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Stump The Staff
Stump The Staff
by Greg Bulmash - Senior Editor
March 24, 1999
Once a month we'll be departing from the briefs format to take a
more in-depth look at a single celebrity. This month, our in-depth
profilee is Lee Majors, better known to children of the '70s as "The
Six Million Dollar Man."
We start with Lee in late 1996 when he was online. To promote
Quicken's new insuremarket.com, where you can get quotes and buy
insurance online, Lee helped with the roll-out press conference and
bought a term life policy online through the site. The coverage
amount? Six million dollars, of course.
This was quickly followed with a guest appearance on CBS' "Promised
Land" in November of '96. That was followed by a January '97 "where
are they now" piece in Entertainment Weekly which sparked a bit of a
rumor fest. Within days of the publication of the EW piece, the
online gossip column, Cyber Sleaze seemingly maliciously warped the
facts of Lee's volunteer work at his daughter's school as a "lunch
dad," claiming he was making "a living for himself - as a school
cafeteria worker." Considering that Cyber Sleaze took quotes right
from the EW piece, it's obvious they'd read it, but their claims of
his making a living at it were, in the kindest wording possible, an
At the same time that Sleaze was sleazily starting malicious rumors,
the EW piece was citing Lee's work in the films Rescue Me (currently
on video - with Will Friedle and Jennifer Love Hewitt - airing this
Saturday, March 27, on MoMax at 3:30 a.m.) and The Protector (coming
to video March 30th - produced by Roger Corman, starring Ed
Also in 1997 he was developing a show in which he played a NASCAR
driver, to be shot in Florida where he lives with his family, but
the pilot was never picked up to go to series. But he would be seen
on TV again quite a bit with the Sci-Fi Channel re-running "The Six
Million Dollar Man," Fx re-running "The Fall Guy," and co-starring
in the made-for-cable flick The Lost Treasure of Dos Santos. If that
wasn't enough, he was also the spokesman for the Bio-Back back
support belt, doing an infomercial for it with sports figures Eddie
Arcaro and Whitey Ford.
Open 1998 and Lee's in Dallas in January at a trade show
demonstrating the Bio-Back from 11-3 daily and making himself
available to local journalists for interviews in the off hours.
We started with Lee's $6,000,000 insurance policy to show that he's
got a sense of humor about his cult status, but he went on to
downright parody it later in 1998, appearing in a series of
commercials for the Colorado State Lottery. Dressed up in his red
Steve Austin jogging suit, he jogged around and encountered lottery
winners. The concept was that they were also multi-million-dollar
people because of their multi-million-dollar wins. An example of
this could be found in his encounter with $7 million winner, Bill
Majors: "Bill, Bill, Bill. Seven million, huh? I bet you're
Penell: "No, I don't think so."
Majors: "Well, there's only one way to find out. Arm wrestle."
The final shot is of Penell rubbing his arm.
Majors: "Gee, Bill, I'm really sorry man. For $7 million, I thought
you had something."
The series won a number of awards in a recent awards ceremony in
Denver for Colorado regional advertising. The one that won for Best
of Show was called "Tea." In it, Lee meets up with Mary Cunningham,
a $1.6 million winner. His challenge this time... despite all the
stuff she's acquired (new house, new car), she still doesn't have
her own sound effects. He then makes "beeping sounds."
Most recently Lee popped up on TV in December of last year in a
guest shot on "Walker, Texas Ranger" where he played an evil
sherrif. And next month, Lee turns 59.
As for the long-rumored theatrical movie adaptation of the series,
well, that seems to have fallen into development limbo. When I
looked into it in 1997, Richard "Oscar Goldman" Anderson was
producing it at Universal. Originally they'd hired Kevin Smith
(Clerks, Dogma) to write the script, but for whatever reason, they
decided it wasn't good enough. Joss Whedon ("Buffy The Vampire
Slayer") was purportedly brought on. And then... There were rumors
of another writer taking over from Wheedon, but they were countered
with rumors of executive shuffling causing the project to lose its
support. Then if you add in the housecleaning they did at Universal
after their financially disastrous 1998, plus all the buying and
selling of business units going on... I won't pronounce the project
completely dead, but it's been buried alive and is slowly
We don't have any authorized photos to display here, but if you want
then-and-now photos, we do have links to where you can find some.
Then: The Sci-Fi Channel's official site with bionic image gallery.
Now: The Bio-Back