Lee Majors Biography

Lee Majors (a.k.a Harvey Lee Yeary) is an American film, television and voice actor. Check out this biography to know about his childhood, family life, achievements and other facts about his life.

Quick Facts

Birthday: April 23, 1939

Nationality: American

Famous: Actors American Men

Age: 80 Years, 80 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Taurus

Born in: Wyandotte, Michigan, United States

Famous as: Actor

Height: 6'0" (183 cm), 6'0" Males

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Spouse/Ex-: Kathy Robinson (m. 1961–64) Farrah Fawcett

children: Dane Luke Majors, Lee Majors II, Nikki Majors, Trey Kulley Majors

U.S. State: Michigan

More Facts

education: Eastern Kentucky University, Indiana University

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Lee Majors (a.k.a Harvey Lee Yeary) is an American film, television and voice actor, who has portrayed several iconic roles, such as Heath Barkley in the American television Western series 'The Big Valley' and Colonel Steve Austin in the American television science fiction action series 'The Six Million Dollar Man '. Born in Wyandotte, Michigan and orphaned at the age of two, he was adopted and raised by his paternal uncle and aunt. He grew up wanting to be a football coach but a severe sport injury during a university game crushed his dream. After college, Lee Majors worked as a park recreation director in Los Angeles before venturing into an acting career at the age of 25. He adopted the stage name of Lee Majors inspired by his childhood icon and football legend, Johnny Majors. Gradually, he became a popular face (initially referred to as ‘blond Elvis Presley’) and achieved huge success through his appearances in various television series as well as a number of supporting roles in feature films. He has also lent his voice to several animated television series and video games.

