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The turbulent life of the Six Million Dollar Man, Lee Majors


The turbulent life of the Six Million Dollar Man, Lee Majors

It’s not easy being a celebrity. In this day and age, there are so many different avenues for becoming famous that longevity is hard to maintain. Just when you hit the big time, there’s always someone right on your heels ready to take your place. It’s been this way for a while now, and it’s likely only going to get worse with time.

While it’s always been a challenge playing the fame game, it was undoubtedly easier some fifty or so years ago. Back then, your fifteen minutes in the spotlight lasted much longer, especially if you kept yourself busy. Just look at Lee Majors. The man first shot to fame in the ’70s as the star of sci-fi action series The Six Million Dollar Man. Since then, his name has never been forgotten, and he continues to land roles to this very day.

Of course, it helps that Majors has kept himself relevant with splashes of drama here and there. The man has lived a bit of a scandalous life, and people keep looking to him wondering what will happen next.

Drama from day one

Lee Majors was pretty much born into drama. He suffered a great deal of heartbreak before he could even walk after losing both of his parents. They lost their lives in separate accidents during Lee’s early years, leaving him to be raised by his aunt and uncle.

Drama from day one

Already so affected by tragedy, it seemed inevitable that this man would grow up to live a life of fame surrounded by scandal.

Over before it began

Although the world knows him for his acting, appearing on TV and in films wasn’t actually Lee’s main ambition when he was younger. The Six Million Dollar Man star grew up desiring to make it big in the world of sports. After graduating from high school, Majors was awarded a scholarship so he could take his athletic talents to college. Unfortunately, disaster struck shortly before he had a chance to get his sporting career off the ground.

Over before it began

Several years into his degree, he was involved in an accident during the first football game of the season. Lee’s back was injured as a result, and it left the man paralyzed for several weeks. By the time he could move again, his chances of becoming a sports star had gone out the window. Left with no career prospects, he was forced to rethink his future, and that’s when he became an actor.

The breakout roles

It wasn’t long before Majors made the big move to Los Angeles and started making his mark on Tinseltown. He enrolled in an acting school, although after just one year of studying, he felt ready to break into the business. The man was 25 when he made his first appearance onscreen, although he admittedly wasn’t credited for it. One year later, he began to land some episode features on shows like the Western drama Gunsmoke and anthology series Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

The breakout roles

His part on the former evidently impressed, because Majors soon landed another Western role in the form of The Big Valley. He was chosen over stars like Burt Reynolds for the show, which managed four seasons on ABC. By the time the series ended, a lot of influential people knew who Lee was. That’s how he landed the part that changed his life forever in 1973.

Causing a commotion

The Six Million Dollar Man started life as a TV movie on ABC. However, reception towards the action film was so positive that it was soon picked up for a full season. Majors remained in the role of Steve Austin, the ex-astronaut whose body had been modified with an assortment of bionic parts. Viewers all around the world loved the show, leading to multiple seasons and even a spin-off based on the popular character Jaime Sommers.

Causing a commotion

For several years, The Six Million Dollar Man was one of the biggest programs on TV. However, controversy soon emerged after Majors reportedly wanted to renegotiate his contract. There was talk that the actor believed he should be paid more for his work, although Lee’s manager denied this. Apparently, the man just wanted his production company to be brought in for future seasons. Whatever the truth, it wasn’t long before the show was canceled.

He’s still got it

Although the drama with Universal Television studios slightly muddied Majors’ name, it didn’t affect his career moving forward. Shortly after The Six Million Dollar Man was canceled, the actor appeared in the action-adventure series The Fall Guy. Throughout its five seasons, Lee controlled many aspects of the show, including its direction and production. He was even responsible for bringing the theme song to life, proving he had vocal skills as well as acting ones.

He’s still got it

By the time The Fall Guy was over, Majors’ name sold itself. He was asked to make cameos in all sorts, from the Christmas comedy film Scrooged to the action drama series Human Target. The success of his second lead role had proven Lee wasn’t a one-trick pony, and everyone wanted a piece of him. That’s why he’s bagged roles as recently as 2019 when he appeared in the animated program Thunderbirds Are Go.

Not done yet

Majors’ acting credits over the years are undoubtedly impressive. He’s been in the biz since the mid-’60s, meaning he’s spent more than 50 years in the industry. At the age of 80, it would be understandable if he wanted to throw in the towel and take a well-deserved rest.

Not done yet

However, he continues to keep himself relevant by taking on one role after another, evidently not ready to surrender just yet. If he still feels he has something to give the world, why shouldn’t he stay in show business?

