Friday, February 25, 2011

Steve Austin The Six Million Dollar Man played by Lee Majors

Lee Majors was born Harvey Lee Yeary on April 23, 1939 near Detroit, Michigan.  He is best know for his role as Steve Austin in the series The Six Million Dollar Man.  Prior to that, he was also well know as Heath Barkley in the 60's western series The Big Valley as well as playing the role of Colt Seavers in The Fall Guy.  You may think that he disappeared since those days, but he has actually been very involved in appearing in shows and movies over the years.  More recently, he is recognized as Coach Ross in the series The Game.

Lee Majors as The Six Million Dollar Man

Lee actually started his career as a pro football player in the early 1960s.  He then attended acting school and then took on the name Lee Majors.  It was in 1964 that Lee appeared in his first film Strait-Jacket co-starring Joan Crawford, Diane Baker, Leif Erickson, and George Kennedy.



Joan Crawford and Lee Majors in Strait-Jacket 1964

In 1965 Lee appeared in his first TV show Gunsmoke co-starring James Arness, Milburn Stone, Amanda Blake, and Ken Curtis.  Later that same year Majors landed his first starring role in a TV series as Heath Barkley in western The Big Valley.  He co-starred with Barbara Stanwyck (Victoria Barkley), Richard Long (Jarrod Barkley), Peter Breck (Nick Barkley), and Linda Evans (Audra Barkley).  Lee played the role of Heath for the entire run of the show until it ended in 1969.



Lee Majors as Heath Barkley in the TV show The Big Valley
The cast of the TV show The Big Valley - Front: Linda Evans (Audra Barkley), Barbara Stanwyck (Victoria Barkley) Back: Lee Majors (Lee Majors), Peter Breck (Nick Barkley), and Richard Long (Jarrod Barkley)

During his run on The Big Valley, Majors also appeared in The Alfred Hitchcock Hour co-starring Alfred Hitchcock, Leif Erickson and Jane Wyatt (1965); and Will Penny starring Charlton Heston, Joan Hackett, Bruce Dern, Donald Pleasence, Slim Pickens, Clifton James, Ben Johnson, and Anthony Zerbe (1968).



Lee Majors as Heath Barkley in the TV show The Big Valley

After The Big Valley, Majors landed the lead role in the film The Ballad of Andy Crocker co-starring Joey Heatherton, Jimmy Dean, Agnes Moorehead, Marvin Gaye, Pat Hingle, and Barbara Leigh (1969).  He would also appear in Bracken's World with Peter Haskell, Andy Devine, Sam Elliott, and Laraine Stephens (1970); The Liberation of L.B. Jones co-starring Lee J. Cobb, Anthony Zerbe, Lola Falana, Barbara Hershey, Yaphet Kotto, Roscoe Lee Browne, and Arch Johnson (1970); and Weekend of Terror co-starring Robert Conrad, Carol Lynley, and Jane Wyatt (1970).

He was then in 1970 signed to star in the final 24 episodes of The Virginian which was renamed The Men from Shiloh, as Roy Tate.  He co-starred with James Drury (The Virginian), Doug McClure (Trampas), Sara Lane (Elizabeth Grainger), and Lee J. Cobb (Judge Henry Garth).



Lee Majors as Roy Tate in the TV show The Men from Shiloh formerly The Virginian 1970

Major's popularity was on the rise and he was not short of work for long.  In the fall of 1971, he landed another series role as Jess Brandon in Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law.  He co-starred with Arthur Hill (Owen Marshall) and a long line of guest stars as regulars including Pat Harrington Jr., Tim Matheson, Sorrell Booke, Dana Wynter, David Soul, Vera Miles, William Shatner, Randolph Mantooth, Donna Mills, Dick Sargent, Mike Farrell, Ricky Nelson, Sharon Gless, and Mark Hamill.  The most significant guest star would be his future wife Farrah Fawcett, who would go on to become a phenomenon herself becoming one of the original Charlie's Angels.  Majors would play the role of Jess Brandon for four years until the show ended in 1974.



