Since the 1960s, Lee Majors has been one of the most important people in the movie and TV industries. He is best known for his roles in movies like “The Six Million Dollar Man,” “The Big Valley,” and “The Fall Guy.” But Majors has been in a lot of other action-adventure movies and has shown more of his range in other projects.
Majors has never given up on his goals and dreams, even though he has been hurt by love and had to overcome many problems in his life. Even as he got older, the star kept working in the field of his dreams. He first wanted to be an athlete or a coach, but fate had other plans for Majors, and he ended up switching careers and becoming an actor.
Before he got his big break and turned acting into a full-time job and a long-term career, Majors worked as a stuntman and had small roles in TV shows. As he kept getting jobs, the man quickly became known as an action star. Majors was able to show more of his personality and other skills, like singing and voice work, in later roles in other projects.
Majors has faced many problems along the way, but he has never stopped working hard to reach his goals. He has been a big name in the entertainment business for more than 50 years, and he still looks as handsome as he did in “The Six Million Dollar Man.”
Majors was born as Harvey Lee Yeary on April 23, 1939, in a suburb of Detroit called Wyandotte, Michigan. When both of his parents died in separate accidents before he was even two years old, he had to learn a lot about how to deal with loss quickly. Before he was born, his father died in an accident at work, and when he was 16 months old, his mother died in a car accident. Mildred and Harvey Yeary, Majors’ aunt and uncle, took him in when he was 2. He moved in with them in Middlesboro, Kentucky.
Early on, Majors showed promise because he was involved in many school activities and did well in school. Before he graduated from Middlesboro High School in 1957 with a scholarship to Indiana University, he played football and ran track. Even so, Majors decided to switch schools and moved to Richmond, Kentucky, to attend Eastern Kentucky University in 1959.
Once again, tragedy struck the up-and-coming athlete when he hurt his back playing football. He was completely paralyzed for two weeks, ending his hopes of becoming an athlete. This injury made Majors look for other things to do, and he became interested in acting. While he was still in school, he began to act in plays at the Pioneer Playhouse in Danville, Kentucky. He finished college in 1962 with degrees in both history and physical education. His goal was to become a football coach one day.
After his serious injury, Majors was able to get back to being athletic, so it seemed like everything was going well for him. He was given the chance to try out for the football team of the St. Louis Cardinals, but he turned it down because he wanted to move to Los Angeles, California. There, Majors was able to work as the Recreation Director for the North Hollywood Park and meet many important people in the entertainment industry, such as actors and other industry professionals. Around this time, Majors took on his now-famous stage name as a tribute to Johnny Majors, a player for the University of Tennessee who would later become their coach.
Soon after, Majors started working as an actor. In 1964, he got his first part in the movie “Strait-Jacket.” Majors kept playing the part even though he didn’t get credit for it. He kept trying out for parts and working to make acting his full-time job. In 1965, he had a small part on “Gunsmoke” and a part on “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.”
Majors didn’t have to wait long before he got his big break on “The Big Valley,” an ABC western series. The show was a big hit right away, which helped Majors get more attention and praise as an actor. “I auditioned for ‘The Big Valley’ with about 500 other guys, and then they cut it down. Burt Reynolds, Roy Thinnes, and Dennis Hopper all did screen tests, and then they cut it down even more,” Majors told Den of Geek in 2015. “Then I had to do one more, this time with a girl, a young actress, to see if she could play my sister. I thought I had the part after that.”
Majors felt a strong connection to the character because it made him think of the hard times he had to face when he was young. “My real father was killed in the steel mills of Michigan when my mother was eight months pregnant with me. Then, when I was 16 months old, my mother was killed when she was hit by a drunk driver on her way to work as a hospital cleaner,” he said. “At this point, I was sent to Kentucky to live with some distant relatives who raised me as their own child. This gave me the drive to do something good with my life and the determination to stick with things.
As the star kept getting more and more jobs, Majors’ career was on fire. In 1968, he was in “Will Penny,” and in 1969, he was the main character in “The Ballad of Andy Crocker.” He kept working on “The Big Valley” until 1969, when it was canceled. When Majors’ most popular show ended, another door opened for him, and he soon signed a contract with Universal Studios.
As time went on, Majors got more chances, and then he was cast in a show that would take his career to a whole new level. In 1973, the actor was cast as the lead in “The Six Million Dollar Man.” He played a former astronaut with bionic implants named USAF Colonel Steve Austin. It started out as a TV movie that aired on ABC. The next year, the network made it bigger and turned it into a weekly show.
