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Westerns
The Big Valley

Title Card - THE BIG VALLEY

ABC Network
1965-1969
Drama
60 Minutes

The western series THE BIG VALLEY/ABC/1965-69 starred Barbara Stanwyck as Victoria Barkley, the widowed matriarch of the Barkley family who lived on the Barkley ranch in the San Joaquin Valley of the 1870s.

Located about four miles outside Stockton, California, the Barkley ranch consists of 30,000 acres which includes horses, cattle, mining operations, vineyards & orange groves.

Victoria Barkley was married for 25 years to Tom Barkley, who died at the hands of railroad men who wanted to illegally procure his land. A statue dedicated to his memory was built in town to remind the citizens of his contributions to the community. To travel about, Victoria uses a buggy or rides a horse name Misty Girl.

The Barkley Family - THE BIG VALLEY
Audra, Nick, Victoria, Eugene, Jarrod, Heath Barkley

Residents on the Barkley ranch included:

  • Richard Long as Jarrod Barkley, the first born and a lawyer with offices in Stockton and San Francisco
  • Peter Breck as Nick Barkley, the second born and the ranch foreman. Nick is an expert horseman. He rides a cutting horse named Coco.
  • Lee Majors as Heath Barkley, an illegitimate half-son of Victoria's husband and ranch hand. Nick's father Tom Barkley had an affair with Leah Simmons who nursed him back to health after a vicious attack by two thugs in the town of Strawberry. When Leah died, Heath learned about his father and sought out Tom's family and his birthright.. For luck, Heath carries a rattlesnake rattler.
  • Charles Briles as Eugene Barkley, a shy 19-year-old and youngest of the family, who later goes off to college.
  • Linda Evans as Audra Barkley, the beautiful daughter with a bad habit of falling for men with dubious backgrounds.
  • Napoleon Whiting as Silas, the family's loyal black butler

The Barkley's wealth and status in the community afforded them the luxury of a pleasant existence but occasionally the dirt of the outside world visited their pristine environment, including murderers, bank robbers, conmen, revolutionaries, schemers, crazy drifters, and kidnappers. But such challenges were always overcome by the strong-will and stamina of the Barkley clan.


Opening Credits - THE BIG VALLEY Opening Credits - THE BIG VALLEY
Opening Credits - THE BIG VALLEY Opening Credits - THE BIG VALLEY
Opening Credits - THE BIG VALLEY Opening Credits - THE BIG VALLEY

Screen shots from opening credits

Listen to Theme Song


Memorabilia


Obituaries: Barbara Stanwyck - 01/20/1990; Richard Long - 12/21/1974; Napoleon Whiting -10/22/1984


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