Watching him closely

While he’s received lots of attention for his career achievements, it seems that Lee’s love interests are what people are really fascinated by. That appears to be where most of the scandal has been in his life, especially in regards to his marriage with Farrah Fawcett.

Watching him closely

The pair was one of the most famous couples in the world at one point, so the cameras couldn’t get enough of them. Of course, when you spend that much time in the spotlight, the skeletons are bound to come out of your closet eventually.

Kiss and tell

Lee has always been something of a ladies’ man, racking up four wives throughout his lifetime. He first tied the knot back in 1961 with Kathy Robinson when he was still a student. Their union only lasted a few years, and by the time it ended, Majors had yet to become a star of the screen.

Kiss and tell

However, following his divorce, he got his big break in the industry. That’s when he started rubbing shoulders with the biggest names in the biz.

The light of his life

His second marriage is undoubtedly his most famous, because it saw Lee tie the knot with Charlie’s Angels actress Farrah Fawcett. Their relationship attracted a lot of attention because both were massive stars in the ’70s and ’80s.

The light of his life

However, it wasn’t until after they married that they became megastars. The Six Million Dollar Man television movie debuted the same year that Majors and Fawcett walked down the aisle, with Charlie’s Angels debuting not long after. Soon enough, everyone wanted a piece of these two, especially when they were together.

Their fateful meeting

There was nothing particularly glamorous about Lee and Farrah’s love story. They met thanks to the intervention of the former’s publicist who introduced Majors to his future wife. The pair ended up going on a coffee date, which proved to be the first of many for these two lovebirds.

Their fateful meeting

Neither party was interested in waiting too long to tie the knot, so before long, they were a married couple ready to take whatever Hollywood could throw at them. Unfortunately, their love couldn’t overcome all the drama that followed their every move.

Seeking revenge

It was a well-known fact that Majors had a thing for the ladies, so it was inevitable that rumors of an affair would start eventually. He and his wife were massive stars, so the media did whatever they could to make them front page news.

Seeking revenge

Of course, the couple made that easy for them, especially when Farrah was sued for $165 million. Sonia Dunson took the actress to court after she supposedly got her blacklisted from the industry. Farrah’s reasoning for doing this? Apparently, Lee and Dunson were having an affair!

Ladies’ man

The revelation of an affair was shocking, as were the lengths that Fawcett was reportedly willing to go to deal with it. This happened early on in the couple’s marriage, and it wasn’t the first scandal Majors was embroiled in.

Ladies’ man

He was established as something of a ladies’ man, and that made it easy to pin affair rumors on him. While none of these were ever confirmed by the actor, they still caused quite a stir during his second marriage. Eventually, Farrah decided she was done with the man.

Separate lives

The longer their marriage went on, the less Majors and Fawcett saw eye to eye. There came the point when they hardly saw each other anymore. Lee still remembers a time when he only spent two weeks with his wife in the space of a year.

Separate lives

Their growing separation was pushing the pair closer and closer to a divorce, but they still had an image to uphold. While they worked great as individuals, they were even stronger as a unit. Neither party wanted to let go of that.

Buckling under pressure

Both sides tried their best to maintain that their relationship was still going strong, but that pressure proved to be too much. Fawcett found it almost impossible to keep up appearances, especially given how often the paparazzi hounded her.

Buckling under pressure

She was constantly getting questioned about her marriage, and she didn’t know how to lie anymore. Although they’d decided to separate in secret, being away from Lee broke her heart. She loved the actor with all her heart, and she didn’t want to be with anyone else.

Too big for her boots

When news about the separation came to light, the media wasted no time speculating on reasons for the split. There was a lot of suggestion that Majors had become jealous of his wife’s success, and the fact she no longer depended on him.

Too big for her boots

Fawcett got her big breakthrough after Lee, but the success of Charlie’s Angels eclipsed The Six Million Dollar Man. Eventually, Farrah became the primary breadwinner in the family, and Majors supposedly took offense to that. Of course, both parties rejected that rumor as being entirely fabricated.

Going downhill

Many fans were devastated when Lee and Farrah’s divorce was finalized. This couple had grown famous before their eyes, and it was hard for them to imagine one without the other. Unfortunately for Fawcett, the breakdown of her marriage had a significant impact on her personal life.

Going downhill

She went on to fall in love with actor Ryan O’Neal, who seemed to bring the actress nothing but trouble. Reports of physical abuse plagued the pair, as did talk of her husband’s problem with illegal substances.

