage, including a small role in the original Broadway production of Mister Roberts. His first film was the classic Western High Noon, in which he played a villain. He also had a bit part as the sharpshooter in the climax of The Beast from...