“The Six Million Dollar Man” was a huge hit and was talked about and praised all over the world. It was seen by people in over 70 countries. Even though Majors had been in the business for a few years at this point, the series was a turning point in his career and made him a pop icon. Majors had a few problems with Universal Television when he tried to renegotiate his contract because “The Six Million Dollar Man” was so popular, but everything worked out in the end when the show’s ratings started going down, which led to it being canceled in 1978.
The actor kept working up until the 1980s, when he was given another chance to be the main character in a long-running TV show. In 1981, “The Fall Guy” gave Majors the lead role. He played Colt Seavers, a Hollywood stuntman who worked as a bounty hunter on the side. The star was more noticeable than ever on the show because he was also a producer and director for it. He even sang the theme song, which showed that he had yet another talent. The show was a big hit, and it ran for five seasons.
In the 1980s, Majors quickly went back to his role from “The Six Million Dollar Man.” He and Lindsay Wagner, who was one of the stars of “The Bionic Woman,” made three movies that featured both of their roles. During the 1980s, Majors was also in “The Last Chase,” “Starflight: The Plane That Couldn’t Land,” and “Scrooged,” where he had a small role.
Nothing could stop Majors from reaching the top of his field, and he had no trouble keeping his career going in the 1990s and 2000s. During this time, he worked on new projects and was able to show more of himself through his work. Majors lent his voice to the video game “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City” and the animated children’s show “Wapos Bay: The Series.” He also starred in “Ben 10: Race Against Time” and was in a music video for “When We Die” by the band Bowling For Soup in 2007. His role as Coach Ross on the CW show “The Game,” which ran from 2006 to 2009, was one of his more long-lasting ones.
Even though Majors had a very busy schedule and way of life, he still made time for love. In 1961, he married Kathy Robinson. They had one child, a boy named Lee Majors, Jr., which was a good name for him. Later, his son also became an actor and worked with Majors in three TV movies called “Six Million Dollar/Bionic Woman.” After only being married for a short time, Majors and Robinson split up in 1964 and got a divorce.
Majors didn’t let his broken heart stop him from looking for his one true love. He kept looking, and on July 28, 1973, he married Farrah Fawcett. They were not meant to be together, though, and they got a divorce in February 1982, a few years after they got married. Even though they didn’t stay married, their love story will live on in the song “Midnight Train to Georgia.” Even though Jim Weatherly knew Fawcett and Majors, he didn’t base the characters in the classic song on them. Instead, he used them as inspiration. Gladys Knight & The Pips later made a record of the song.
Majors married Playboy Playmate Karen Velez in 1988 to see if the third time was the charm. Before they split up in 1994, they had a daughter named Nikki and two sons named Dane and Trey.
In a November 2015 interview with Den of Geek, Majors talked about his early life, his long career, and some of the most important roles he’s played over the years. “Sometimes I remember it with fondness, and other times I think, ‘Man, that was a lot of hard work. “They scared me to death,” Majors said. “I did probably 85% of my own stunt work, and my knee is giving me a little trouble today, so I think I’m getting close to needing a knee replacement.”
Even though his body wasn’t as strong as it used to be, Majors was in a good mood as he talked about how he had played many memorable roles right after each other. “At that time, we only had three networks, but there were at least 18 or 19 western shows on the air,” Majors said. “But it was a tough race.”
Even though Majors was an action star and stuntman, he made sure to play family-friendly characters on family-friendly shows. He said, “Most of my shows and series were geared toward families.” “Everyone would gather around “Six Mill,” and anyone could watch it. The same was true of “Fall Guy” and “Big Valley.” There was never a lot of bloodshed, and there were none of the explosions, blood, and guts that you see in movies today.”
The shows Majors worked on showed parts of his own life. “I grew up in Kentucky going to church. That’s just how we were raised,” he said. “Sunday had to go to church.” Majors kept going even though he had a hard time getting to the top. Even though he had some hard times in his very successful life, the actor never let anything hold him back. Majors gave aspiring actors some advice that shows how determined he is and how willing he is to never give up. “Don’t let the door slam in your face once you get your foot in the door,” he said.
Even though most of his roles were small or just cameos, Majors kept working through the end of the 2000s and into the 2010s. He played Steve Austin again in a 2009 episode of “Robot Chicken,” but this time he only did the voice work. Majors got a small recurring role on “Raising Hope.” Over the course of three years, he was in three episodes. In 2019, he did the voice of Jeff Tracy in the movie “Thunderbirds Are Go.”
Majors was seen as an action hero, and many people liked him because he was kind, had great looks, and was good at what he did. Even though he is 82, the actor still looks great and is well-known. He is now married to actress and model Faith Cross. They got married on November 1, 2002, and have been living together happily ever since. Majors has done it all and stayed true to himself along the way. Even though his career has slowed down, he still has a lot of fans.