Dallas: Lee Majors On How Larry Hagman Helped Lead Him To Guest Arc As Sue Ellen's Old Flame
Lee Majors attends the 23rd annual Night Of 100 Stars Oscars viewing gala at the Beverly Hills Hotel on February 24, 2013 -- Getty Images
Television legend Lee Majors is heading to "Dallas," tonight on TNT.
The ruggedly handsome star of "The Six Million Dollar Man" and "The Fall Guy" (which were actually on during "Dallas'" initial television reign) enters the drama as an old flame of Linda Gray's Sue Ellen, in a multi-episode arc, beginning Monday evening at 9/8c.
In a new interview with AccessHollywood.com , Lee shared a few hints at how his character - Ken Richards -- makes his way to town, and revealed that it was actually his old neighbor - the late Larry Hagman - who first put the idea of having the action TV star on "Dallas."
AccessHollywood.com: When did the 'Dallas' gig come about?
Lee Majors: Well, it goes back a little ways because I remember getting a call from Larry Hagman, who used to be a neighbor of mine in Malibu for many years. We were both doing our shows back in the '70s and '80s. He called me and said, 'Oh, by the way... we just got picked up for 15 more shows.'... and he was really excited. He was just like a little kid. And I said, 'Well, that's great.' And he said, 'Maybe you'll do one next season,' and I said, 'If it comes, I will.'
A little before Thanksgiving -- about a month -- I got a text from him saying that he's working on it and of course that was all it said. I assumed he meant the show, and then of course, four weeks later, he passed away. And I went over to Southfork, to 'Dallas' side... went to the memorial and I did meet some of the producers who said that Larry had mentioned me many times and I said, 'Yeah, that was very nice of him.' Anyway, a month later... I got an inquiry about availability and they wanted me to do an arc. They said it would be at least three [episodes], hopefully five... So, I did it.
It was a shame that he had passed away, but I know that he had a lot to do with it. And so whenever I walk on the set, I kind of point skyward and say, 'Thank you, Larry, for the job.' And it's tremendous working with Linda. I [had] never met Linda Gray before, but we get along great, the chemistry is really good and most of my scenes are with her -- a couple with the other kids. So it's just been a real pleasure to work on that show. Everybody the crew, the cast, everybody, it's fabulous.
Access: 'The Six Million Dollar Man,' and 'Dallas' - they kind of overlapped a little.
Lee: Yeah, it was in the '70s, and I think 'Dallas' started in '78, something like that, because I would see Larry every weekend and we would be having a little champagne. We would just enjoy each other's company. We never would discuss our work because that was the last thing you wanted to talk about. So, that's why I never really got to see much of his shows and he never got to see much of mine. I'm sure that [if] we both hadn't been working in our series' during that period, we would have done each other's shows many times. I'm sure. When I went into 'The Fall Guy,' he was still doing his 'Dallas.' Anyway, it was good to be able to do it now.
Access: What are your impressions of the new cast? Had you seen it before?