The Bionic Wiki
The Bionic Wiki

Lee Majors (born Harvey Lee Yeary on April 23, 1939) played Steve Austin on The Six Million Dollar Man and subsequent spin-offs and telemovies.

Prior to taking on the role of Austin in 1973, Majors was already a well-known television actor, rising to stardom in the mid-1960s on the western series, The Big Valley, before moving on to other series roles on The Virginian (which was titled The Men from Shiloh during Majors' tenure) and Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law (in fact, Majors continued to appear on Owen Marshall concurrently with his initial work on the first Six Million Dollar Man telefilms). In 1969, Majors also starred in the made-for-television film The Ballad of Andy Crocker which was one of the first films to address the challenges facing Vietnam War veterans.

Asides from starring inThe Six Million Dollar Man, he also directed an episode of the series (One of Our Running Backs Is Missing), and provided the vocals for songs heard in The Bionic Woman (episode), The Bionic Woman (Part II), and The Return of the Bionic Woman. He also made numerous appearances on the spin-off series, The Bionic Woman. He also played two additional roles during his time on the series: crook Johnny Dine (who has his face altered to look like Steve's) in "Look Alike", and a store clerk in "Steve Austin, Fugitive" (for which Majors donned heavy make-up).

During his time on the series, Majors was married to model and actress Farrah Fawcett (then known as Farrah Fawcett-Majors), who appeared four times in the series (playing 3 different roles). Fawcett also participated in a photo shoot promoting the second of the Six Million Dollar Man "pilot" films, Wine, Women and War, and had previously worked opposite Majors in a couple of Owen Marshall episodes.

Majors was friends with rock and roll legend Elvis Presley. According to the book Elvis in Vegas by Paul Lichter (Overlook Duckworth, 2011, p. 192), during Presley's spring 1975 residency at the Hilton in Las Vegas, Majors attended his show several times and worked up a comedy routine with Presley in which Majors, introduced as the singer's "new body guard", ran onto the stage in slow-motion, Steve Austin-style, and proceeded to grab Elvis' trademark scarf and throw it into the audience.

At the start of season 4, Majors grew a moustache, and this was incorporated into the character of Steve Austin before Majors shaved it off at the end of the season. Despite its relatively brief appearance in about twenty episodes, the moustache can stil be seen in some related merchandising at the time, including a lunchbox, some non-US editions of Six Million Dollar Man novelizations, and even the cover of one of the comic books based upon the series.

When The Six Million Dollar Man ended production in 1978, Majors went on to appear in a string of low-budgeted, critically lambasted motion pictures, such as The Norseman in which he played a Viking, The Last Chase, a science fiction film, and Agency, a film about the then-topical issue of subliminal messaging. In 1981, he returned to television stardom in a new series, The Fall Guy, in which he played stuntman-turned-bounty hunter Colt Seavers. Majors even sang the show's theme song, "The Unknown Stuntman", which included a reference to Fawcett, even though by this time he and the actress had separated; they divorced in 1982. "The Unknown Stuntman" was actually a minor country-western hit for Majors when it was released as a single and he performed the song on television at least once (on an episode of the music program Solid Gold). The series reunited Majors with both Richard Anderson and Lindsay Wagner, who appeared as guest stars.

The Fall Guy was cancelled in 1986 after five seasons (a run equal in length to that of The Six Million Dollar Man but producing a dozen more episodes) and Majors reprised the role of Austin in a trio of reunion telefilms produced between 1987 and 1994 and, along with Richard Anderson, was also the co-producer of the middle installment of the trilogy of reunion films, Bionic Showdown.

Majors continues to make film and television appearances, and occasionally pokes fun at his Steve Austin image. A recent example of this is the 2006 film National Lampoon's TV: The Movie in which he plays several roles, one of which is as a geriatric version of Steve Austin in a spoof TV commercial for "The Six Million Year Old Man". He's also spoofed his famous role in TV commercials, such as an ad for IBM's Thinkpad in which two young men attempt to recreate the bionics sound effect, without success; Majors, sitting reading a newspaper nearby, coaches them in the proper technique. In a Canadian commercial for the Lotto 649 lottery, Majors, his hair slicked down and darkened and wearing a red tracksuit similar to the one he wore in the show, is referred to directly as The Six Million Dollar Man and after displaying the power of his bionic arm (by crushing an empty soda pop can), helps a lottery winner fulfil his dream of becoming bionic. But once he's on the operating table, a set of bionic limbs on the table next to him, the young man starts to have second thoughts, but "Austin" says, "Relax; these are the best TV doctors the network has," as he slaps on a surgical glove.[1]

Majors has also guest-starred on Kyle X/Y, a series inspired by The Six Million Dollar Man, VIP, and in 2010 appeared on the Fox action series Human Target.

Ben Browder of Farscape fame portrays Majors in the 2004 telefilm, Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of 'Charlie's Angels' which also includes a sequence in which Browder recreates a scene from "The Secret of Bigfoot".

Songs performed by Lee Majors[]

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