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|LEE MAJORS ON ELVIS AND CLAMBAKE
December 02, 2016 - A.V. CLUB / Elvis Express Radio
Lee Majors, (if you're over a particular age) is best known for portraying the roles of Heath Barkley in the American television Western series The Big Valley (1965–1969), Colonel
Steve Austin in the American television science fiction action series The Six Million Dollar Man (1973–1978), and Colt Seavers in American television action series The Fall Guy
You might even recognise him from the opening moments of the excellent Bill Murrey Christmas comedy "Scrooged". But his most recent appearance was in the Horror / Comedy
TV series "Ash Vs. Evil Dead. He played the role of Bruce Campbell’s father on the current season of Ash Vs. Evil Dead.
In the interview, Majors talks about his long career and also about the time he got to meet his idol Elvis Presley and even got to make an uncredited appearance in Elvis' current
Lee Majors: Elvis [Presley] and I were great friends, and I went over to [visit him at] the set at Four Star, over at the old Republic Studios. That’s where I shot Big Valley, actually.
[Hesitates.] In fact, come to think of it, the Big Valley producers were producing Clambake—[Jules V.] Levy, [Arthur] Gardner, [Arnold] Laven.
So Elvis was going to do a scene in a bar with Shelley Fabares, trying to pick her up or whatever, and in the back these waiters were wearing—oh, you know, the tasseled cup hats
that the Shriners wear.
Lee Majors: Yeah, and they were also wearing vests with gold trim and stuff. So I went and put one of those on, and then they put a mustache on me.
So I’m cleaning up a table, and Elvis is about 5 or 10 feet away from where I’m cleaning, and as he’s talking to her, I’m knocking over glasses and shit. Finally they said, “Cut!” And
he didn’t look around—he just kind of shrugged—but I think I did it three times in a row, and on the third time he turned around and said, “What the fuck are you doing?” [Laughs.] I’
m sorry, I didn’t mean to say that. “What the hockey puck are you doing?”
AVC: It’s all right. We won’t censor you here.
Lee Majors: Well, anyway, the next take, I did it right, and you can spot me back there. So, yeah, it’s me with the mustache, cleaning the table behind him. He called me “Double
Trouble,” because they did a movie where he was playing cousins [Kissin’ Cousins], and he had to play a blonde, so he played two parts and had to dye his hair blonde for the one
part. And his Memphis Mafia kept teasing him: “You look like that guy on The Big Valley, Heath Barkley!” [Laughs.] So he called me “Double Trouble,” and we used to play tricks on
each other all the time.
He’d be on stage in Vegas at the old International Hotel, and I’d come off the other side from where he’s leaning down and singing, and I’d get some scarves and bring ’em out, and
he’d hear this roaring over there from the other side of the stage, and he’d see me and go, “What the hell are you doing over there?”
We’d do stuff like that all the time. We had a good time.
It’s too bad he died so young.