An emotional goodbye

Farrah ended up passing away in 2009 following a difficult battle with cancer. A lot of people took her passing to heart, including her ex-husband, Lee Majors. The actor was greatly saddened by Fawcett’s loss, despite being estranged from her for years.

An emotional goodbye

According to US Weekly, the pair shared a heartfelt goodbye shortly before she passed away when they spoke on the phone. The 40-minute conversation put Majors in a very emotional place, especially as it had been 23 years since he’d last had contact with his ex-wife.

Angel is the centerfold

While Farrah evidently had a considerable impact on Majors’ life, he hasn’t spent the last few decades living the single life. Several years after divorcing the Charlie’s Angels star, he tied the knot with his third wife, Karen Velez.

Angel is the centerfold

Their marriage only lasted six years, but it was pretty eventful. That was largely down to Velez’s standing as a model in an adult magazine, a role that had some fans questioning Major’s obsession with women. His critics had nothing to worry about, though, as Lee soon moved onto his next wife – Faith Cross.

Going the distance

These two have been married since 2002, and they surprisingly show no sign of parting ways. Unlike his previous relationships, this one has stood the test of time. Not only is that astounding given Lee’s romantic history, but it’s also incredibly uncommon in the entertainment industry.

Going the distance

Celebrity couples seem to be breaking up all the time nowadays, largely because of the strain that show business puts on them. Not only do you have tiring work schedules to deal with, but you’ve also got the media on your case all the time.

35 years apart

Lee and Faith may be going strong, but that hasn’t stopped the chatter about their scandalous marriage. When they tied the knot back in 2002, Faith was 27 while her husband was 62, and their age gap caused quite a lot of debate.

35 years apart

There was no doubt talk of Faith being a gold-digger who was only after Majors for his fame and wealth. If that’s the case, though, she seems to be playing the long game. She’s showed no signs of jumping ship after nearly two decades of marriage.

Living without regrets

At his age, Majors has no reason to stress over what the media says about him. He’s lived through enough to know that it’s all water off a duck’s back, and none of the rumors really matter. Time is precious to him now, and he’s perfectly happy with where his life is.

Living without regrets

Lee has confessed that he’s never had any regrets about the decisions he’s made, even when they’ve caused scandal. Those choices have shaped the man he is today, and he doesn’t think he has anything to be ashamed of.

An inspiration to many

The actors of today ought to view Lee Majors an inspiration. This might not be the career dreamed about as a child, but he’s spent decades of his life giving it everything’s he got. His dedication has turned him into a star, and it’s given him all the fame, wealth, and adoration he could have asked for.

An inspiration to many

Although this attention has led to a lot of scandals, that’s inevitable for anyone who becomes such a big name. Drama and fame go together like peanut butter and jelly.

Valuing family

Despite all the previous drama in his life, Lee Majors is today simply living the good life.Like many actors with a busy career, family time could not always be a priority during his more active years in the entertainment industry. But now he can fully enjoy family time.

Valuing family

Now during the golden years of his life, Lee can make up for a lot of lost time. And it definitely seems like this old TV hero is determined to not leave this Earth with any regrets.

Many children

Considering all his marriages, it’s not surprising Lee Majors has had a few kids over the years. Unfortunately him and Farrah had no children together. But Lee is still the proud father to no less than four now grown kids.

Many children

His first son, who he had with first ex-wife Kathy Robinson, he even proudly named after himself. Lee Majors Jr. is today 57 years old. Lee Jr. is however the one Major has had the least close relationship with during his childhood as he moved with his mother to Kentucky after the divorce.

Growing family

Major’s second marriage to former model Karen Velez has brought him the most children. The two had daughter Nikki Majors, who is today 31 years old, and also two twin boys named Dane Luke and Trey Kulley.

Growing family

The boys are Majors’ youngest and are today 26 years old. Dane Luke has actually decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and try on acting. Both his sons bare a striking resemblance to their actor father and Lee is undoubtedly very proud of his sons.

Inspired by dad

Growing up with a dad who is a celebrated actor is bound to make an impression. Where Trey Kulley has dabbled in some modeling, Dane Luke decided to try out his dad’s career choice.

Inspired by dad

Considering the success his dad enjoyed and his connections in Hollywood, who can blame the young man for taking his chance? And he has already enjoyed some success and has participated in movies such as Severed Road and To The Moon.

What about Faith?

When learning a little about Lee’s kids, a logical question is how come Faith and him didn’t opt to grow the family even bigger. But despite Faith’s young age at the time she married Lee, the two have no children together.

What about Faith?

