Lee Van Cleef

BirthDay:

09 Jan 1925

BirthPlace:

Somerville, New Jersey, USA

BirthName:

Clarence Leroy Van Cleef Jr.

Bio:

One of the great movie villains, Clarence Leroy Van Cleef, Jr. was born in Somerville, New Jersey, to Marion Lavinia (Van Fleet) and Clarence LeRoy Van Cleef, Sr. His parents were both of Dutch ancestry. Van Cleef started out as an accountant. He served in the U.S. Navy aboard minesweepers and subchasers during World War II. After the war he worked as an office administrator, becoming involved in amateur theatrics in his spare time. An audition for a professional role led to a touring company job in "Mr. Roberts". His performance was seen by Stanley Kramer, who cast him as henchman Jack Colby in High Noon (1952), a role that brought him great recognition despite the fact that he had no dialogue. For the next decade he played a string of memorably villainous characters, primarily in westerns but also in crime dramas such as The Big Combo (1955). His hawk nose and steely, slit eyes seemed destined to keep him always in the realm of heavies, but in the mid-Sergio Leone cast him as the tough but decent Col. Mortimer opposite Clint Eastwood in For a Few Dollars More (1965). A new career as a western hero (or at least anti-hero) opened up, and Van Cleef became an international star, though in films of decreasing quality. In the 1980s he moved easily into action and martial-arts movies, and starred in The Master (1984), a TV series featuring almost non-stop martial arts action. He died of a heart attack in December 1989, and was buried at Forest Lawn in the Hollywood Hills.
Filmography

Actor ( 179 credits )

