|KELLIE'S BIG VALLEY WEBSITE|
|SITE MUST BE VIEWED FULL SCREEN TO SEE MENU TO THE RIGHT.|
|Hello and welcome. I grew up watching reruns of the old TV western The Big Valley. It
quickly became my all time favorite TV show. For those of you unfamiliar with the show,
it ran from 1965 to 1969 and starred Barbara Stanwyck, Richard Long, Peter Breck, Lee
Majors and Linda Evans as the Barkleys, a wealthy ranching family located in California's
San Joaquin Valley in the 1870s. The family also had holdings and interests in lumber
I am dedicating this site to the show and its stars. I will include a cast list, links, articles,
episode guide, fan fiction stories and photos of the stars, yesterday and today. I will update
this site once a month. Any areas with new material will be signified with an asterisk.
|July 17, 2008|
|CAST OF CHARACTERS|
|Victoria Barkley - Barbara Stanwyck|
|Family matriarch; strong willed and self assured
Character's age at start of show not given; probably mid to late 50s
|Jarrod Barkley - Richard Long|
|Eldest son; a lawyer with strong morals and sense of justice
Character's age at start of show - 32
|Nick Barkley - Peter Breck|
|Second son; runs the ranch; hot tempered but a heart of gold
Character's age at start of show - 28
|Heath Thomson Barkley - Lee Majors|
|Illegitimate son of Tom Barkley (deceased family patriarch)
Hard childhood; came to Barkleys as an adult; quiet natured; helps run the ranch
Character's age at start of show - 24
|Audra Barkley - Linda Evans|
|Only daughter; started fiery and spirited; ended as a weaker character
Character's age at start of show - 19
|Eugene Barkley - Charles Briles|
|Youngest son; college student; character not well developed; dropped after first season
Character's age at start of show not given; probably younger than Audra
|Silas - Napoleon Whiting|
|The Barkleys' house servant
Character's age not given; probably late 50s or early 60s
|On to my favorite subject. Okay, in case that statement and the above caption hasn't given it
away, Heath is my FAVORITE Barkley and I feel his character needs extra space for a little
more detail on his life.
Heath was born and raised out of wedlock. Tom Barkley, deceased for six years by the time
Heath comes to the Barkleys, was his father. His mother was Leah Thomson and he grew up
in a small mining town called Strawberry. Two lady friends of his mother, Rachel and Hannah,
helped raise him.
In 'Palms of Glory', the show's first episode, Heath hires on at the Barkley ranch after learning
his father's identity following his mother's death. Nick, thinking he is a spy for the railroad,
confronts him and, after a fight, he reveals his relationship to the family.
In 'Boots With My Father's Name' Victoria rides to Strawberry to learn more about the circum-
stances of his birth. In a letter written by Tom to Leah she discovers that Tom never knew of
Heath's existence. Rachel is deceased but Hannah tells her that Leah found Tom beaten in an
alley and nursed him back to health. Apparently this led to the affair that produced Heath.
In 'Guilt of Matt Bentell' we learn that Heath was a prisoner of war at Carterson (fictional)
during the Civil War. Since he came to the Barkleys in 1876 at the age of 24 he would have
only been thirteen when the war ended. A harsh introduction to adulthood, I would say.
Heath's character is quiet natured, solemn, full of painful memories, resentful and angry
but as he settles into the family much of his anger passes. Eventually he is not only accepted
as a brother by his siblings but also as a son by Victoria. Many times she calls him 'my son'
and, eventually, he calls her 'Mother'.
On a side note, Heath always seems to be in harms way; getting shot or beaten up in several
episodes. He is even whipped in at least three and in 'Town of No Exit' he is hanged for a
brief period of time. In 'By Force and Violence' he is pinned under an overturned wagon.
Sad to say but his propensity to be injured only makes me love him more!!!
|A heartfelt and sincere thank you to Linda for permission to use her wonderful
screen captures in my photo galleries and episode guide and for the opening credit
ones shown on this page. A special thank you also goes to Sherry for contributing
many of the photos of Mr. Long. I would also like to thank Fuzz, Lily, Jana,
Warren James and Chuck Goodenough for their photo contributions as well.
|TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK|
|ABOUT THIS SITE|
|This is a non-commercial site for fans. I am not related to or affiliated with any star of the
TV series The Big Valley nor of the show itself. All photographs and other information are
used solely for the enjoyment of other fans. If I have placed copyrighted material on this
site that you would like me to remove, please let me know and I will remedy the problem