Lee Van Cleef


Lee Van Cleef is a name that is synonymous with the golden age of spaghetti westerns. He was one of the most recognizable faces in the genre, and his performances in films such as “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and “For a Few Dollars More” have made him a legend in the world of cinema. However, there is much more to this actor than just his on-screen performances. In this article, we will take a closer look at Lee Van Cleef’s life, his net worth, his religious beliefs, and more.

The Early Years

Lee Van Cleef

Lee Van Cleef was born in Somerville, New Jersey, in 1925. He grew up during the Great Depression, and his family struggled to make ends meet. Van Cleef joined the Navy during World War II and served in the Pacific theater. After the war, he attended college on the GI Bill, but he dropped out to pursue a career in acting.

Van Cleef’s early years in Hollywood were tough. He struggled to find work, and when he did, it was usually in small, uncredited roles. However, his big break came in 1955 when he landed a role in the film “High Noon.” This led to more prominent roles in films such as “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” and “How the West Was Won.” However, it was his work in spaghetti westerns that would cement his place in film history.

Spaghetti Westerns

Lee Van Cleef’s work in spaghetti westerns began with his role in “For a Few Dollars More” in 1965. He played the role of Colonel Douglas Mortimer, a character who would become one of his most iconic roles. This was followed by his performance as Angel Eyes in “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” in 1966. Van Cleef’s work in these films helped to define the genre, and his performances are still celebrated today.

Van Cleef continued to work in spaghetti westerns throughout the 1970s, but he also appeared in other films and television shows. He worked with director John Carpenter on the films “Escape from New York” and “The Thing,” and he also had a recurring role on the television series “The Master.”

Net Worth

Lee Van Cleef’s net worth at the time of his death in 1989 was estimated to be around $1.5 million. This may not seem like a lot by today’s standards, but it was a significant amount of money at the time. Van Cleef was able to build this net worth through his work in film and television, as well as through his investments in real estate.

One of Van Cleef’s most notable real estate investments was a house in Sherman Oaks, California. He purchased the house in the 1960s for around $40,000, and he lived there for the rest of his life. The house was later sold for over $1 million, which is a testament to Van Cleef’s business acumen.

Religious Beliefs

Lee Van Cleef was a devout Christian, and his faith played an important role in his life. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, and he was known to attend services regularly. Van Cleef’s faith helped him to stay grounded throughout his career, and it gave him a sense of purpose beyond his work in film.

In addition to his Christian faith, Van Cleef was also a member of the Masonic Lodge. He was initiated into the lodge in 1958, and he remained an active member until his death.


Lee Van Cleef was a talented actor who left a lasting impression on the world of cinema. His work in spaghetti westerns helped to define the genre, and his performances are still celebrated today. However, there is much more to Van Cleef than just his on-screen work. He was a savvy businessman, a devoted Christian, and a member of the Masonic Lodge. His legacy is one that will continue to be celebrated for generations to come.

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