'The Big Valley': 10 Amazing Facts About The Classic Western Show
We look back on the famous television series The Big Valley uncovering some facts about the hit 60's show that you never knew!
Hours on The Big Valley set were long, with cast and crew usually up at four in the morning, with filming sometimes lasting until nine at night.
According to "Wildest Westerns Magazine", Peter Breck was able to draw his gun in 16/100 of a second, making the character of "Nick Barkley" the fastest draw in television history.
The series was cancelled in 1969 despite its popularity because the networks were phasing out westerns in favor of more modern television shows.
Hollywood stuntmen were used extensively in The Big Valley - producers couldn't risk serious injury to the show's stars - particularly during the many fighting scenes.
In episode 30 of Season 2, "Cage of Eagles" "Nick" mentions to "Madigan" that the eagle he captured was going after their chickens and sheep but the introduction of sheep to the "Barkley" ranch didn't happen until episode 3 of Season 3, "Flock of Trouble".
On set, Stanwyck and Evans had a mentor-apprentice relationship that grew into something of a maternal bond. The two ended up living down the street from one another. Years later, when Stanwyck appeared on Dynasty, Evans still called her former costar "Mom."
There once was another "Barkley" boy early on. "Eugene", the youngest "Barkley", appeared in a few episodes. Played by Charles Briles, "Eugene" was a medical student studying at Berkeley. He popped up randomly throughout the first season. Briles then received his draft notice. Producers wrote the character off the show, explaining he went off to med school.
Deceased The Big Valley cast members are Barbara Stanwyck (1907-1990), Richard Long (1927-1974), Peter Breck (1929-2012) and Napoleon Whiting (1910-1984).
"Jarrod" (Richard Long) was the only one to ever get married. It only lasted a few days after only meeting a week before. She died accidentally taking a bullet for "Jarrod" when leaning over to pick a flower while picnicking beside a stream where their future house was going to be built.
The Big Valley follows the lives of the "Barkley" family, one of the wealthiest and largest ranch owning families in Stockton, lead by the matriarch "Victoria Barkley" and her sons.
The Big Valley: 10 Amazing Facts About The Classic Western Show
Here are 10 surprising facts about The Big Valley that you are sure to be unaware of.