Joan Marjorie Drane is the ex-wife of a notable American television and film actor, Lee Van Cleef, who worked in more than 170 films and television shows during his over 4 decades of an acting career. He is one of the most successful stars of Italian Spaghetti Westerns. Dollars Trilogy films – For a Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) directed by Sergio Leone were the most critically acclaimed works of his career.
As he became a popular Spaghetti Westerns star, the former US Navy personnel continued to appear in films including The Big Gundown (1966), Death Rides a Horse (1967), Day of Anger (1967), and The Grand Duel (1972).
Joan Marjorie Drane’s Family Background
Joan’s ex-husband Lee was born on January 9, 1925, in Somerville, New Jersey. He grew up with his parents Marion Lavinia Van Fleet and Clarence LeRoy Van Cleef in Somerville. Lee was married three times. Married in 1953, Patsy Ruth Kahle was her first wife with whom he had three children, Alan, Deborah, and David. The couple divorced in 1958. Joan Marjorie Drane was Lee’s second wife with whom she was married from 1960 to 1974.
Lee’s third wife was Barbara Havelone with whom he was married from 1976 until he died in 1989. The actor went through a severe knee injury due to a car crash, which affected his acting career for a long period. He was unable to ride a horse. He died due to a heart attack on December 16, 1989, at 64 in Oxnard, California.
Joan Marjorie Drane’s Career
While Joan’s ex-husband had an exemplary career as an actor, she has been out of media attention. Joan helped the actor to start an interior decoration business and further his passion for painting when he was unable to pursue his acting career due to a car accident.
Lee enlisted in the United States Navy in September 1942, where he worked as a submarine chaser and minesweeper called on the rank of sonarman. Lee left the US navy at the rank of Sonarman First Class (SO1) in 1946. For his actions during his deployment during World War 2, he received the Bronze Star and the Good Conduct Medal.
He got a break as a reader for the play Our Town at the Little Theater Group in Clinton, New Jersey. He made his acting debut on-screen with the 1952 film High Noon.
Joan Marjorie Drane’s Family Net Worth
Joan’s ex-husband and Hollywood actor Lee Van Cleef had a net worth of $2 million when he died in 1989. The Lucky Luke’s character Elliot Belt of the comic album The Bounty Hunter and Star Wars’ Cad Bane were inspired by Lee who had become a major star of Italian Spaghetti Westerns.
Lee won a Golden Boot Award in 1983. He was also honored with the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, the American Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal for his service in the US Navy.