Lee Majors Net Worth: The Financial Legacy of a TV Legend

Lee Majors’ net worth is $15 million in 2024. The bulk of his wealth comes from a stellar acting career that reached its highest peaks in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s when he headlined several hit TV series such as The Big Valley, The Fall Guy, and The Six Million Dollar Man.

The fame from these TV series helped Major to land endorsement deals with several companies, and he was featured in adverts for many others, further boosting his net worth. He also made many investments over the years. All these now account for the wealth that the 84 year-old is enjoying.

What is Lee Majors’ Net Worth?

Lee Majors has a net worth of $15 million in 2024, much of which comes from his acting career. He has also made several investments over the years. Majors is certainly not the richest actor out there, but one cannot take away the fact that he has done quite well for himself, seeing as he grew up an orphan following the death of his parents while quite young.

Adopted and trained by his paternal uncle, Lee Majors played football in college and aspired to be a coach. It was while working towards this dream in Los Angeles that an agent suggested he try taking acting classes. As they say, the rest is history.

Lee Majors’ Net Worth Sources

  • Acting income
  • Endorsement deals
  • Investments

Lee Majors Net Worth Milestones over the Years

Year Net Worth
Lee Majors Net Worth in 19790s $1 million
Lee Majors Net Worth in 1980s $2 million
Lee Majors Net Worth in 2000s $10 million
Lee Majors Net Worth in 2010s $12 million
Lee Majors Net Worth in 2023 $15 million

 

The Big Valley is one of the Early Contributors to Lee Majors’ Net Worth

One of the first jobs that Lee Majors landed upon leaving college was as a recreation director of a north Hollywood park. It was in the course of fulfilling his responsibilities that he eventually met those who urged him to utilize his natural good looks and take a shot at acting.

He took some acting classes and, by the age of 25, landed a small role in the 1964 thriller Strait-Jacket. It was uncredited, but he pocketed tens if not hundreds of dollars for it. Lee’s pay improved with his next two acting gigs, one-off appearances in the TV shows Gunsmoke and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, and he soon got his breakthrough in the Western TV series The Big Valley, which ran from 1965 to 1969.

The Big Valley revolved around the Barkleys, a wealthy ranch-owning family whose patriarch had just died. They are upstanding members of the community but soon experience some turmoil after an unknown illegitimate son of their late father, Heath, comes forward. Lee Majors portrayed Heath perfectly and brought all the facets of his character to life. He was, therefore, critical to the success of The Big Valley.

Lee Majors appeared in all five seasons of the show in a total of 97 episodes. His salary isn’t public, but TV stars were paid thousands of dollars per week in that era, meaning that he may have earned up to or even above $100,000 for his troubles.

Lee Majors
Lee Majors (2nd from left) in The Big Valley Image Source

Impact of The Six Million Dollar Man on Lee Majors’ Net Worth

The one project that has arguably had the biggest impact on Lee Majors’s net worth is The Six Million Dollar Man. The Six Million Dollar Man started out as a TV movie in 1973, and in it, Majors played the lead role of Steve Austin, a United States Air Force Colonel who is grievously injured during a mission. He gets bionic legs, arms, and an eye in a super-secret government project and becomes an operative for the government.

The Six Million Dollar Man was so popular when it debuted that the production company quickly turned it into a TV series in 1974. It ran for five years, and during this period, Lee Majors portrayed the lead role of Steve Austin. He appeared in as many as 99 episodes, and the show registered impressive ratings each week. He won accolades such as the TV Land Award for Superest Superhero (2003) and enjoyed a juicy contract with the studio.

It is hard to decipher the exact amount that was involved in this contract, but Lee Majors earned millions for appearing on The Six Million Dollar Man. He was thus able to build a net worth of tens of millions of dollars. This was quite handsome by any standard, but by 1977, there was a contractual dispute between him and his employers (Universal Television Group), and he refused to come on set.

The studios alleged that Lee Majors was holding out for more money, but he denied this and insisted that money was not the problem and that he wanted his own production company to come on board. The dispute snowballed into a lawsuit, but it did not see the light of day as the parties involved reached a resolution. The exact terms of this resolution are not given, but by the end of the whole thing, Lee Majors got 15% of the net profit of the series.

Lee Majors
Image Source

Lee Majors Sued Universal for The Six Million Dollar Man Profits in 2003

The most iconic work that Lee Majors did in his acting career remains his Six Million Dollar Man role, and he often reminisces about it fondly these days. There is, however, one sour point for him, and that is the belief that Universal does not want to keep their end of the bargain and remit his 15% share of profits back to him.

The Six Million Dollar Man is a huge franchise that has spurned a very popular action figure toy collection. There are also reruns of the series on TV, and there is a boxed set that features all the seasons and episodes, which fans love purchasing. Lee Majors, however, claims that despite all the income generated over the years, Universal never agreed that they had made any profit, and so, they have refused to give him his share.

In 2003, which was 25 years after the original run of The Six Million Dollar Man, Lee Majors sued Universal Television Group for shortchanging him. He accused the studio of failing to abide by the deal that entitled him to 15% profit and said that they have never paid him a dime under the profit-sharing deal. He challenged the accuracy of their accounting, which said that the series was still in the red.