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Childhood & Early Life
  • Lee Majors was born on 23 April 1939 in Wyandotte, Michigan, U.S.A. His father, Carl Yeary, was a manual labourer who died on the job before he was born. His mother, Alice Yeary, was a homemaker; she passed away in an auto accident before his second birthday.
  • Orphaned by the age two, he was adopted by his paternal uncle and aunt, Harvey Yeary and Mildred Poore. They brought him to their home in Middelsboro, Kentucky.
  • He found out about his adoption much later in his teenage years, and became determined to make his stepparents proud of him.
  • Growing up, he wanted to become a football coach. He began playing the sport for his school team at Middlesboro High School. After graduating in 1957, he earned a scholarship to Indiana University where he continued to play football.
  • In 1959, he transferred to Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, where during a game he suffered a severe back injury that left him paralyzed waist down for a few weeks. This brought an end to his prospective football career.
  • He graduated from Eastern Kentucky in 1962 with a degree in History and Physical Education. He later received an honorary doctorate from the university in 2006.
  • He began taking an interest in acting and performed in plays at the Pioneer Playhouse in Danville, Kentucky. After college, although he had an offer to join St. Louis Cardinals football team, he shifted to Los Angeles and started working as a Park Recreation Director.
  • In Los Angeles, he came in contact with several actors and industry professionals, including agent Dick Clayton. He attended Clayton’s acting school for a year and also studied at Estelle Harmon's acting school at MGM, getting prepared for a showbiz career.
  • In 1964, Lee Majors appeared in his first, although uncredited, role in the horror film ‘Strait-Jacket’
  • In 1965, his first credited role came in an episode of ‘Gunsmoke’. He also appeared in an instalment of ‘The Alfred Hitchcock Hour: The Monkey's Paw – A Retelling’.
  • His first big break happened in the hit ABC western series, ‘The Big Valley’ (1965-1969). He portrayed the role of Heath Barkley in the show. Meanwhile, he also appeared in the 1968 Charlton Heston film ‘Will Penny’.
  • In 1969, he starred in the lead role of a television film, ‘The Ballad of Andy Crocker’. The same year, he also got an offer to star in ‘Midnight Cowboy’ (1969), but had to refuse as ‘The Big Valley’ was renewed for another season.
  • In 1970, he appeared in William Wyler's last movie ‘The Liberation of L.B. Jones’; he also appeared in the last season of ‘The Virginian’.
  • In 1971, he started portraying the character of Jess Brandon on ABC’s critically acclaimed legal drama series ‘Owen Marshall: Counsellor at Law’ (1971-1974).
  • In 1973, he starred in ABC’s television movie ‘The Six Million Dollar Man’ as Colonel Steve Austin, an ex-astronaut who has extraordinary powers due to bionic implants and is engaged as a secret agent by an imaginary U.S. government office.
  • From 1974 to 1978, ‘The Six Million Dollar Man’ became a weekly series and garnered huge international success. Broadcasted in over 70 countries, the series launched him into global stardom. However, following some legal disagreements with Universal Television, the series was cancelled in 1978.
  • Meanwhile during the late 1970s, he continued to appear in films like ‘The Norseman’ (1978), ‘Killer Fish’ (1979), ‘Steel’ (1979), etc.
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  • In 1981, he starred in the television series, ‘The Fall Guy’ in which he played the role of a Hollywood stuntman, Colt Seavers. Apart from being a producer and a director on the show, he also sang its theme song, ‘Unknown Stuntman’. The series continued for five seasons till 1986.
  • Meanwhile, in the 1980s he appeared in films like ‘High Noon, Part II: The Return of Will Kane’ (1980), ‘The Last Chase’ (1981), and ‘Starflight: The Plane That Couldn't Land’ (1983).
  • Later between 1987 and 1994, he and Lindsay Wagner co-starred in three ‘The Six Million Dollar Man/The Bionic Woman’ television movies.
  • He made frequent appearances in television series, ‘Tour of Duty’ (1987-1990) and ‘Raven’ (1992-1993). In 1990, he starred in the film ‘Keaton's Cop’. He also played supporting roles in films like ‘Trojan War’ (1997), ‘Out Cold’ (2001), ‘Big Fat Liar’ (2002), and ‘The Brothers Solomon’ (2007).
  • Lee Majors lent his voice to the character of ‘Big’ Mitch Baker in the video game ‘Grand Theft Auto: Vice City’ (2002). In 2007, he played the role of Grandpa Max in ‘Ben 10: Race Against Time’.
  • From 2006 to 2009, he appeared on the television series ‘The Game’. Meanwhile, he also appeared in a 2007 instalment of ‘According to Jim’, playing God. Later, he reappeared in the role in the show's series finale, ‘Heaven Opposed to Hell’ (2009).
  • In 2008, he appeared in the series ‘Weeds’. The following year, he lent his voice in the ‘Bionic Woman’ segment of the ‘Robot Chicken’ season four episode - ‘Love, Maurice’.
  • In 2010, he appeared in a ‘Community’ episode - ‘Beginner Pottery’; he also appeared in an instalment of ‘Human Target’ called ‘Christopher Chance’. Later that year, he lent voice in ‘G.I. Joe: Renegades’.
  • In 2011, he appeared in ‘Jerusalem Countdown’. From 2011 to 2014, he appeared as Burt's father, Ralph in three episodes of Fox comedy, ‘Raising Hope’.
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  • In 2015, he appeared in ‘Do You Believe?’ and ‘Avengers of eXtreme Illusions’. In 2016, he appeared in the second season of ‘Ash vs. Evil Dead’.
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Major Works
  • Lee Majors’ breakthrough role was in the television Western series, ‘The Big Valley’ (1965-1969). It offered him the opportunity to learn from an experienced performer, the renowned Barbara Stanwyck.
  • The television movie, ‘The Six Million Dollar Man’ (1973) featured him in the role of Colonel Steve Austin, an ex-astronaut with bionic implants and superhuman powers. The success of the movie resulted in a weekly series which aired from 1974 to 1978 and launched him into global stardom.
  • In ‘The Fall Guy’ (1981-1986), he played a Hollywood stuntman, Colt Seavers who worked as a bounty hunter to enhance his income.
Awards & Achievements
  • Lee Majors was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6933 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • Lee Majors has been married four times. First, he married Kathy Robinson in 1961 and got divorced in 1964. Their child Lee Majors Jr. was born in April 1962.
  • He then married Farrah Fawcett in 1973 and got divorced in 1982.
  • In 1988, he married Playboy model, Karen Velez and later got divorced in 1994. The couple had a daughter, Nikki and twin sons, Dane and Trey.
  • He married actress and model, Faith Cross in 2002.
  • In 2003, he underwent a heart bypass surgery.
  • In 1983, Lee Majors became part owner of the LA Express of the United States Football League.
  • In 1986, Middlesboro High School named their football field ‘Lee Majors Field’.
  • In the initial period of his career, he was called the “blond Elvis Presley”.
  • He and Farrah Fawcett inspired the song ‘Midnight Train to Georgia’.

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How To Cite

Article Title
- Lee Majors Biography
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
- TheFamousPeople.com
Last Updated
- March 08, 2017
Lee Majors

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