Saturday, February 11, 2012

Nothing beats a Nick Barkley fight!

Peter Breck

Nothing beats a Nick Barkley fight! On TV's The Big Valley (1965-1969), actor Peter Breck gave us Nick Barkley. Nick the hot-headed. Nick the hard-headed. Nick the fighter. Nick would fight with anybody and everybody. He might take on a whole saloon or maybe even a whole town - single-handed. Fists flying, furniture throwing, leaping from staircases, Nick was in the thick of it. There would be a point in the proceedings where things would look pretty bleak for our lad and then Nick would get that second wind and "Yee-haw" his opponents had no chance.

Every once in a while he'd get help from brothers Jarrod (Richard Long) and Heath (Lee Majors), but there was no doubt that Nick Barkley would always finish what he started. Nick's boisterous personality hid a sentimental nature, especially where his family was concerned. Of course, he was willing to fight kin when he had a just cause, but one look from his mother Victoria (Barbara Stanwyck) and Nick would be meek as a lamb.

Lee Majors, Peter Breck, Richard Long, Barbara Stanwyck, Linda Evans

A working actor for most of his life, Peter Breck had a pragmatic and honest attitude toward his profession. A few years ago he hosted a marathon of The Big Valley on a Canadian television network. He reminisced about his co-stars and the fun he had with the success of the show with genuine affection and humour.

With Peter's passing at age 81 on February 6th his friends and family have lost someone close to them. For fans, the darkly handsome and personable Peter Breck will always be fun to watch on all those tv shows such as Black Saddle, Maverick, Perry Mason, Gunsmoke, etc.

Note: Currently only season 1 and volume 1 of season 2 of The Big Valley are available on dvd.


  1. You know you are getting old when the TV stars of your youth pass away. I used to watch The Big Valley occasionally, but not for any of the sons. Linda Evans as Audra was the attraction. Gorgeous! Those three brothers had their hands full protecting their little sister.

  2. Thanks for spotlighting one of my TV favorites. I watch The Big Valley on MeTV. Nick was easily the Barkley child I related to best!

  3. Readerman, you're a man after my husband's heart!

  4. In the 60s "The Big Valley" was not only a favourite show I got to stay up late for, but introduced me to my favourite actress, Barbara Stanwyck.

    Nick or Jarrod? Nick or Jarrod? A delightful dilemma.

  5. A lovely tribute! :) I especially appreciated him on MAVERICK, but I'm sure I saw every episode of BIG VALLEY in reruns, and he certainly created a vivid character.

    Best wishes,

  6. Laura, it doesn't matter how often it happens, it's like losing a little piece of childhood when another one of the popular performers of my youth pass away.

  7. One of my favorite actors man i miss those western's Condolences to his family I am sure we will all meet again someday!

  8. When I introduced my bff to this show when the first season came to DVD, I told her she was going to love Nick best. The first 2 or 3 eps, she was like, "What? Why? He's so... loud. And kinda mean?" and I was like, "Let him settle into his character. You just wait."

    She totally loves Nick best :-D

    While my heart belongs to Heath, I do love Nick's gusto, vim, and stubborn determination. What a guy :-)



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