How much is Lee Majors worth?
|Net Worth:||$25 Million|
|Date of Birth:||April 23, 1939 (age 83)|
|Country:||United States of America|
|Height:||6 ft (1.83 m)|
“I started out wanting to coach football.” Lee Majors
About Lee Majors
Lee Majors, whose real full name is Harvey Lee Yeary, is an American film, television, and video actor and producer. He’s best known for his work in the television series The Big Valley, The Six Million Dollar Man, and The Fall Guy.
“Acting is a tough business, and the percentage of people who make it is very low – it’s about 1 percent.” Lee Majors
Lee Majors eventually became famous when he first landed his major role in a television series, particularly in the Western fan favorite The Big Valley. His real name is Harvey Lee Yeary and he was born on April 23, 1939, in Wyandotte, Michigan. At the age of one, he lost both of his parents (Carl and Alice Yeary) in separate accidents. He was then adopted by his aunt and uncle and moved with them to Middlesboro, Kentucky.
During his time in Middlesboro High School, he was a major fan of track and football. After his high school graduation in 1957, he earned a scholarship and ended the Indiana University, where he was once again heavily involved with the aforementioned sports. “I did a few plays, and then I went to L.A., because I knew I could get a coaching job there,” Lee Majors has said.
In 1959, he transferred to the Eastern Kentucky University. After a fatal injury, he was forced to stop playing football so he turned his attention to acting. In the early 1960s, he began performing in plays at various theatres in his area such as Pioneer Playhouse, Regal Crow Canyon, and Century Blackhawk Plaza.
He began acting professionally in 1962 just after he earned his bachelor’s degree in history and physical education from the Kentucky University. His film debut came with an uncredited role in the 1964 horror film Strait-Jacket. The following year, he made his television debut in the series Gunsmoke, from which he earned an estimated $500.
His big break came in the Western series The Big Valley, where he played the role of Heath Barkley and for which he was chosen out of 400 young actors. He remained on the show for its entirety from September 1965 to May 1969, and, earned a total of an estimated $500,000. Throughout the rest of the decade, he also took part in other projects such as Will Penny, Midnight Cowboy, The Ballad of Andy Crocker, and The Liberation of L.B. Jones.
“I’ve never seen a schedule where you just go in two hours almost every day of the week and then all day on one day. Then you shoot it at night with an audience and you’re out of there.” Lee Majors
In the early 1970s, he became a regular cast member of the legal drama Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law, which was critically-acclaimed during all of its three seasons. For his role of Jess Brandon in the ABC series, he earned an estimated $650,000.
Since the late 1970s, Majors also became a director with his directing debut coming in the television movie Just a Little Inconvenience. Throughout the rest of his career, starting the 1980s, Majors established himself as one of the best-paid actors and directors in America. He landed main roles in the television series The Fall Guy, Tour of Duty, Raven, and The Game.
“I’ve had disappointments and heartbreaks and setbacks and roles I didn’t get, but something always came along that either made me better or was an even better role,” Lee Majors has said.
In 1973, Lee landed perhaps his breakthrough (and most well-received role) in a television series, that of Steve Austin in the television movie The Six Million Dollar Man. The television movie was turned into a regular series that gathered international success and were screened in more than 70 countries. The hit series not only helped him become a millionaire but also turned him into a pop icon that got a lot more opportunities.
Concurrently with portraying characters in films, he also became a voice actor with some of his most notable roles being in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, G.I. Joe: Renegades, Robot Chicken, and Thunderbirds Are Go. Through his acting on television and in films, as well as his voice acting, Lee Majors has earned a substantial net worth and below one can take a look at it.
Majors’ Total Net Worth
A significant portion of Lee Majors’ early career earnings came from his appearances in 99 episodes of The Six Million Dollar Man. Playing the lead role of Steve Austin, Majors earned a reported $50,000 per episode in seasons three, four and five. For the first season it is likely that he was paid $10,000 per episode and for the second season, $25,000 per episode.
- The first season included 19 episodes and at a rate of $10,000 per episode, earned Majors a likely salary of about $190,000.
- For the second season at a rate of $25,000 per episode and with 22 episodes, he will have earned $550,000.
- Then for seasons three, four and five, at a rate of $50,000 per episode and a total of 66 episodes, Lee Majors earned $3.3 million.
