At 64 years old, Lee Van Cleef physical status not available right now. We will update Lee Van Cleef's height, weight, eye color, hair color, build, and measurements.
After leaving the Navy, Van Cleef received his first acting role as a reader for the play Our Town at the Little Theater Group in Clinton, New Jersey. From there, he continued to meet with the group and audition for parts. The next biggest part was that of the boxer, Joe Pendleton, in the play Heaven Can Wait. During this time, he was observed by visiting talent scouts, who were impressed by Van Cleef's stage presence and delivery. One of these scouts later took him to New York City talent agent Maynard Morris of the MCA agency, who then sent him to the Alvin Theater for an audition. The play was Mister Roberts.
Van Cleef's screen debut came in High Noon. During a performance of Mister Roberts in Los Angeles, he was noticed by film producer Stanley Kramer, who offered Van Cleef a role in his upcoming film. Kramer originally wanted Van Cleef for the role of the deputy Harvey Pell, but as he wanted Van Cleef to have his "distinctive nose" fixed, Van Cleef declined the role in favor of the part of the silent gunslinger Jack Colby. He was then cast mostly in villainous roles, due to his sharp cheeks and chin, piercing eyes, and hawk-like nose, from the part of Tony Romano in Kansas City Confidential (1952), culminating 14 years later in Sergio Leone's The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966).
Aside from Westerns and the science fiction films, three of his early major roles were in noir films, Kansas City Confidential (1952), Vice Squad (1953) and The Big Combo (1955).
In 1952, he made his television debut when he was cast in the episode "Formula for Fear" of the Western aviation series Sky King. Van Cleef appeared six times between 1953 and 1955 on the children's syndicated Western series The Adventures of Kit Carson, starring Bill Williams. He was cast three times, including the role of Rocky Hatch in the episode "Greed Rides the Range" (1952), of another syndicated Western series, The Range Rider. He appeared in episode 82 of the TV series The Lone Ranger in 1952. In 1954, Van Cleef appeared as Jesse James in the syndicated series Stories of the Century.
In 1955, he was cast twice on another syndicated Western series, Annie Oakley. That same year, he guest-starred on the CBS Western series Brave Eagle. In 1955, he played one of the two villains in an episode of The Adventures of Champion the Wonder Horse. He played Cherokee Bob in the NBC Western series Tales of Wells Fargo in 1957. In 1958, he was cast as Ed Murdock, a rodeo performer trying to reclaim the title in the event at Madison Square Garden in New York City, on Richard Diamond, Private Detective.
Van Cleef played different characters on four episodes of ABC's The Rifleman, with Chuck Connors, between 1959 and 1962, and twice on ABC's Tombstone Territory. In 1958, he was cast as Deputy Sid Carver in the episode "The Great Stagecoach Robbery" of another syndicated Western series, Frontier Doctor, starring Rex Allen. In 1959, Van Cleef appeared as Luke Clagg in the episode "Strange Request" of the NBC Western series Riverboat starring Darren McGavin, as Jumbo Kane in the episode "The Hostage" on the CBS Western series "Wanted Dead or Alive" starring Steve McQueen, and in an episode of Maverick titled "Red Dog" in 1961 starring Roger Moore and John Carradine.
Van Cleef played a sentry on an episode of the ABC sitcom The Real McCoys, with Walter Brennan. Van Cleef was cast with Pippa Scott and again with Chuck Connors in the 1960 episode "Trial by Fear" of the CBS anthology series The DuPont Show with June Allyson. A young Van Cleef also made an appearance on The Andy Griffith Show and as Frank Diamond in The Untouchables, in an episode entitled "The Unhired Assassin". He also appeared in an episode of the ABC/Warner Brothers Western series The Alaskans.
Van Cleef guest-starred on the CBS Western series Have Gun – Will Travel, on the ABC/Warner Bros. series Colt .45, on the NBC Western series Cimarron City and Laramie, and on Rod Cameron's syndicated crime dramas City Detective and State Trooper. He guest-starred in an episode of John Bromfield's syndicated crime drama Sheriff of Cochise. Van Cleef starred as minor villains and henchmen in various Westerns, including The Tin Star and Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. His film characters died in many of his Westerns and gangster portrayals.
In 1960, he appeared as a villainous swindler in the Bonanza episode, "The Bloodline" (December 31, 1960) and also made an appearance on Gunsmoke. In 1961, he played a role on episode 7 ("The Grave") of the third season of The Twilight Zone starring Lee Marvin. He played a villainous henchman of Lee Marvin's titular character in the 1962 John Ford movie The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance starring John Wayne and James Stewart. In 1963, he appeared on Perry Mason (episode: "The Case of the Golden Oranges"). That same year, he appeared in "The Day of the Misfits" on The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters.
In 1965, Sergio Leone cast Van Cleef, whose career had yet to take off, as a main protagonist alongside Clint Eastwood in For a Few Dollars More. Leone then chose Van Cleef to appear again with Eastwood, this time as the primary antagonist, Angel Eyes, in the now seminal Western The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966).
With his roles in Leone's films, Van Cleef became a major star of Spaghetti Westerns, playing central, and often surprisingly heroic, roles in films such as The Big Gundown (1966), Death Rides a Horse (1967), Day of Anger (1967), and The Grand Duel (1972). He played the title role in Sabata (1969) and Return of Sabata (1971), and co-starred with Jim Brown in an Italian-American co-production, Take a Hard Ride (1975). In two of his final westerns he co-starred with Leif Garrett in God's Gun (1976) and Kid Vengeance (1977), both of which were filmed mainly in Israel.
Van Cleef later had a supporting role in John Carpenter's cult film Escape from New York (1981). He slipped out of the limelight in his later years. In 1984, he was cast as a ninja master in the NBC adventure series The Master, but it was canceled after thirteen episodes. In all, Van Cleef is credited with 90 movie roles and 109 television appearances over a 38-year span.