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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"Shatner Rules" LVC Excerpt

V for Van Cleef!

I love William Shatner almost as much as I love Lee Van Cleef.  Below is an excerpt from Shat's book "Shatner Rules"

Remember Lee Van Cleef‘? He was a sinister layer of marinara in many a spaghetti Western. In 1963, I was acting in an episode of the anthology program The Dick Powell Theatre, in which I played a Swedish (of course) rancher fighting off a hostile land grab by his bigoted neighbors. I played the part with a thick Swedish accent, and in some scenes I wore a too-small bowler hat with a feather.

Lee was well over six feet tall, a huge man, powerful. And like a wild boar, he had a cold, calculating look. Even when the cameras weren't rolling, he was an intimidating figure. He was missing part of one of his middle fingers, but it didn't matter—his whole body had a way of flipping you the bird.

And he and I had to fight in this show.

A movie fight consists of throwing blows, missing by a foot, and actors snapping their heads back. But I was still kind of new to this whole movie/TV acting business. During filming, Lee and I were throwing punches, while I was predominantly occupied with not knocking off my too-small bowler hat.

And I took one swing and hit the tip of Lee Van Cleef s nose.

Take two! I swing again, and clipped his nose again.

Take three. And my fist once again connected with Van Cleef s snout.
    Let's take five!

Even though this was a few years before The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, I could hear the Ennio Morricone music sting as he sauntered over to me. He got right into my face, obscuring the sun and all of my hope for the future, leaned down, and growled, "If you do that again, I will. . . knock. . . you. . . out."

Terrifying, which brings me to one of the most important of Shatner Rules, which is . . .

RULE:  Don't Punch Lee Van Cleef!

I could not find a YouTube clip of the scene in question, but I am sure it is out there somewhere!




  1. This was so fun to read and I thank you so much for sharing this!!! I also like Shatner and so that makes it more fun to read!:-)
    Keep up the good work with this Blog...LOVE IT.

  2. Were you talkin' an Audio clip (ala a Books-on-Tape reading) or a Video clip? As for the latter, I'm wonderin' if Bill might've included it in his recent one man show, "It's Shatner's World, We Just Live In It". (The official bits I've found don't seem to have it, tho.) His limited-run Tour dates were apparently all for Charity, so I suspect a DVD will follow shortly...am surprised one isn't out, already.


    1. I was talking about a clip from the The Dick Powell Theatre where Shatner punches LVC. I found some footage on YouTube, but not of that scene.

    2. I absolutely LOVE this story. I never knew Shatner worked with LVC.
      The pics of Lee and Barb are terrific as well. I have them saved to my files and will post them on my Facebook so the guys there can get a gander at them. They will love 'em too.
      Thanks Aaron and Suzanne.;)