Saturday, 15 January 2011
Top Ten Western Actors No 8 - Lee Van Cleef
At the height of his success Van Cleef was involved in a very serious car accident that meant he had to retire from acting for some time. When he returned to acting he found that the roles just weren't coming and he was stuck with small supporting roles. In fact when his big break came with Sergio Leone's, For a Few Dollars more he was actually making a living as a painter.
Later in life Van Cleef found himself once again in demand in Hollywood and he had a supporting role in John Carpenter's classic Escape from New York and in the 80's he starred in the short lived television series, The Master. In all Van Cleef took 90 movie roles as well as well over a hundred television parts in his thirty eight year career.
The majority of Van Cleef's westerns were made when the genre wasn't really in vogue and as such he deserves his placing in a list such as this. He had the looks and manner than enabled him to play the anti-hero with ease as well as a downright villain. And several of his films are classics of the spaghetti western genre.