Lee Majors and the cast of Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law

During his run on Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law, Majors would appear in movies and shows such as Marcus Welby, M.D. starring Robert Young, James Brolin and Elena Verdugo (1971); Alias Smith and Jones starring Ben Murphy, Roger Davis and Pete Duel (1972); and the series The Sixth Sense co-starring Gary Collins, Lucie Arnaz and Will Geer (1972).

Farrah Fawcett and Lee Majors appeared for the first time together in Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law

It would be in 1972 that Lee Majors would play the role of astronaut Steve Austin in the TV movie The Six Million Dollar Man.  He co-starred with Barbara Anderson (Jean Manners), Martin Balsam (Dr. Rudy Wells), Darren McGavin (Oliver Spencer), Dorothy Green (Mrs. McKay), and George Wallace (the General).  The movie was based on an astronaut that was mutilated in a test flight crash and was rebuilt with bionic parts, becoming half man, half machine and having super human capabilities.  The movie was so popular it spawned two more made for TV Six Million Dollar Man movies including The Six Million Dollar Man: Wine, Women and War co-starring Richard Anderson (Oscar Goldman), Alan Oppenheimer (Dr. Rudy Wells), Britt Ekland (Katrina Volana), Earl Holliman (Harry Donner), David McCallum (Alexi Kaslov), Michele Carey (Cynthia Holland), and Simon Scott (Captain Dawson); and The Six Million Dollar Man: Solid Gold Kidnapping co-starring Richard Anderson (Oscar Goldman), Alan Oppenheimer (Dr. Rudy Wells), Elizabeth Ashley(Dr. Erica Bergner), Terry Carter (Mel Bristo), John Vernon (Julian Peck), Maurice Evans (Chairman of the Board), Luciana Paluzzi (Contessa DeRojas), and Leif Erickson (William Henry Cameron) (1973).

After Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law ended, the producers of The Six Million Dollar Man decided to created a series based on the movies due to their tremendous success.  Majors would co-star on the show with Richard Anderson (Oscar Goldman) and Martin E. Brooks (Dr. Rudy Wells).  Lee would play the role of Steve Austin for five years until the show ended in 1978.



Lee Majors as Steve Austin, The Six Million Dollar Man
Richard Anderson (Oscar Goldman) and Lee Majors (Steve Austin) of the TV show The Six Million Dollar Man

During his run on The Six Million Dollar Man series, Majors would also star the leading role in Francis Gary Powers: The True Story of the U-2 Spy Incident co-starring Noah Beery Jr. and Nehemiah Persoff (1976).  He would also guest star as Steve Austin on his bionic female counterpart's TV series, The Bionic Woman starring Lindsay Wagner (Jaimie Sommers) as well as Richard Anderson (Oscar Goldman) and Martin E. Brooks (Dr. Rudy Wells).  Majors would also star in Just a Little Inconvenience co-starring James Stacy, Barbara Hershey, and Jim Davis (1977).



Lee Majors as Steve Austin, The Six Million Dollar Man
Lee Majors and wife Farrah Fawcett-Majors appeared together in The Six Million Dollar Man
Lee Majors (Steve Austin), Richard Anderson (Oscar Goldman) and Lindsay Wagner (Jaimie Sommers) of the TV franchise The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman

After The Six Million Dollar Man days, Lee would star in a string of films including The Norseman co-starring Cornel Wilde, Jack Elam, Mel Ferrer, and Susie Coelho (1978); Steel co-starring Jennifer O'Neill, George Kennedy, Art Carney, Harris Yulin, Terry Kiser, and Roger E. Mosley (1979); Killer Fish co-starring Karen Black, Marisa Berenson, James Franciscus, Margaux Hemingway, and Frank Pesce (1979); Agency co-starring Robert Mitchum, Valerie Perrine, and Alexandra Stewart (1980);  High Noon, Part II: The Return of Will Kane co-starring David Carradine, J.A. Preston, Katherine Cannon, J.A. Preston, Pernell Roberts, Frank Campanella, and M. Emmet Walsh (1980); and The Last Chase with Burgess Meredith, Alexandra Stewart, and Chris Makepeace (1981).



