Sergio Leone Web Board

Films of Sergio Leone => A Fistful of Dollars => Topic started by: Eilheart on February 24, 2021, 01:02:17 AM

Title: The fame of Lee Van Cleef
Post by: Eilheart on February 24, 2021, 01:02:17 AM
Leone had a much larger budget when working on his second western. Therefore he could afford to engage one more American actor. However, at that time his name still did not mean much in Hollywood. Henry Fonda, Jack Palace and - once again - Charles Bronson all decisively rejected the proposals. So Leone turned to Lee Van Cleef, a distinctive actor who had appeared in the background in many classic westerns (including "High Noon," "How the Wild West Was Conquered," and "The Man Who Killed Liberty Valance"). He never managed to break into the top league. At one point he suffered a serious injury that put his film career in question, then alcohol problems emerged. His career was at a dead end. When he was approached by Leone, Van Cleef, who had not appeared in a cinematic production since 1962, thought the Italian wanted to cast him in a small role, and was extremely pleasantly surprised when it turned out that he would be the second name in the cast. It was a turning point in the career of this American actor with Dutch roots. Over time, he became one of the icons of European westerns.