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Lee Van Cleef ACTOR

Lee Van Cleef was born on January 9th, 1925 in Somerville, New Jersey with the birth name Clarence Leroy Van Cleef Jr., born to Clarence Leroy Van Cleef and Maria Lavinia Van Fleet.  He did not originally intend to pursue career as an actor.  He actually began his adult life serving in the United States Navy during World War II and later worked as an accountant and office administrator and only during his spare time for fun, he would participate in local amateur theatrical plays.
It was during an audition for a professional touring company for a production of, "Mr. Roberts" where he really began to realize he had a passion for performing. He took the job and during one of the performances, he was seen by director, Stanley Kramer who cast him in his first film role in, "High Noon" (1952) starring Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Lloyd Bridges, Katy Jurado, Thomas Mitchell, Sheb Wooley, Robert J. Wilke and Lon Chaney Jr. 
Although, he had no speaking lines in his first film, he somehow managed to gain the attention of Hollywood and began appearing in a variety of films such as, "Kansas City Confidential" (1952) starring John Payne, Coleen Gray, Preston Foster, Neville Brand, Carleton Young and Jack Elam, "The Big Combo" (1955) starring Cornel Wilde, Brian Donlevy, Jean Wallace, Richard Conte, Robert Middleton, Ted de Corsia, Helen Walker and Earl Holliman, "The Naked Street" (1955) also starring Farley Granger, Anthony Quinn, Anne Bancroft, Peter Graves and Whit Bissell, "A Man Alone" (1955) co-starring Ray Milland, Mary Murphy, Raymond Burr, Ward Bond and Alan Hale Jr., "Soldiers of Fortune" (1957) with John Russell, Chick Chandler and John Doucette, "The Tin Star" (1957) starring Henry Fonda, Neville Brand, John McIntire, Betsy Palmer and Anthony Perkins, "Ride Lonesome" (1959) starring Randolph Scott, James Coburn, Karen Steele, James Best and Pernell Roberts, "How the West Was Won" (1962) starring Carroll Baker, Lee J. Cobb, Henry Fonda, Carolyn Jones, Karl Malden, Agnes Moorehead, Harry Morgan, Gregory Peck, George Peppard, Robert Preston, Debbie Reynolds, James Stewart, Spencer Tracy and John Wayne, among a plethora of great stars and "For a Few Dollars More" (1965) and "The Good, The Bad and the Ugly" (1966) both starring Clint Eastwood and Eli Wallach.
In addition to film roles he also appeared on numerous television series such as, "The Range Rider", "Vice Squad", "The Lone Ranger", "Wagon Train", "Sheriff of Cochise", "Buffalo Bill Jr.", "Cimarron City", "Bonanza", "Maverick", "Laramie", "77 Sunset Strip", "Stories of the Century", "The Rifleman", "The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin", "Perry Mason", "Gunsmoke", "Frontier Doctor", "The Gene Autry Show" and starring in "The Master".
One of his more well known television roles was between 1951 and 1955 when he appeared on, "The Adventures of Kit Carson".  In 1958, he suffered a bad car accident which shattered his knee and it took some time for him to recover before returning back to work.   
When returning back to the industry he actually worked as a painter part time while going to auditions.  During the mid 1960's he became a star on a number of Western films such as, "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" (1962) starring John Wayne, James Stewart, Lee Marvin, Vera Miles, Andy Devine, Woody Strode, Strother Martin, Edmond O'Brien, John Carradine, Jeanette Nolan, John Qualen, Carleton Young, Willis Bouchey, Dave O'Brien, Ken Murray, Robert F. Simon, Denver Pyle and Shug Fisher, "Death Rides a Horse" (1967) with John Phillip Law and "The Big Gundown" (1966) with Tomas Milian and "Day of Anger" (1967) with Giuliano Gemma. Lee had as his forte during this time frame starring in many Spaghetti Westerns and seemed to be in his best comfort zone in Westerns movies in general.
His more recent appearances were on the films, "CodeName: Wild Geese" (1984) starring with Ernest Borgnine, Klaus Kinski and Lewis Collins, "Jungle Raiders" (1985) with Christopher Connelly, "Armed Response" (1986) with David Carradine, "Thieves of Fortune" (1989) co-starring Michael Nouri, Shawn Weatherly, Craig Gardner and Liz Torres and his final film role on, "Speed Zone" (1989) starring alongside John Candy, Eugene Levy, Joe Flaherty, Donna Dixon, Matt Frewer, Tim Matheson, Mimi Kuzyk, Melody Anderson, Shari Belafonte, Brian George, Art Hindle, Dick Smothers, Tom Smothers, Peter Boyle, Don Lake, John Schneider, Lee Van Cleef, Harvey Atkin, Michael Spinks, Brooke Shields, Alyssa Milano, Louis Del Grande, Richard Petty and Carl Lewis.
Lee Van Cleef married three times throughout his lifetime, first to Patsy Ruth in 1943 and they had three children before this marriage came to an end.  He then married Joan Marjorie Drane in 1960 and this marriage also ended in divorce in 1974.  His third and final wife was Barbara Havelone whom he wed in 1976 and they remained together until Van Cleef passed away from a heart attack on December 16th, 1989 in Oxnard, California.  His remains are interred at Forest Lawn Cemetery in the Hollywood Hills, California.    