Lee Majors and Margaux Hemingway appeared together in the film Killer Fish 1979

Majors would land yet another series role in 1981 starring as stuntman/bounty hunter Colt Seavers in The Fall Guy.  He co-starred on the show with Douglas Barr (Howie Munson), Heather Thomas (Jody Banks), and Markie Post (Terri Michaels).  Majors would star in the show for five years until it ended in 1986.



Lee Majors as Colt Seavers in the TV show The Fall Guy

During his run on The Fall Guy, Lee would also star in shows and films such as Circle of Two with Tatum O'Neal, Norma Dell'Agnese, Richard Burton, and Donann Cavin (1981); Starflight: The Plane That Couldn't Land co-starring Hal Linden, Ray Milland, Lauren Hutton, Gail Strickland, Tess Harper, and Heather McAdam (1983); Trauma Center starring James Naughton, Jack Bannon, Lou Ferrigno, Wendie Malick, and Eileen Heckart (1983);
The Love Boat starring  Gavin MacLeod, Lauren Tewes, Bernie Kopell, Fred Grandy, Jill Whelan, and Ted Lange (2 episodes, 1983); and The Cowboy and the Ballerina co-starring Leslie Wing, Christopher Lloyd, and Anjelica Huston (1984).


Cast members of The Fall Guy: Douglas Barr (Howie Munson), Lee Majors (Colt Seavers), and Heather Thomas (Jody Banks)
Lee Majors and Linda Evans appear together in The Love Boat 1983

After The Fall Guy, Majors would go on to star in shows and movies such as A Smoky Mountain Christmas with Dolly Parton, John Ritter, Bo Hopkins, Dan Hedaya, and Anita Morris (1986); he would reprise his role as Steve Austin in The Return of the Six-Million-Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman co-starring Lindsay Wagner, Richard Anderson, Martin E. Brooks, Tom Schanley, Lee Majors II, Martin andau, and Gary Lockwood (1987);  Keaton's Cop co-starring Abe Vigoda, Art LaFleur, Don Rickles, and Tracy Brooks Swope (1988); Reed Down Under aka Danger Down Under co-starring Rebecca Gilling and Martin Vaughan (1988); and again returning as Steve Austin in Bionic Showdown: The Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman with Lindsay Wagner, Richard Anderson, Martin E. Brooks, Jeff Yagher, Lee Majors II, Sandra Bullock, and Josef Sommer (1989).



Dolly Parton and Lee Majors in A Smoky Mountain Christmas 1986
Lee Majors (Steve Austin) and Lindsay Wagner (Jaimie Sommers) in the TV movie Bionic Showdown: The Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman 1989

In 1990, Majors would play the recurring role of Thomas 'Pop' Scarlet in the last year of the series Tour of Duty co-starring Stephen Caffrey (Lt. Myron Goldman), Terence Knox (Seargant 'Zeke' Anderson), Tony Becker (Corporal 'Danny' Percell), Miguel A. Núñez Jr. (Private Marcus Taylor), and Ramón Franco (Private Alberto Ruiz).

Lee Majors and son Lee Majors II appear together in an episode of the TV show Tour of Duty

After Tour of Duty, Majors would star in the movie Fire: Trapped on the 37th Floor co-starring Lisa Hartman and Peter Scolari (1991).  A year later Lee wold play the recurring role of Herman "Ski" Jablonski in the TV series Raven co-starring Jeffrey Meek (Jonathon Raven) and Andy Bumatai (Big Kahuna).



Lee Majors as Herman "Ski" Jablonski in the TV series Raven 1992
Jeffrey Meek (Jonathon Raven) and Lee Majors (Herman 'Ski' Jablonski) in the TV series Raven

