Lee Majors and Farrah Fawcett were two of the leading stars of the 1970s
For years it was the image that adorned the bedroom walls of millions of teens.
Farrah Fawcett, her golden hair tumbling over her shoulders and onto her red swimsuit, was at the height of her Charlie’s Angels fame, and her proud TV star then-husband Lee Majors had a key role in that pop culture moment.
“I picked out the poster,” Majors tells PEOPLE with a smile. The famous one? “The famous one! I picked out the picture. You probably don’t know why! That’s the biggest selling poster ever.”
Majors’ reflections (almost 10 years after Fawcett died of cancer) came as he pulled up another image, showing him and Fawcett, on a July 1977 cover of PEOPLE, running toward the camera, highlighting the new craze of jogging.
Majors, now 80, and Fawcett were two of the leading stars of the age, heading up the Six Million Dollar Man and Charlie’s Angels TV shows. He says they remained “in communication toward the end.”
He is talking as he takes on a new role, mirroring the danger-man role of Six Million’s Steve Austin as Jeff in kids show, Thunderbirds Are Go. The U.K. series is a re-working of the classic puppet-made show of the ‘80s and ’90s.
“I’m the father who supposedly was lost in space years before. They review it and they think there’s still a chance that he may be out there,” Majors explains. “They see signs of life and they do find me and they bring me back. It is a great homecoming episode and it’s quite fun — rejoining the Tracy family as the patriarch.”
“I felt I was re-doing The Six Million Dollar Man. Up in the cockpit, ‘I’m losing it, I’m going to crash!’” he adds. “I remember them in the ’60s when they were popular. Now that they’ve re-booted, it seems to be quite popular again.”
When Majors and Fawcett were at the height of their fame, “it was hard to get around. It was not quite as hard as it is today with everyone has a cellphone and the social media is so quick. Back then we only had to deal with the paparazzi at large. A lot of time you could evade them, but not all the time.”
Introduced by his publicist, he took Fawcett for a coffee “so that started that. It was very quick, and it lasted about almost 12 years,” he says. “But there was a year or so when I think I saw her two weeks in one year. It’s very difficult with careers like that. This business is tough. Working 14 hours a day, both of you, and the days went by.”
Married in 1973, they separated in 1979 and divorced in 1982. He is proud of the fact that his current wife, Faith, has been with him for more than 23 years. “It is a record in Hollywood,” Majors, 80, says with another smile.
After starting out in westerns alongside actresses like Barbara Stanwick and Linda Evans, he would act as much of his action-man roles as possible. “I look back now and think I wish I’d used my stuntman a little more. My knees are a little wobbly and you feel your aches and pains,” he says. “Doing the stuntwork … made the day go faster and when you’re younger you feel invincible anyway. Now I don’t know why I did it!”
“I find enjoyment in every role that I do. An actor’s job is to work and if you sit around waiting for great, great parts you’ll still be sitting around. I just like to keep working and keep moving.”
He will burst into Thunderbirds Are Go toward the end of the season. “It will end on a big moment. If they go for a fourth season, which I hope they do, then maybe my part will have worked,” Majors jokes. “You’ll see how good I was if they don’t get picked up!”
Thunderbirds Are Go season 3B returns May 18 and will air Saturdays at 8 a.m. on ITV & CITV.