Actor Lee Van Cleef

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on May 13, 2007

Q I'm a fan of Westerns and was wondering if you could tell me more about actor Lee Van Cleef.
—J.P. Fritts, Wilmar, Ariz.

Van Cleef, who appeared in numerous Westerns and TV series during the 1960s and '70s, died of a heart attack in 1989 at the age of 64. Considered one of Hollywood's greatest movie villains, the Somerville, N.J., native worked as an accountant and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II before making his memorable movie debut as a dialogue-less henchman in the 1952 classic High Noon. Sharp-eyed viewers may have noticed, in later roles, that the tip of his right-hand middle finger is missing. He lost it building a playhouse for his daughter.