Gladys Knight and Farrah Fawcett both have a $6 million tie to Boulder City. That tie is actor Lee Majors.
Recently, I was standing in line at Grace Community Church’s annual Country Store when I received a tip from a fan who didn’t want to be named. She stated that Majors and actress Fawcett often came through Boulder City because they had a place in the Pickle City area of Temple Bar Marina on the Arizona side of Lake Mead.
Majors is known mostly for his iconic role as Steve Austin, a former astronaut with bionic implants, on ABC’s television series “The Six Million Dollar Man.”
While many know him for this role, most people don’t know he got his start playing opposite Joan Crawford in the 1964 horror movie “Strait-Jacket.” Majors’ role as Crawford’s husband in the movie actually went uncredited, which is odd as his role as a cheating husband who gets decapitated by his wife was vital to the film’s plot.
It was during his success with “The Six Million Dollar Man” that the actor met a beautiful woman from Texas. Still green behind the ears in 1968, Fawcett and Majors hit it off and fell in love. The actress was a loyal wife who had an acting contract demanding she would be home in time to cook Majors dinner every night.
As time passed, Majors’ success dwindled and Fawcett slowly became the original branding queen. Think the Kardashians, but with far more class. This success created distance and ultimately a rift in the couple’s marriage.
Fawcett-Majors (as she was known at the time) became a television icon with her role on “Charlie’s Angels.” She walked away from the show after one season to go on to work on other films, Broadway and branding. Rumors circled that Majors didn’t like her new filming schedule or her new sex symbol status.
Fawcett also penned a deal with Faberge to promote a line of “Farrah” beauty products, which included 7,000 versions of shampoo and hair-care products worldwide. All of these efforts required time away from Majors.
The couple, however, was trying to work on finding middle ground, which included time out of the limelight and right in our own backyard. In my research, I found an old article online from the National Enquirer featuring a picture of Majors’ house at Temple Bar. In the article he was described by neighbors as “down-to-earth” and the couple’s home as “humble.”
Majors would fish for bass and eat at the local diner. He was also trying to fight for his marriage during some of his stays. While Fawcett would sometimes stay at the home and do puzzles with her husband, the end of “The Six Million Dollar Man” for Majors and the start of Fawcett’s branding pulled half of the couple away from Hollywood while steering the other half toward it.
Something had to be sacrificed, and for Majors and Fawcett it was their marriage.
The couple officially divorced in 1982 and their getaway home at Temple Bar has since been torn down.
Songwriter Jim Weatherly wrote “Midnight Train to Georgia” based on Majors and Fawcett’s marriage and something Fawcett once said to him about taking a midnight plane home to Texas. Of course, Weatherly used creative license to change a few details and Knight turned the song into an international success.
Years later, the Beastie Boys went on to pen the song “Lee Majors Come Again,” introducing the actor’s work to a new generation.
Life is funny. Sometimes what we work for and think we want isn’t at all what we need or what is meant to be. For Majors and Fawcett, they were destined for different things, but they both left an amazing legacy for us to appreciate, which is why “Strait-Jacket” is my Throwback Thursday movie recommendation.
Tanya Vece’s weekly Hollywood blog can be found at TanyaVeceBook.com. Tanya is the author of “The Meaning of Eclipse” and operates as an independent marketer.