After Raven, Majors appeared in many shows and movies such as The Cover Girl Murders co-starring Jennifer O'Neill, Beverly Johnson, Vanessa Angel, Adrian Paul, Bobbie Phillips, and Arthur Taxier (1993); again he would resurrect the role of Steve Austin in Bionic Ever After? co-starring Lindsay Wagner, Richard Anderson, Martin E. Brooks, Anne Lockhart, Farrah Forke, and Lee Majors II (1994); Lonesome Dove: The Series co-starring Scott Bairstow, Christianne Hirt and Eric McCormack (1995); Daytona Beach with Lisa Boyle, Robert Catrini, Alexandra Paul, and Mac Davis (1996); Promised Land co-starring Gerald McRaney, Wendy Phillips, Austin O'Brien, Rachel Emmers, and Julia Stiles (1996); Lost Treasure of Dos Santos co-starring Michele Greene, David Carradine, Cathy Lee Crosby, and John Wesley Shipp (1997); Raven: Return of the Black Dragons co-starring Erika Anderson, Clyde Kusatsu and James Lew (1997); Trojan War co-starring Will Friedle, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Danny Masterson, Jason Marsden, and Marley Shelton (1997); Musketeers Forever co-starring Michael Dudikoff, Sylvie Varakine, and Sabine Karsenti (1998); Walker, Texas Ranger starring Chuck Norris, Clarence Gilyard Jr. and Sheree J. Wilson (1998); New Jersey Turnpikes with Kelsey Grammer, Roberta Angelica, Robert Conrad, and Susan Anton (1999); The Protector co-starring Ed Marinaro, Kate Rodger and Cyril O'Reilly (1999); Soldier of Fortune, Inc. starring Brad Johnson, Tim Abell and Melinda Clarke (1999); and Chapter Zero co-starring Dylan Walsh, Laurel Holloman and Penelope Ann Miller (1999).



Lee Majors in Lonesome Dove: The Series 1995

Starting off the new millennium, Majors would star in Primary Suspect co-starring William Baldwin, Brigitte Bako, Vincent Castellanos, Nikita Ager, and Audra Lea Keener (2000); V.I.P. co-starring Pamela Anderson, Molly Culver, Shaun Baker, and Natalie Raitano (2000); The War Next Door starring Linden Ashby, Damian Young and Susan Walters (2000);

Later in 2000, Majors landed the role of Scott Reed in the TV series Too Much Sun.  He co-starred with Mark Addy, Alex Jennings, Julienne Davis, Nigel Lindsay,  and Matilda Ziegler.  The show would only last six episodes before being cancelled.

After Too Much Sun, Lee appeared in Hotel! starring Benjamin Boyd, Paul McGann and Art Malik (2001);  Here co-starring Albert S. and Elaine Moyce (2001); Hard Knox co-starring Kim Penn, Thomas Calabro, Gary Sweet, Natalie Jackson Mendoza, and Simone Kessell (2001); Out Cold co-starring Flex Alexander, David Denman, Caroline Dhavernas, Derek Hamilton, and A.J. Cook (2001); and Big Fat Liar co-starring Frankie Muniz, Amanda Bynes and Paul Giamatti (2002).



Lee Majors in the film Out Cold 2001

In 2002, Lee would play the recurring role of Colonel Seymore Kooze several times in the show Son of the Beach.  He joined the cast of Jaime Bergman, Roland Kickinger, Timothy Stack, Kimberly Oja, and Leila Arcieri.  The show ended a year after he joined the show.

Lee Majors as Colonel Seymore Kooze in the TV show Son of the Beach 2002

After Son of the Beach, Majors went on to star in Fate co-starring Michael Paré, Philip Michael Thomas, Tamie Sheffield, Angelique Mechel, and Jermaine Jackson (2003); Jake 2.0 co-starring Christopher Gorham, Philip Anthony-Rodriguez, Judith Scott, Keegan Connor Tracy, and Miranda Frigon (2003); The Trail to Hope Rose co-starring Lou Diamond Phillips, Ernest Borgnine, and Marina Black (2004); Arizona Summer co-starring Gemini Barnett, Brent Blair, Brooke Burgstahler, Christy Blair, Greg Evigan, and Morgan Fairchild (2004); Will & Grace starring Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally, Debbie Reynolds, and Alan Arkin (2005); The Last Confederate: The Story of Robert Adams co-starring Julian Adams, Gwendolyn Edwards, Amy Redford, Tippi Hedren, and Eric Holloway (2005); and Hell to Pay co-starring Peter Brown, James Drury, Griff Furst, Kevin Kazakoff, Katie A. Keane, and Rachel Kimsey (2005).




