The Big Valley

Victoria Barkley:  Barbara Stanwyck
Jarrod Barkley:  Richard Long
Nick Barkley:  Peter Breck
Heath Barkley:  Lee Majors
Audra Barkley:  Linda Evans

The Stars

Barbara Stanwyck - Victoria Barkley, widow of Tom, and who was nobody's fool. 
Richard Long - Jarrod Barkley - oldest son who was a lawyer who split his time between the Barkley interests and other legal cases.
Peter Breck - Nick Barkley - second oldest son who ran the Barkley ranch holding. His ranching image is in sharp contrast to the older brother's urbanity.
Lee Majors - Heath - the illegitimate son who shows up in the pilot episode "Palms of Glory." Initially an angry young man, Heath mellows into "the silent man" type, and become an effective foil to Nick's outbursts.
Linda Evans - Audra Barkley - Only daughter, who showed much spunk and energy in the first year, but whose character was less well-defined as the show went on

Other Characters

Napoleon Whiting - Silas - The Barkleys hard-working butler (where were those other servants???) 
Charles Briles - Eugene Barkley - youngest, college-aged son who appeared in the first half year of the series, then disappeared. (We now know that the draft board had something to do with this. Remember it was 1965!)
Douglas Kennedy - Sheriff Fred Madden - appeared frequently during the last two years.

The Story

The Big Valley portrayed the adventures of the Barkleys, a wealthy ranch family in California's Central Valley in the 1870s. The Barkley holdings, all 30,000 acres, included mines, vineyards, orchards, cattle, and property in Mexico. "The Big Valley" was the first and only Western TV series built around a strong female character. Another important plot device in the series was the presence of Heath, the illegitimate son of the dead patriarch Tom Barkley. His life experiences, which contrasted so sharply from the other family members, were the source of many story lines. The series debuted on ABC on September 22, 1965, with a total of 112 episodes; it was cancelled in 1969 from the producer's choice, not because of ratings.  (Written by fans of TBV of the WWB)

Kellie's The Big Valley Web Site

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