None of these figures are being adjusted for inflation because in an effort to work out Majors’ net worth, it is important to note that $50,000 cash today is the same as $50,000 cash back in 1978. If it had been kept in a bank and not spent, it is still $50,000. It could have purchased a lot more back in 1978 of course, in fact $50,000 adjusted for inflation in 2022, would be the equivalent of $227,000 today.
It is not clear what Lee Majors did with the money that he earned from The Six Million Dollar Man, it was a lot after all, a total of $4.04 million by 1978. The equivalent of $18 million in 2022 inflation adjusted dollars. It is concluded that he invested some, spent some, perhaps lost some.
Lee Majors has 128 acting credits to his name and still appears regularly in new films and in TV series. The bulk of his net worth however was earned before the year 2000. In fact, and not including The Six Million Dollar Man, it is estimated that Lee Majors earned $20 million from his 60 or more appearances starting from 1964-2000.
He has appeared in about another 60 films and TV series since the year 2000-2022. It is estimated that he earned as much as $15 million from those appearances when including his producing credits that have dated back to 1977. Majors produced 72 episodes of The Fall Guy between 1985-1986. Also included in the above $15 million are all of his appearances that he has made as himself over the years, dating back to 1966.
In total, Lee Majors’ career earnings are estimated at about $39 million dollars. However he would still have had to pay quite some tax on that. There may be a few legal loopholes here and there which an actor may have benefited from, but still, Majors’ average earnings over the last 40 years have been $975,000 per year. He earned more in some years, and less in others. Overall it is estimated that he paid 40% of his earnings in tax. His after tax earnings are therefore $23.4 million, having paid $15.6 million in taxes.
Majors has likely realized some investment gains since the end of “The Six Million Dollar Man”, in 1978. It is estimated that he may have earned investment gains of some $8 million after tax on all of his earnings, that is also including property appreciation and in the stock market. His total lifetime earnings are therefore estimated to be $31.4 million. He will have had to make various miscellaneous payments, agent and management fees, pay for his living costs, and so on, not to mention, settle with three different women in three divorces.
His first wife, Kathy Robinson, Majors married in 1961 and later was divorced from in 1964. This was in the earliest days of Majors career, he had not appeared in any films and was only in post-production for Strait-Jacket. The divorce would likely have not cost him much financially at the time. However because they had a child together, Lee Majors II. Over time it is estimated that $800,000 went in that direction.
His second wife was actress, Farrah Fawcett. The couple were married in 1973 and later divorced in 1982. During the marriage Fawcett’s career was perhaps as valuable as Majors, when they parted it seems that they may not have been ordered to pay each other anything. There was some argument over the house which allegedly Majors claimed was largely his because he made a $57,000 down payment on it prior to the couple’s wedding in July 1973. It seems that when they enlarged the property both Majors and Fawcett paid $1.5 million each demonstrating the nature of the relationship. One of the stories goes that, in the end of their relationship, Fawcett had run off with his best friend Ryan O’Neal. She was a free minded woman. Fawcett and O’Neal were later married.
Majors next married Karen Velez in 1988 and over a decade later split and divorced in 1994. Karen Velez was a model and it is estimated that she possessessed a low net worth, perhaps less than $500,000. In the time that they were together Majors earned $5-10 million and was likely ordered to pay $2.5 to Karen in a settlement payment as part of their divorce. That number may have since increased to a total of $3.5 million since Majors and Velez have three children together; Nikki, Dane Luke and Trey Kulley. Finally, Lee Majors became married with Faith Majors and it seems has lived happily ever after.
Outside of the three marriages that eventually ended in divorce, there have been some reports that at times Majors would drink and quite heavily. It is unclear whether this behavior negatively impacted his net worth, it is concluded, that yes, it did some damage to his finances and not only his health. Generally though, Majors is concluded to have been as steady with his finances as he was in his acting work. When totally everything up, it looks like an accurate net worth figure for Lee Majors is $25 million.
Lee Majors is a critically-acclaimed actor and producer who began his career in the 1960s. Since then, he has made a name for himself and after his brilliant performance in the fan favorite The Six Million Dollar Man, he became a pop icon. In addition to his work in the film industry, since April 1983 he has become a co-owner of the LA Express team from the US Football League. Presently, at the age of 81, with an estimated net worth of $25 million, he continues to work as not only an actor and director but as a businessman as well.