Lee Majors in Jake 2.0 2003
Lee Majors in Trail to Hope Rose 2004

In the later half of the 2000s, Lee starred in TV: The Movie with Preston Lacy, Steve-O and Don Abbatiello (2006); When I Find the Ocean co-starring Dan Beene, Sara Biddle and Anthony Brooks (2006); Lightspeed co-starring Jason Connery, Nicole Eggert and Daniel Goddard (2006); Waitin' to Live co-starring Barry Corbin, Reginald VelJohnson, Margaret Avery, Rachel Wilson, Scott Reeves, and Alison Eastwood (2006); Me & Lee? co-starring Jamie Kennedy, Ashlie Atkinson, Jason Antoon, John Billingsley, and Faith Majors (2007); The Brothers Solomon co-starring Will Arnett, Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, Chi McBride, Malin Akerman, and Jenna Fischer (2007); The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman starring Laura Kightlinger, Nicholle Tom and Azura Skye (2007); 



Lee Majors in the movie Lightspeed 2006

In October of 2007, Lee would begin playing the role of Coach Ross in the TV series The Game.  He co-starred with Tia Mowry, Pooch Hall, Coby Bell, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and Brittany Daniel.  He would appear in six episodes over a two year period until 2009.



Lee Majors as Coach Ross in the TV series The Game
During his run on The Game, Majors would appear in Ben 10: Race Against Time co-starring Graham Phillips, Christien Anholt and Haley Ramm (2007); Wapos Bay: The Series starring Raven Brass, Lorne Cardinal and Taylor Cook (2007); Wainy Days starring David Wain, Matt Ballard and Zandy Hartig (2007); Weeds starring Mary-Louise Parker, Hunter Parrish, Elizabeth Perkins, and Alexander Gould (3 episodes, 2008); Cold Case starring Kathryn Morris, Danny Pino and John Finn (2008); and The Adventures of Umbweki co-starring BernNadette Stanis, David Joyner, Antonio Fargas, Ted Lange, Geneviere Anderson, Marcus T. Paulk, and Robert Pike Daniel (2009).


Lee Majors in 2008

After leaving The Game, Majors would appear in According to Jim starring James Belushi, Larry Joe Campbell, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Taylor Atelian, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, and Billi Bruno (2009); Community starring Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs and Danny Pudi (2010); Human Target co-starring Mark Valley, Chi McBride, Jackie Earle Haley, Amy Acker, and Armand Assante (2010); Johnny co-starring Aubyn Cole, Mel Fair and Brandon Klopot (2010); G.I. Joe: Renegades starring Jason Marsden, Natalia Cigliuti and Matthew Yang King (2010); Corruption.Gov co-starring Michael Madsen, Francesco Quinn, Joe Estevez, and Christina Fernandez (2010); and Undercovers starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Boris Kodjoe, Ben Schwartz, Gerald McRaney,  and Alan Dale (2010).


Lee Majors in 2009

More recently, Lee starred in Spring Break '83 co-starring John Goodman, Joe Pantoliano, Ricky Ullman, Sophie Monk, Morgan Fairchild, Erik Estrada, and Joe Piscopo (2011); and $#*! My Dad Says starring William Shatner, Jonathan Sadowski and Nicole Sullivan (2011).



Lee Majors and William Shatner together on the TV show $#*! My Dad Says
Lee Majors today

We will be seeing plenty more of Lee Majors in the future with works in production such as the film version of The Big Valley co-starring Sara Paxton, Richard Dreyfuss, Aidan Quinn, Josh Stewart, Jessica Lange, and Bruce Dern (2011); Jerusalem Countdown co-starring David A.R. White, Anna Zielinski and Randy Travis (2011); and The Story of Bonnie and Clyde co-starring Hilary Duff, Kevin Zegers, Michael Madsen, Taryn Manning, Shawn Ashmore, Cloris Leachman, and Dee Wallace (2011).





2 comments:

  1. he was on csi ny 2012

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  2. He was my biggest hero in the 70's...as a child, I literally tried to mold myself in his image (just don't have the 'eyebrow' thing though ..not even close..I'm really ugly). Just started watching DVDs of SMDM with my kids and it all came flooding back ..I love Lee Majors and I'm very glad to see he's still around and still working ..I wish him all the best. Cheers

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