1989   Speed Zone

1989   Thieves of Fortune 

1988   Der Commander 

1986   Armed Response 

1985   Jungle Raiders 

1984   Code Name: Wild Geese 

1984   The Master

1984   Goma-2

1981   Escape from New York 

1980   The Octagon 

1979   The Hard Way 

1978   The Squeeze 

1977   The Perfect Killer

1977   Nowhere to Hide

1977   Vengeance

1975   Take a Hard Ride

1975   Diamante Lobo

1974   El kárate, el Colt y el impostor

1973   Dio, sei proprio un padreterno!

1972   Grand Duel

1972   The Magnificent Seven Ride!

1971   Hunt the Man Down

1971   Deathwork

1971   È tornato Sabata... hai chiuso un'altra volta

1970   Barquero

1970   El Condor 

1969   Sabata 

1968   Commandos 

1968   Al di là della legge 

1967   Day of Anger

1967   Death Rides a Horse 

1966   The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 

1966   The Big Gundown 

1960-1966  Gunsmoke 

1966   Laredo

1965-1966  Branded

1965   For a Few Dollars More 

1965   My Mother the Car 

1965   Luke and the Tenderfoot 

1965   The Andy Griffith Show

1964   Rawhide

1964   Destry 

1963   The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters 

1960-1963  77 Sunset Strip 

1960-1963  Laramie

1962-1963  Have Gun - Will Travel 

1963   The Dick Powell Theatre

1963   Perry Mason 

1963   The Dakotas

1962-1963  Ripcord 

1962   How the West Was Won 

1959-1962  The Rifleman 

1954-1962  Death Valley Days

1961-1962  Cheyenne

1962   The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

1961-1962  Bronco

1962   The Joey Bishop Show

1961   Twilight Zone

1961   Posse from Hell

1961   Stagecoach West

1961   Maverick

1961   Hawaiian Eye

1961   Shotgun Slade

1960   Bonanza

1958-1960  Lawman

1958-1960  Colt .45

1960   Mr. Lucky 

1960   The Deputy 

1960   The Slowest Gun in the West

1960   Black Saddle

1960   The Untouchables 

1960   The Alaskans

1960   Hotel de Paree

1960   The DuPont Show with June Allyson

1959   Law of the Plainsman

1959   Riverboat 

1959   The Real McCoys

1959   Tombstone Territory 

1959   Wanted Dead or Alive 

1959   Yancy Derringer 

1959   Cimarron City

1959   Fury 

1959   Ride Lonesome

1959   Northwest Passage 

1959   Guns, Girls, and Gangsters 

1958   Machete

1958   Frontier Doctor

1958   Zorro 

1958   Target 

1958   The Bravados

1958   State Trooper

1958   The Young Lions

1958   Richard Diamond, Private Detective

1958   Day of the Bad Man 

1958   Wagon Train

1957   Trackdown

1957   Raiders of Old California

1957   Casey Jones

1957   Gun Battle at Monterey

1957   The Tin Star

1957   G.E. True Theater

1957   Joe Dakota

1957   The Last Stagecoach West
1957   The Lonely Man 

1957   Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

1957   China Gate

1957   The Badge of Marshal Brennan

1953-1957  Schlitz Playhouse 

1957   Tales of Wells Fargo 

1957   Soldiers of Fortune

1957   The Quiet Gun 

1956   Accused of Murder

1956   Crossroads

1956   Sheriff of Cochise 

1956   Wire Service

1956   The Ford Television Theatre

1956   Pardners

1956   It Conquered the World 

1956   Tribute to a Bad Man 

1956   Studio 57

1956   The Conqueror

1956   Chevron Hall of Stars

1955   Brave Eagle

1953-1955  The Adventures of Kit Carson

1955   The Vanishing American 

1955   A Man Alone

