Monday, February 13, 2012

If Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys Let Them Be Nick Barkley

Actor Peter Breck
Actor Peter Breck, who played the hot headed, rough cowboy personality of Nick Barkley on the television show The Big Valley, has passed away at the age of 82.

He was one of my favorites on the television show and when he entered a room the room seemed to become smaller. He was a big man with an even bigger personality on The Big Valley, always coming in from the ranch that he managed for the family in his leather jacket and gloves. Many times, he would go head-to-head with his brother, Jarrod Barkley, played by Richard Long, over what he thought was the right way to go about doing something. On the television show, Nick was a man of his word and lovingly respected his mother, Victoria Barkley played by Barbara Stanwyck, the widowed matriarch of the Barkley clan. He loved to tease his sister Audra on the show, played by the beautiful and talented Linda Evans, who later starred in televisions night-time drama show Dynasty, playing opposite Joan Collins. 

The Cast of the Big Valley

Breck was one of those men that played the part of the cowboy with ease. It was the 1960’s the  era of television cowboys.  My brother and I watched Westerns that had gone into repeats during the 1970’s, it was certainly a welcome change from the wholesome goodness of The Brady Bunch. These included Bonanza, The Virginian and all the John Wayne movies we could find. Willie Nelson sang in his song, “Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys,” but an exception could be if they grew up to the highly talented, respectful Nick Barkley.


Cheryl said...

Oh, I hadn't heard about this. I loved The Big Valley and Nick's character.

May he rest in peace.