The reason is unknown, but at least it seems like the childless marriage is a very happy one. After all this his fourth marriage has lasted much longer than the ones that included children. And perhaps Faith had her hands full being a step-mom to Lee’s three youngest.

Opening up

Lee Majors is a talented actor who has been famous for decades and his career is still going relatively well to this day. He has recently been opening up about different matters throughout his life and time in the spotlight.

Opening up

The man may have celebrated his 80th birthday, but he will always be the Six Million Dollar Man and people will always want to know about his times during his prime acting years. They want to know everything about his relationships as well.

Talking about Farrah

As we mentioned above, losing Farrah Fawcett was not easy at all for her ex-husband. Years later, he has talked about their relationship and shared his thoughts on their marriage and time together.

Talking about Farrah

He compared their status as a couple to that of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and talked about how the press was always into their relationship. Majors mentioned that the paparazzi always being there was actually really hard to get around and significantly influenced them.

The end of Six Million Dollar Man

Majors had a huge influence on the show and from the beginning, he claimed he didn’t like his character doing something bionic every five minutes. He also wanted the show to be a family one that everyone could watch and enjoy.

The end of Six Million Dollar Man

He did not want The Six Million Dollar Man to take anyone’s life, so he insisted that even after an intense fight scene, the people rolled over so as to prove they weren’t gone. Majors was also allegedly very surprised when the show was canceled after five seasons.

Hesitation

While no one can imagine the show without him nowadays, Majors has actually admitted something about his initial thoughts on the role. Namely, he divulged that he had some serious hesitations and even almost turned it down altogether.

Hesitation

When the actor got the script, he saw that it was just a man jumping on buildings and stuff and he wasn’t interested. He even pleaded with the network to make the character more human and less bionic. Thank goodness he chose to stick with it, right? Things could have turned out very differently.

Net worth

So, he played the Six Million Dollar Man on television, but how much is Lee Majors actually worth? While some might expect the number to be extremely high and exorbitant, it is probably much lower than most people would think.

Net worth

The actor is said to be currently worth around $15 million. This is obviously still an insane amount of money, but it is not so much for someone who has been in the industry for as long as he has. At least he can live beyond comfortably anyway.

No regrets

Looking back at his 55-year career in show business, Lee is pretty content with all of the adventures he got into back in the day. Of course, with a career spanning nearly six decades, it’s almost impossible to expect everything to be perfect. Botched auditions, roles turned down…

No regrets

Every actor has at least some pangs of regrets – but not Majors. In an interview, he insisted he had zero regrets regarding his career. He found enjoyment in every role he took on, he said, adding that an actor’s job was to work. Sitting around waiting for that great part will lead to doing just that – sitting around.

Well… Maybe just one!

If you pressed him hard enough, though, The Six Million Dollar Man star might produce one regret that he still has, although he would be at least half-joking. “I wish I’d used my stuntman a little more!” he revealed.

Well… Maybe just one!

Now over 80 years old, he found his knees to be “a little wobbly” and different aches and pains earned over half a century in entertainment. Doing his own stunts, he said, made the day go faster when he was young and felt invincible. “Now I don’t know why I did it!” he joked.

Thankful for the fans

For a time, Majors went on self-imposed “exile” to Florida. While there, he confined himself to doing small independent films, and returned to acting in comedies like Weeds and Community. This was just the shot in the arm his career needed, and he got back in the game.

Thankful for the fans

However, those ten years off taught him something else – how much The Six Million Dollar Man had meant to people. Since he was free to travel not just the U.S. but the world, he had people coming up to him from all walks of life just to say hello. “It was very touching and amazing to me,” he revealed.

Hidden in the attic

We’ve mentioned that Lee was raised by his aunt and uncle, but he didn’t even realize this fact until his teenage years! It was during his teens that he went poking around in their attic, and found newspaper clippings relating to the passings of a man and a woman.

Hidden in the attic

Digging a little deeper, he learned the life-changing truth – they were his parents. It would be five more years until he would let his aunt and uncle know that he was aware of the truth, perhaps a precursor to his roles as a stoic, contemplative hero.

Choosing his favorite

Not many actors are blessed with having a career-defining roles like that of Steve Austin. It was the role that catapulted Majors to superstardom and made him a household name to this day… but it isn’t his favorite.

Choosing his favorite

It isn’t The Fall Guy either, despite the fact that he not only starred in it but also produced it and sang the theme song. His favorite? That almost forgotten Western show The Big Valley. It may be lost in the shuffle among its more popular brethren Gunsmoke and Bonanza, but The Big Valley still holds a place in Lee’s heart.