Universal refused to comment on the lawsuit, and it is not known what the eventual outcome was. However, it is believed that Majors did not get a settlement from them as he still complained about the whole situation in a 2016 interview. He bemoaned the fact that Universal’s accountants always claimed that the series was in the red and quipped that if he had them as his accountants, he would never pay taxes.

Lee Majors Turned Down $24 Million for One More Season of The Fall Guy

Another TV series that has helped cement Lee Majors’ legacy in Hollywood and buoyed his net worth is The Fall Guy, which ran from 1981 to 1986. In it, Majors played the lead role of Colt Seavers, a film stunts man who also moonlights as a bounty hunter. Once more, he gave a performance that was mesmerizing, and millions tuned in to watch him weekly. The studios were quite happy with him and paid him a salary that was also millions of dollars each year.

He smiled to the bank, but filming and doing his own stunts took quite a toll on him, and he decided to end the show in 1986. The studios pleaded with Lee Majors to reconsider his decision and even pledged to pay him $24 million for one more year, but he refused, something that made his agent and manager cry.

Lee Majors now regrets turning down the offer but appreciates the positive impact that the decision had on his mental and physical well-being, which has helped his career longevity.

Lee Majors
Lee Majors (red shirt) on The Fall Guy poster Image Source

Transition to Film Roles and the Influence on Lee Majors’ Net Worth

Film roles have also contributed to Lee Majors’ net worth. Although his most notable outings have occurred on the small screens, the Michigan native has appeared in several movies over the years, and they are Weekend of Terror, The Norseman, Killer Fish, The Last Chase, Keaton’s Cop, and Just A Little Inconvenience.

Others are Renegades, Big Fat Liar, Ben 10: Race Against Time, Do You Believe?, Arizona Summer, Lightspeed, The Brothers Solomon, etc. Lee Majors is also set to feature in the 2024 film The Fall Guy. It is an adaptation of the TV series that made him popular back in the day, and he has expressed his excitement about the role. He has also stated that he would also like to play a part in any new The Six Million Dollar Man movie.

Of course, it goes without saying that the income from Lee Major’s film appearances runs into tens of millions of dollars and has also been a fantastic addition to his net worth.

Key Collaborations that Solidified Lee Majors’ Position in Hollywood

Lee Majors is not picky about the directors and producers that he works with, but he does have a few frequent collaborators, and one of them is Glen Larson, who has produced and directed several well-known works. Larson produced both The Six Million Dollar Man and The Fall Guy, two works that paid Majors tens of millions of dollars. It was also Larson who produced the Western TV series Alias Smith and Jones, which Lee Majors also featured in.

Alias Smith and Jones ran from 1971 to 1973 on ABC and focused on two outlaw cousins, Hannibal Heyes, and Jedidiah Curry, who want to reform their lives and walk on the narrow path. They strike a deal for clemency with the state governor but strictly on his terms.
Alias Smith and Jones featured Pete Duel and Ben Murphy as the cousins and Majors guest starred. It was a key collaboration that contributed to the success he enjoys in the industry.

Endorsement Deals and Sponsorships Boosting Lee Majors’ Earnings

Lee Majors’ portrayal of The Six Million Dollar Man made him quite a popular fellow in Hollywood, and before long, the endorsement and sponsorship deals were rolling in. Majors has been featured in ads for companies such as Intel, Diet Rite Cola, and ING. Also, in 2018, he did a voiceover for a commercial for Japanese car maker Honda to advertise their Honda CRV using The Six Million Dollar Man action figure.

Back in 2010, Lee Majors partnered with a company to produce and launch the Lee Majors Bionic Hearing Aid, which assists people who have hearing difficulties. The actor appeared in the advert for the over-the-counter product, which was retailed for about $300 apiece.

Behind the Scenes Investments Broadening Lee Majors’ Wealth Spectrum

Lee Majors is someone who believes that it is not just enough to earn income and let it sit in one’s savings account. The actor is always on the lookout for lucrative investment opportunities, and he has made several investments over the years. Some of these investments have yielded much fruit over the years, thus increasing his net worth. Others have, however, been unfruitful.

For instance, back in April 1983, Lee Majors bought a major stake in and became part owner of the Los Angeles Express, a football team that played in the United States Football League (a rival league to the NFL). The league did well for three years before eventually folding up in 1986 with a loss of over $163 million. It is quite likely that Majors lost some millions as nothing indicates that he sold his stake in Los Angeles Express before the fall of the USFL.

Another bad investment that Lee Majors made was back in 1980 when he put $3.2 million in an oil drilling rig company that failed. Majors made the investment amid the oil boom in Oklahoma and relied on the counsel of a close pal of his, Vaughn Good, who ran the company. When the company later failed, Lee Majors sued Good and his wife, Laura, alleging that the company was not run properly.

He alleged that the couple used company funds to pay personal bills and buy expensive oil-field equipment, which they sold and retained its profits. He also said that they invested funds in oil wells. Lee Majors lost $1 million of his investment and was not the only one who sued the Goods. A businessman named Ray Davis also sued the couple, pointing out that he had lost $1.5 million.

Lee Majors and Ray Davis asked for $4.9 million total in damages, and the jury ended up awarding them a little above $1 million. It is not known the amount that Lee Majors recouped as Vaughn had already filed for bankruptcy by then, and the courts capped Laura’s liability at $90,000.

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