Alfonso Sansone produttore per caso (2014) (archive footage)
Eurocrime! The Italian Cop and Gangster Films That Ruled the '70s (2012) Himself (archive footage)
Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel (2011) (archive footage)
Special Collector's Edition (2010)  Angel Eyes / ... (1 episode, 2013)
Il falso bugiardo (2008) Himself (archive footage)
Klaus Kinski - Ich bin kein Schauspieler (2000) Col. Douglas Mortimer (archive footage)
Bruce Lee and Kung Fu Mania (1992) (archive footage)
Thieves of Fortune (1990) Sergio Danielo Christophero
The Best of the Martial Arts Films (1990) Himself (archive footage)
Cannonball Fever (1989) Rock-Skipping Grandfather
The Commander (1988) Col. Mazzarini
Talking Pictures (1988)  Himself (1 episode, 1988)
Armed Response (1986) Burt Roth
Jungle Raiders (1985) Warren
Killing Machine (1984) Julot
Code Name: Wild Geese (1984) China
The Master (1984)  John Peter McAllister / ... (13 episodes, 1984)
Escape from New York (1981) Hauk
The Octagon (1980) McCarn
The Squeeze (1978) Chris Gretchko / Ray Sloan
The Perfect Killer (1977) Harry Chapman
Vengeance (1977) McClain
God's Gun (1976) Father John / Lewis
Take a Hard Ride (1975) Kiefer
Blood Money (1974) Dakota
Mean Frank and Crazy Tony (1973) Frankie Diomede
The Magnificent Seven Ride! (1972) Chris
The Grand Duel (1972) Sheriff Clayton
Bad Man's River (1971) Roy King
Return of Sabata (1971) Sabata / Major
Captain Apache (1971) Capt. Apache
El Condor (1970) Jaroo
Barquero (1970) Travis
Sabata (1969) Sabata
The David Frost Show (1969)  Himself (1 episode, 1970)
Commandos (1968) MSgt. Sullivan
Beyond the Law (1968) Billy Joe Cudlip
Death Rides a Horse (1967) Ryan
Day of Anger (1967) Frank Talby
Blade Rider, Revenge of the Indian Nations (1966) Charlie Yates (archive footage)
The Big Gundown (1966) Jonathan Corbett
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) Sentenza / Angel Eyes
For a Few Dollars More (1965) Col. Douglas Mortimer
Branded (1965)  Charlie Yates / ... (4 episodes, 1965-1966)
My Mother the Car (1965)  Nick Fitch (1 episode, 1965)
Laredo (1965)  Big Mike Kelly (1 episode, 1966)
Destry (1964)  Ace Slater (1 episode, 1964)
The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters (1963)  Raoul Volta (1 episode, 1963)
The Dakotas (1963)  Larry Jackson / ... (2 episodes, 1963)
How the West Was Won (1962) River Pirate (uncredited)
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) Reese
Posse from Hell (1961) Leo
Ripcord (1961)  Henry Kane / ... (2 episodes, 1962-1963)
The Joey Bishop Show (1961) (1 episode, 1962)
The Dick Powell Theatre (1961)  Salty (1 episode, 1963)
The Andy Griffith Show (1960)  Skip (1 episode, 1965)
Stagecoach West (1960)  Lin Hyatt (1 episode, 1961)
Ride Lonesome (1959) Frank
Twilight Zone (1959)  Steinhart (1 episode, 1961)
Bonanza (1959)  Appling (1 episode, 1960)
Rawhide (1959)  Deck Sommers / ... (2 episodes, 1964)
The Untouchables (1959)  Frank Diamond (2 episodes, 1960)
Laramie (1959)  Caleb / ... (4 episodes, 1960-1963)
Hawaiian Eye (1959)  Manuel (1 episode, 1961)
The Deputy (1959)  Cherokee Kid (1 episode, 1960)
Mr. Lucky (1959)  Kruger (1 episode, 1960)
Shotgun Slade (1959)  Bob (1 episode, 1961)
Riverboat (1959)  Luke Cragg (1 episode, 1959)
The Alaskans (1959)  Roc (1 episode, 1960)
Black Saddle (1959)  Frank Sandoo (1 episode, 1960)
Law of the Plainsman (1959)  Tracey (1 episode, 1959)
Hotel de Paree (1959)  Thompson (1 episode, 1960)
The DuPont Show with June Allyson (1959)  Peak (1 episode, 1960)
The Bravados (1958) Alfonso Parral
The Young Lions (1958) 1st Sgt. Rickett
Day of the Badman (1958) Jake Hayes
Guns, Girls, and Gangsters (1958) Mike Bennett
Machete (1958) Miguel
The Rifleman (1958)  Dan Maury / ... (4 episodes, 1959-1962)
Wanted: Dead or Alive (1958)  Jumbo Kane (1 episode, 1959)
77 Sunset Strip (1958)  Deek / ... (2 episodes, 1960-1963)
Lawman (1958)  Deputy Clyde Wilson / ... (4 episodes, 1958-1960)
Bronco (1958)  Charley Clune / ... (2 episodes, 1961-1962)
Yancy Derringer (1958)  Frank James / ... (1 episode, 1959)
Cimarron City (1958)  Tom (1 episode, 1959)
Northwest Passage (1958)  Frank Wade (1 episode, 1959)
Frontier Doctor (1958)  Deputy Sid Carver aka Bill Dalton (1 episode, 1958)
Target (1958) (1 episode, 1958)
The Lonely Man (1957) Faro
Raiders of Old California (1957) Sgt. Damon Pardee
