Parents' names were Marion Lavinia and Clarence Leroy Van Cleef.
Van Cleef is buried in the Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills Cemetary.
Van Cleef's family was of Dutch descent.
Lee once recorded a country song entitled "If All I Ever Do."
In real life, Lee was quicker on the draw with a gun than For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly co-star Clint Eastwood.
Director Sergio Leone wanted the original good, bad, and ugly (Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Eli Wallach) to make cameos in his spaghetti western epic, Once Upon a Time in the West. Van Cleef and Wallach were willing but Eastwood declined so they never appeared in the film.
Lee grew up in a farming family.
Lee did an interview with Entertainment Tonight about his career shortly before his death.
Lee appeared in an episode of Perry Mason entitled The Case of the Golden Oranges. His role was very small.
Lee was living in Oxnard, California at the time of his death. He is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetary in Hollywood.
Lee did a series of commercials for a potato chip company in the 80's parodying his villainous image.
Lee co-starred with Kurt Russell in Escape from New York.
Clint Eastwood recommended Lee to director Sergio Leone for the role of Colonel Mortimer in For a Few Dollars More after Jack Palance pulled out of the movie at the last minute.
Lee made two guest appearances on Rawhide with future spaghetti western co-star Clint Eastwood.
Lee appeared with former NFL stars Jim Brown and Fred Williamson in the 1974 film Take a Hard Ride.
Lee worked as an accountant for a while after leaving military service at the end of World War II.
Lee's third wife was named Barbara Havelone. He was married to her from 1976 until his death in 1989.
Lee starred in a short-lived series for NBC entitled The Master which aired in 1984.
Lee once seriously injured his leg while filming a movie. He carried a slight limp from this injury for the rest of his life.
After experiencing a career slump in the 1960's, Lee seriously considered giving up acting and going into the painting and interior design business. Then he was cast in For a Few Dollars More which re-ignited his career.
Lee had one green eye and one blue eye. This was corrected on-screen through the use of colored contact lenses.
Lee once appeared on an episode of The Andy Griffith Show as a carnival pickpocket.
There's a scene in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly where Lee's character slaps a woman. Lee really slapped her. The actress insisted he actually do it for the sake of realism.
Lee once played a real life gangster named Frank Diamond in an episode of The Untouchables entitled The Unhired Assassin.
Lee's character in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance got knocked out by John Wayne in a bar fight.
Director Sergio Leone cast Lee Van Cleef as Colonel Mortimer in For a Few Dollars More after Henry Fonda and Jack Palance had turned down the role.
Lee had three children by his first wife. Their names were Deborah, Alan, and David.
He served on board a Navy minesweeper during World War II.
Lee's first professional acting job was in a touring company of Mister Roberts.
Lee was missing the last joint of his middle finger. According to Hollywood legend he lost it in a bar fight but in reality he lost it building a playhouse for his daughter.
Lee played a homosexual gunman in the 1954 film noir classic The Big Combo.
Lee's film debut was in High Noon. He had no dialogue in this role but his looks got him attention.
Van Cleef: Being born with a pair of beady eyes was the best thing that ever happened to me.