1955   The Adventures of Champion

1955   The Naked Street

1955   The Star and the Story

1955   The Road to Denver

1955   The Man Behind the Badge

1955   I Cover the Underworld

1955   Buffalo Bill Jr.

1955   Annie Oakley

1955   City Detective

1955   TV Reader's Digest

1955   The Big Combo

1955   Ten Wanted Men

1955   Treasure of Ruby Hills

1954   The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin

1954   Medic

1953-1954  The Gene Autry Show

1954   Dawn at Socorro

1954   Waterfront

1954   The Desperado 

1954   Princess of the Nile 

1953-1954  Cavalcade of America 

1954   The Yellow Tomahawk

1954   Arrow in the Dust

1954   Rails Into Laramie

1954   Gypsy Colt

1954   Stories of the Century

1953-1954  Big Town

1953   Tumbleweed

1953   The Nebraskan

1953   Jack Slade 

1952-1953  The Lone Ranger 

1953   Vice Squad 

1953   Arena 

1952-1953  Space Patrol 

1953   The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms 

1953   White Lightning

1953   The Bandits of Corsica 

1953   Four Star Playhouse 

1953   The Lawless Breed 

1952-1953  The Range Rider 

1952   Boston Blackie

1952   Kansas City Confidential

1952   Sky King

1952   Untamed Frontier

1952   High Noon

Matinee Classics - The Conqueror starring John Wayne, Susan Hayward, Pedro Armendariz, Agnes Moorehead, Thomas Gomez, John Hoyt, William Conrad, Ted de Corsia and Lee Van Cleef
Matinee Classics - How the West Was Won starring John Wayne, James Stewart, Debbie Reynolds, Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Carol Baker, Gregory Peck, George Peppard, Harry Morgan, Walter Brennan, Lee Van Cleef, Agnes Moorehead and Robert Preston
Matinee Classics - God's Gun starring Lee Van Cleef, Jack Palance and Richard Boone
Matinee Classics - Beyond the Law starring Lee Van Cleef, Antonio Sabato and Lionel Stander
Matinee Classics - Bad Man's River starring Lee Van Cleef, James Mason, Gina Lollobrigida and Simon Andrey
Matinee Classics - Pardners starring Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Lori Nelson, Jeff Morrow, Jackie Loughery, John Baragrey, Agnes Moorehead, Lon Chaney Jr., Milton Frome, Richard Aherne, Lee Van Cleef, Stuart Randall, Scott Douglas, Jack Elam and Bob Steele
Matinee Classics - Pardners starring Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Lori Nelson, Jeff Morrow, Jackie Loughery, John Baragrey, Agnes Moorehead, Lon Chaney Jr., Milton Frome, Richard Aherne, Lee Van Cleef, Stuart Randall, Scott Douglas, Jack Elam and Bob Steele
Matinee Classics - The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms starring Paul Christian, Paula Raymond, Cecil Kellaway, Kenneth Tobey, Donald Woods, Lee Van Cleef, Steve Brodie and Ross Elliot
Matinee Classics - The Big Combo starring Cornel Wilde, Richard Conte, Brian Donlevy, Jean Wallace, Robert Middleton, Lee Van Cleef, Earl Holliman, Helen Walker, Jay Adler, John Hoyt, Ted de Corsia and Helene Stanton
Matinee Classics - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly starring Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef, Aldo Giuffre, Luigi Pistilli, Rada Rassimov, Enzo Petito, Claudio Scarchili, John Bartha, Livio Lorenzon, Antonio Casale, Sandro Scarchili, Benito Stefaneli, Angelo Novi and Antonio Casas

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