Remembering The Eternal Baddie Of Cowboy Films, Lee Van Cleef

Lee Van Cleef was born in 1925 and died in 1989. He is remembered as the star who faced Clint Eastwood in the famous western ‘The Good Bad and Ugly’ as the villain named Angel Eyes. I suppose this was the best role of Lee Van Cleef and he matched the cigar chewing Eastwood frame to frame.

Lee served in the US Navy during the war and after the war worked as an office administrator. He took to theatrics in his spare time. This led to an audition for a role with a touring company in ‘Mr. Roberts’. The famous

director Stanley Kramer saw him and cast him as a villain in ‘High Noon’. He continued in string of roles as a villain, but the big role eluded him. This came in the sixties when Sergio Leone cast him as the tough colonel Mortimer in ‘For a few dollars more’. This was the break that Lee needed and after that there was no looking back for him.

He starred in a string of westerns as a gunman. His films ‘Sabata’, ‘Gods Gun’,

‘Death rides a Horse’, ‘Barquero’, ‘el Condor’ and ‘the Perfect killer’ need mention. In all Lee acted in over a 100 films and endeared himself as the suave gunman who was polished, yet killed with clinical efficiency.
Lee Van Cleef’s long nose and balding head with hawk like eyes were ideally suited for the role of a gunman. In fact I suppose he was the most success full gunman of the Wild West on Celluloid. Lee died of a heart attack in 1989 and to his credit he acted right up to his last days. In the eighties he was star of the serial ‘The Master’, where he played a Ninja master.

Lee was married thrice, but his name will forever be remembered as the eternal gun slinger who was polished and yet killed with deadly precision.

Article Written By Madan G Singh

An early retired Gp Capt from Air Force who is an Executive Director in the Corporate world. Loves to write fiction and articles. Published over 60 short stories and his novel" Romance of the Frontier" is published from Notion Books.His second novel is on way for publication. The author also has close to 10,000 articles on the b net with millions of views

Last updated on 22-07-2016 111 0

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