Modern Screen – August 1977

“They don’t coral each other. They give each other freedom.” So says no less a personage than Sonny Bono of the relationship between Farrah Fawcett and Lee Majors.

So what else is new? For months, the rumors about Lee and Farrah’s marriage have ranged from its being over to its being ideal. And the truth lies, as with all things, somewhere in the middle.

Before Farrah’s meteoric rise to superstardom, she was a wife foremost and a succesful model and aspiring actress only secondarily. She was home when Lee wanted her to be and could do all the simple things, like going to the supermarket, without having to stop and “sign about 40 autographs everytime.” Now a houseboy does all those little everday chores, and a housekeeper does most of the cooking. Since she has become the most popular “Angel” around, the Majors’ time together is limited. They both work long days, and often nights, and when they do get to see each other, there’s barely enough energy left between them to say more than goodnight.

One would think, however, that since they both have decided to leave their respective successful series for independent, and joint ventures, that their time would be increased considerably. Than now, finally, Farrah would be able to be a true wife to Lee and pick up where she left off a year ago. Apparently, and according to many varied sources, this is not the case. Network officials had claimed that despite all reports to the contrary, both Lee and Farrah would be on hand when their shows began shooting for the Fall; that they would fulfill their respective contractual obligations even if they had to be hauled to court to accomplish it. Now, it may come to that. For when production resumed for the opening Fall installment of Farrah’s series, she failed to show up for filming.

Bret Garwood, the executive co-ordinator for Angels’ producers, explained: “We’re still in negotiations with Farrah…..She obviously doesn’t want to do the series any more, so we are going ahead without her, that’s all……” She did offer to make guest appearances, gradually phasing herself out of the show. That ideas was turned down. However, Cheryl Ladd, wife of Alan Ladd’s son, David, has signed for the series. She’ll play Farrah’s younger sister if Farrah returns, and if she doesn’t , Cheryl will be a fully-fledged Angel.

Meanwhile, rather than spending all this new-found free time together, the Majors seem to be going their own separate ways.

Item: While Lee was in Canada shooting his new film, Farrah was in Texas, appearing in a celebrity tennis tournament, and according to observers, refusing to play with anyone but her good friend, Vince Van Patten (TV’s “Bionic Boy”). This naturally added fuel to the fire of separation rumors, denied vehemently by all concerned.

Item: A spokesman for Farrah’s agents admitted to the press that “Farrah and Lee won’t be seeing a lot of each other over the next few months.” No further explanations were forthcoming.

Item: In defense of their “you go your way I’ll go mine” type of existence, Farrah has said, “Lee gives me my freedom and I do the same with him.”

Item: The Majors’ manager, Jay Bernstein, says openly, “They live their own lives; they give each other room.”

It seems everyone has something to say, and all the comments seem to indicate that for two people who claim to be so much in love, they are showing it in strange ways.

Not a few are chalking this separate-togetherness up to Lee’s jealously of Farrah’ startling success in Charlie’s Angels. “There’s a good case for jealously,” someone who worked with Lee said. “Before Farrah was a star, she was really sweet and loving. Once she became a personality, it changed. Lee got very jealous of all the publicity she was getting, and not being able to go anywhere without Farrah being mobbed.”

And Lee who loves to go nightclubbing and partying, has found it nearly impossible to appear anywhere with his gorgeous wife. He laments the fact that he can no longer sneak around without being recognized, and it’s even harder when he’s with Farrah.

Lee longs to have a real family, complete with children. They talked about it, even about a year ago, and decided to have a baby. But then came the golden opportunity Farrah couldn’t afford to miss, and Lee told her, “There goes another baby,” But, he claims, “I’m not jealous of her or her career…. If she becomes a really big star, then I can sit back and say, “Well, maybe I’ve had a little something to with her success.”

“And so what if she overshadows me. My biggest ambition is to retire and go fishing a lot.”
Farrah herself admits the difficulty that has accompanied her superstar status.

“There are bound to be problems because of the work pressures and because we’re not together as much as some married couples,” she says.

“We don’t always agree about our shows and our lifestyles, but then, how many people really do?”

Which brings us right back to Sonny Bono, a good friend to both of them, who is among those who thumb their noses at the tales of marriage trouble.

“They’re going to make it. They’re going to be fine.” And Sonny, who is no novice at seeing the signs of a dissolving marriage, ought to know what he is talking about.

Scroll to Top