Gun Battle at Monterey (1957) Kirby
The Tin Star (1957) Ed McGaffey
The Last Stagecoach West (1957) Steve Margolies
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) Ed Bailey
China Gate (1957) Maj. Cham
The Badge of Marshal Brennan (1957) Shad Donaphin
Joe Dakota (1957) Adam Grant
The Quiet Gun (1957) Doug Sadler
Maverick (1957)  Wolf McManus (1 episode, 1961)
Perry Mason (1957)  Edward Doyle (1 episode, 1963)
Wagon Train (1957)  Rufe Beal (1 episode, 1958)
Have Gun - Will Travel (1957)  Corbin / ... (2 episodes, 1962-1963)
The Real McCoys (1957)  1st Sentry (1 episode, 1959)
Zorro (1957)  Antonio Castillo (1 episode, 1958)
Tales of Wells Fargo (1957)  Cherokee Bob (1 episode, 1957)
Tombstone Territory (1957)  Jake Conroy / ... (2 episodes, 1959)
Colt .45 (1957)  Devery / ... (2 episodes, 1958-1960)
Casey Jones (1957)  Mort Clio (1 episode, 1957)
Richard Diamond, Private Detective (1957)  Ed Murdock (1 episode, 1958)
Trackdown (1957)  Ben Fraser (1 episode, 1957)
Accused of Murder (1956) Police Sgt. Emmett Lackey
Pardners (1956) Gus
It Conquered the World (1956) Dr. Tom Anderson
The Conqueror (1956) Chepei
Tribute to a Bad Man (1956) Fat Jones
State Trooper (1956)  Frank Parnessa (1 episode, 1958)
The Sheriff of Cochise (1956)  Hackett (1 episode, 1956)
Wire Service (1956)  Al Sanders (1 episode, 1956)
Chevron Hall of Stars (1956)  Thomas (1 episode, 1956)
The Vanishing American (1955) Jay Lord
A Man Alone (1955) Clanton
The Road to Denver (1955) Pecos Larry
I Cover the Underworld (1955) Flash Logan
The Big Combo (1955) Fante
Ten Wanted Men (1955) Al Drucker
Treasure of Ruby Hills (1955) Frank Emmett
The Naked Street (1955) Harry Goldish (uncredited)
Gunsmoke (1955)  Ike Jeffords / ... (3 episodes, 1960-1966)
Cheyenne (1955)  Braden / ... (3 episodes, 1961-1962)
Fury (1955)  Race Collins (1 episode, 1959)
The Adventures of Champion (1955)  Frank (1 episode, 1955)
Buffalo Bill, Jr. (1955)  John-O / ... (2 episodes, 1955)
Soldiers of Fortune (1955)  Sergeant Bucheroff (1 episode, 1957)
Crossroads (1955)  Johnny (1 episode, 1956)
TV Reader's Digest (1955)  Mike (1 episode, 1955)
Brave Eagle (1955)  Great Bear (1 episode, 1955)
The Star and the Story (1955) (1 episode, 1955)
Luke and the Tenderfoot (1955)  Johnny Darth (1 episode, 1955)
Dawn at Socorro (1954) Earl Ferris
The Desperado (1954) The Crayton Twins, Paul / Buck
Arrow in the Dust (1954) Tillotson Henchman
Rails Into Laramie (1954) Ace Winton
Gypsy Colt (1954) Hank
Princess of the Nile (1954) Hakar (uncredited)
The Yellow Tomahawk (1954) Fire Knife
The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin (1954)  Ed McCleod (1 episode, 1954)
Annie Oakley (1954)  Amos Belcher / ... (2 episodes, 1955)
Medic (1954)  Dr. Frank Strauss (1 episode, 1954)
Waterfront (1954)  Ed (1 episode, 1954)
Stories of the Century (1954)  Jesse James (1 episode, 1954)
Studio 57 (1954)  Tommy (1 episode, 1956)
The Nebraskan (1953) Pvt. Reno Benton
Jack Slade (1953) Bolt Mackay
Vice Squad (1953) Pete Monte
Arena (1953) Smitty
The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953) Corp. Stone
White Lightning (1953) Brutus Allen
Bandits of Corsica (1953) Nerva
Tumbleweed (1953) Marv
General Electric Theater (1953)  Dave Rudabaugh (1 episode, 1957)
The Man Behind the Badge (1953)  Floyd (1 episode, 1955)
City Detective (1953)  Hardtman (1 episode, 1955)
The Lawless Breed (1952) Dirk Hanley
Kansas City Confidential (1952) Tony Romano
High Noon (1952) Jack Colby
Untamed Frontier (1952) Dave Chittun
Death Valley Days (1952)  Brogger (2 episodes, 1954-1962)
Four Star Playhouse (1952)  Bob Wheeler aka Sonora Kid (1 episode, 1953)
Cavalcade of America (1952) (3 episodes, 1953-1954)
The Ford Television Theatre (1952)  Stanley Perrin (2 episodes, 1954-1956)
Sky King (1951)  Mark (1 episode, 1952)
The Range Rider (1951)  El Latigo / ... (3 episodes, 1952-1953)
Boston Blackie (1951)  Captain Jansen / ... (2 episodes, 1952)
The Adventures of Kit Carson (1951)  Burt Tanner / ... (6 episodes, 1953-1955)
Schlitz Playhouse (1951)  Cowboy / ... (6 episodes, 1953-1957)
The Gene Autry Show (1950)  Henchman Hod / ... (2 episodes, 1953-1954)
Space Patrol (1950)  Herrick / ... (4 episodes, 1952-1953)
Big Town (1950)  Jack Coleman / ... (2 episodes, 1953-1954)
The Lone Ranger (1949)  Bull Harper / ... (3 episodes, 1952-1953)