Lee Majors was born April 23, 1939, in Wyandotte, Michigan. A gifted athlete, Majors attended Indiana University on a football scholarship, before transferring to Eastern Kentucky State College (now Eastern Kentucky University). There, he suffered a back injury that left him paralyzed for a short time. Though he recovered, the experience made Majors put aside thoughts of a career in sports. He graduated in 1962 with a degree in physical education, but had a desire to break into acting.
He worked as a park recreation director for the City of Los Angeles before entering show business in 1963. In Los Angeles, Majors studied acting with Estelle Harmon at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios. Promoted as a “new James Dean,” Majors soon began to land small parts. His breakthrough role was in the TV Western The Big Valley (1965-69). The Big Valley gave Majors a chance to learn the ropes from a veteran performer, the legendary Barbara Stanwyck. As he explained to Fox News in 2013, Stanwyck “took me under her wing. She was a disciplinarian and taught me. The main thing was to be on time, know your lines, hit your mark and keep your mouth shut.”
After The Big Valley ended, Majors appeared on another Western, The Virginian, and then the legal drama Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law. Majors next was cast in the title role in The Six Million Dollar Man, a TV movie that aired in 1973.
The Six Million Dollar Man featured Majors as Steve Austin, an astronaut who was rebuilt with bionic technology after an accident. Following this transformation, Austin went to work as an agent for a special branch of the government. The TV movie’s success led to a series, which aired from 1974 to 1978 and turned Majors into an international superstar.
After The Six Million Dollar Man, Majors enjoyed another wave of popularity with The Fall Guy (1981-86). In this action series, he played a stuntman who supplemented his income by working as a bounty hunter. In the 1980s and ’90s, Majors also revisited his iconic Six Million Dollar Man role in several TV movies.
Majors has continued to work steadily throughout his career. In recent years, he appeared on The Game, Weeds and Raising Hope. In 2013, Majors was seen on Dallas, where he shared scenes with Linda Gray. More recently, Lee has appeared in the STARZ series Ash vs Evil Dead in the recurring role of Brock Williams. In 2017, Lee reunited onscreen with Lindsay Wagner in The Hallmark Channel movie Eat, Play, Love.