Who comes to mind when you think of Lee Majors? Col. Steve Austin, who could run as fast as the wind, leap over really high fences in a single bound, and zero-in on a wee mouse a mile away, thanks to that crazy bionic eyeball of his? Or do you know him as Heath Barkley in the western TV series, The Big Valley — a role Burt Reynolds was vying for, but – get this — lost to Majors? Well, not only did he beat Burt Reynolds out of a movie role when he was still but a young’un, but Majors has been acting for 47 years now, so when you think of him, you may think of a whole bunch of characters. Of all those characters, he thinks of himself rather like Colt Seavers, of The Fall Guy, he tells PopMatters 20 Questions.
Holiday gift alert: TimeLife is releasing a 40-DVD set of The Six Million Dollar Man: The Complete Series 23 November, covered here with videos on PopMatters: Mixed Media.
Want more of the man? Watch for him in the movie version of The Big Valley (directed by Daniel Adams) playing, as 47-years would in the industry would have it, the father to his role in the 1965 TV Series.
1. The latest book or movie that made you cry?
Movie: The Blind Side. Book: The Lone Survivor by Luttrell and Robinson.
2. The fictional character most like you?
Colt Seavers from the TV series The Fall Guy. I was able to be myself in this show as opposed to portraying a character I would have to completely invent.
3. The greatest album, ever?
Donna Summers and Gloria Gaynor “hits”.
4.Star Trek or Star Wars?
Actually, I was always into westerns. My hero’s were Roy Rogers and Gene Autry.
5. Your ideal brain food?
Studying my football charts to pick winners for the weekend games.
6. You’re proud of this accomplishment, but why?
I’m proud I’ve been able to work as an actor for 47 years. It’s not an easy accomplishment in this business.
7. You want to be remembered for…?
Doing three major television series, which three different generations of kids could enjoy.
8. Of those who’ve come before, the most inspirational are?
Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Billy Graham, Paul Newman and Steve McQueen.
9. The creative masterpiece you wish bore your signature?
The US Constitution or The Declaration of Independence.
10. Your hidden talents…?
My wife Faith says I’m a comedian and that I can sing. (I sang the theme song to The Fall Guy, “The Unknown Stuntman”.)
11. The best piece of advice you actually followed?
On my first audition for The Big Valley TV series my agent Dick Clayton advised me to ask to audition a second time. I did and it worked, I was more relaxed, less nervous and did a great audition and got the part!
12. The best thing you ever bought, stole, or borrowed?
My first purchase of an automobile. A 1966 Buick Riviera, chocolate brown color. I also drove it from Los Angeles to New Orleans by myself in my early 20s.
13. You feel best in Armani or Levis or…?
I feel most comfortable in Levi’s, most dignified in Armani.
14. Your dinner guest at the Ritz would be?
Lee Majors as Steve Austin in The Six Million Dollar Man
– photo courtesy of TimeLife
15. Time travel: where, when and why?
Space, anytime. Having played astronaut “Col. Steve Austin” in The Six Million Dollar Man, I worked with NASA at Cape Canaveral filming scenes in an actual rocket space capsule.
16. Stress management: hit man, spa vacation or Prozac?
Spa vacation, Hawaii, Fiji, Australia.
17. Essential to life: coffee, vodka, cigarettes, chocolate, or…?
Someone who loves you and that you love unconditionally. And of course a little chocolate is nice!
18. Environ of choice: city or country, and where on the map?
A log cabin by a lake in Montana.
19. What do you want to say to the leader of your country?
Stop spending money that we the people don’t have!!!
20. Last but certainly not least, what are you working on, now?
Getting ready to start filming the movie The Big Valley soon. It’s based on my first TV series of the same name. Ironically I play the father of my original character “Heath Barkley” when I was 24-years-old.