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Actor Lee Majors, 1978

Posted on March 11, 2017 | in Uncategorized | by

Film and television actor Lee Majors on Sept. 24, 1978, in Lexington. Majors, known as the star of the TV show “The Six Million Dollar Man,” was visiting Caroline Treviranus at the University of Kentucky Medical Center. Majors gave Treviranus the game ball from UK’s win over Baylor. The meeting of the two was spurred by a pair of accidents in Lexington that drew international publicity that week. Treviranus was seriously injured at the World Three-Day Championships at the Kentucky Horse Park when her horse failed to clear a three-rail jump and she was struck on the head by one of the falling rails. Lexington horse farm owner bought the ball for $7,700 at a charity auction and gave it to Majors because “he has had some sorrow in the past few days,” Gentry said. He was referring to the death of stunt man A.J. Bakunas days earlier during the filming of the motion picture “Steel.” Majors, who grew up in Middlesboro, starred in the film. Bakunas died when he attempted to regain his world free-fall record with a 315-foot leap from the top of Lexington’s Kincaid Tower onto a specially designed airbag. The outer section of the airbag ruptured when Bakunas landed on it, and he died the next day. Majors, who graduated from Eastern Kentucky in 1962 with a degree in history and physical education, said he read about Treviranus’ accident and decided to give the game ball to her in memory of the stunt man. “Knowing A.J. and knowing that as a stunt man — you know, stunt men don’t do stunts for the actors. They always are doing their stunts for the people,” Majors said in an emotional statement at the hospital. “I know that A.J. would want me to kind of pass the ball. Maybe that’s something we can do here. Let somebody else score this time.” Majors is returning to Lexington this weekend as one of the celebrity guests at Lexington Comic & Toy Convention. He is scheduled to be there all three days. Photo by Ron Garrison | Staff

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