Popular Culture 20100409: The Big Valley

(noon. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

The Big Valley was a popular throwaway TeeVee show in the mid 1960’s.  Does anyone remember it?

It starred Barbara Stanwyck (who insisted on being billed as “Miss Barbara Stanwyck, and I wonder what the “Miss” meant), Peter Breck as Nick Barkley, Richard Long as Jarrord Barkely, and Linda Evans as the prototype “10” as Audra Barkely.

Then came Heath.  Played by Lee Majors, he was the  bastard son of the father of the other children.  Insofar as I can remember, that was the first time that the word “bastard” was uttered on network TeeVee.

The show was a horrible western, as was popular at the time.  If one looks closely, one can see rubber tires one the wooden wheels.  It was melodramatic, with horrible music at the starts of the adverts.

However, it is bit of Americana.  Stanwyck was a fading (very fading) star who was a very poor actress.   Peter Breck never did anything significant later, except for a greeting card that Eldest Son sent to me.

Richard Long died of heart disease a long time ago, and Linda Evans (actually, Evenstad) is an American with Norse roots.  She married John Derick, who traded her in for a more youthful model several years later.  He then made the movie “10”, with quite a lookalike.

The one that we all remember was Lee Majors, Heath in the show.  He was the confessed bastard son of the Barkley father, and the credits at the time showed all of the others with the “Barkley” surname, but for Majors, just “Heath”.

Little did any of them know that he would become worth six millions of dollars, and finally hawk “bionic” hearing aides.

Please comment if you find this amusing.

Warmest regards,



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  1. for remembering horrible TeeVee with which we grew?

    Warmest regards,


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