|Lee Van Cleef Quick Info|
|Height||6 ft 2 in|
|Date of Birth||January 9, 1925|
|Date of Death||December 16, 1989|
Lee Van Cleef was an American actor who found fame by starring predominantly in Italian Spaghetti Westerns such as For a Few Dollars More (1965), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), The Big Gundown (1966), Death Rides a Horse (1967), Day of Anger (1967), Sabata (1969), The Grand Duel (1972), etc. Additionally, his film credits also include noir films such as Kansas City Confidential (1952), Vice Squad (1953), The Big Combo (1955), etc.
Clarence LeRoy Van Cleef Jr.
Lee Van Cleef
He was born on January 9, 1925.
He passed away on December 16, 1989, in Oxnard, California at the age of 64 years. His cause of death was primarily heart attack and secondarily, throat cancer.
Somerville, New Jersey, United States
Van Cleef studied at New Jersey’s Somerville High School and he graduated early at 17 years so that he could enlist in the United States Navy in September 1942.
- Father – Clarence LeRoy Van Cleef
- Mother – Marion Lavinia Van Fleet
At the time of his death, Lee Van Cleef’s net worth was $2 million according to CelebrityNetWorth.com
6 ft 2 in or 188 cm
88 kg or 194 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
Lee Van Cleef had dated –
- Patsy Ruth Kahle (1942-1960) – He began dating Patsy Ruth Kahle in 1942 and the duo wed on December 10, 1943. The couple became parents to 2 sons named Alan Van Cleef and David Van Cleef as well as a daughter named Deborah Van Cleef before filing for divorce in 1960.
- Joan Marjorie Drane (1960-1974) – On April 9, 1960, he tied the knot with Joan Marjorie Drane. Their marriage ended in divorce after 13 years in 1974.
- Barbara Havelone (1976-1989) – Lee Van Cleef’s marriage to Barbara Havelone lasted from 1976 until his death in December 1989.
Race / Ethnicity
He had Dutch, distant French, Swedish, Belgian Flemish, English, and German ancestry.
However, his hair had turned ‘Gray’ by the time of his death.
- Sharp, facial features
- Beady eyes
- Low but authoritative voice
Lee Van Cleef Facts
- The inscription on his grave marker at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery reads as “BEST OF THE BAD” referencing his multiple roles as a villain.
- In 1959, Van Cleef was involved in a car crash that badly damaged his left kneecap. According to his doctors, he would never be able to ride a horse again. However, he proved the doctors wrong and got back in the saddle within 6 months.
- Ron Thal, the popular guitarist and former member of Guns N’ Roses, recorded an instrumental piece titled The Legend of Van Cleef in 2001.
- High Noon (1952) and How the West Was Won (1962) are the only 2 films from his filmography that were nominated for ‘Best Picture’ at the Academy Awards.
- Following a string of unsuccessful films in the 1960s, Van Cleef had almost decided to retire from his acting career. However, starring as Colonel Douglas Mortimer in Sergio Leone‘s For a Few Dollars More (1965) revitalized his career and catapulted him back into fame.
Featured Image by Giulio Petroni / Wikimedia / Public Domain