"THE FAN LETTERS I ANSWER FIRST"
As told to Marco Amedeo by Lee Majors / Movieland Magazine / May 1966
"I look for a friend when I read a letter," Lee explains. "Finding I can really rely on someone gives me a great feeling! If we enjoy hearing about each other's experiences, it makes for a special tie. The lasting link that can develop provides deep satisfaction.
"When I took off from Middlesboro, Kentucky for Hollywood I had no recommendations to anyone in show business. At first I didn't know a single soul here - in show business or out. But, when you need a new friend, you can get one. What you must do, I learned, is make the two basic steps. Decide on whom you'd like to know better. Then be a friend first! If you show genuine interest in that person, express your happiness for any accomplishments, it'll be appreciated. In return, you'll be surprised by a grateful awareness of your continued interest, and in time friendship will develop.
"This can be done just as well by mail - one of my further discoveries. The other day, while straightening out some things, I found autographed memories. When I was in junior high I secretly wrote to two favorite actressess asking for their pictures, and I still have them. In high school I went out for sports and wrote to some guys on college teams telling them how much I admired their skill. I proudly showed my replies to my buddies. My ambition to earn an athletic scholarship and graduate from a university eventually crystallized. I regret," Lee laughs, "that I didn't realize at a younger age, it takes more than a request for a picture to get a letter back.
"Self-pity doesn't appeal to me because I had to lick it. I had my teacher's certificate that got me a job as a playground supervisor for the Los Angeles Parks Department. But I began losing confidence when I studied with a drama coach and the chance I wanted didn't come. I had to recognize I wasn't ready for it.
"To straighten myself out, I became a student of positive thinking. Now I don't believe in luck at all. I know there is a cause for every effect. If bad things happen to me, it means I've done something wrong.
"I'm eager to answer someone who isn't afraid to to be serious in an up-beat way. But I don't like pushy people. You don't have to force issues - your attitude means a lot. It should be sincere.
"I'm happy to be specific about my dating. Patti Chandler is the only girl I have dated in the last six months, except for the one time I went out with Jill St. John when she was working on The Big Valley.
"I love to surprise fans who write me, whenever possible. An eight year old boy who wrote for a picture lives on my way home, so I simply stopped and handed it to him. He and his folks were so astonished they didn't say one word. A twelve year old girl in a suburb of Los Angeles wrote me every day for four months. One day she included her phone number. I called her up, talked to her two older sisters and I'm having them and their parents come to the studio as my guests next week. Whenever, I go on a personal appearance tour I take the names of fans from cities where I'll be, who've written me, so I can phone from my hotel and personally say, "Thank you for writing to me." It's fun on both sides to find you have a new friend!"
Lee has a special fondness for animals. His own menagerie includes dogs, rabbits, this darling burro and maybe half dozen more