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Lee Van Cleef Overview:

Character actor, Lee Van Cleef, was born Clarence Leroy Van Cleef Jr. on Jan 9, 1925 in Somerville, NJ. Van Cleef died at the age of 64 on Dec 16, 1989 in Oxnard, CA and was laid to rest in Forest Lawn (Hollywood Hills) Cemetery in Los Angeles, CA.

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Lee Van Cleef Quotes:

Stengel: [Believing he's got Sabata beat] Before you die, you should know that those men with superior talents... and consequently with superior powers... always have one last card to play.
Sabata: You know, Stengel, I wouldn't bet a dollar on that last card.


Tony Romano: It don't take no big thinking to figure a couple of guys like us ain't in this bananaville on a vacation!


Monco: Tell me, Colonel... Were you ever young?
Col. Douglas Mortimer: Yup. And just as reckless as you. Then one day, something happened. It made life very precious to me.
Monco: What's that? Or is the question indiscreet?
Col. Douglas Mortimer: No. The question isn't indiscreet. But the answer could be.


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Lee Van Cleef Facts
He had almost given up his acting career in the mid-'60s and turned to painting when he was cast by Sergio Leone in For a Few Dollars More (1965). It made him a superstar in Europe and restarted his career in the US, making him again a recognizable and bankable name.

According to the book "Weird NJ" (Sceurman, Mark and Mark Moran, Barnes and Noble Books, 2004 ISBN 0-7607-3979-X) he was a descendant of the Morris County Van Cleefs who were infamous in the area for their strange living and "procreational" efforts. In fact, one trait that Lee had was that he had one green eye and one blue eye. According to the book, "this telltale characteristic was corrected in the movies with colored contact lenses".

Producer Stuart Cohen recently revealed that Van Cleef was considered for the role of Garry in John Carpenter's The Thing (1982), since Carpenter had recently worked with him on Escape from New York (1981).

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