Peter Breck (March 13, 1929 – February 6, 2012)

One of the best shows on television back in the 1960's was The Big Valley. Most of the girls at school were enamored by Heath Barkley aka actor Lee Majors. But I loved Nick Barkley the most. He was the fighter and always wore black leather clothes with black leather gloves to match. He was hot... Today while researching Don Grady's passing I saw that we lost Peter on February 6, 2012. Here is a bit about the man....

Jarrod, Heath, and Nick Barkley

Joseph Peter Breck (March 13, 1929 – February 6, 2012) was an American character actor of stage, who has played roles on television and in film. The rugged, dark-haired Breck played the gambler and gunfighter Doc Holliday on the ABC series Maverick but is best known for his role as Victoria Barkley's (Barbara Stanwyck) hot-tempered, middle son Nick in the popular 1960s ABC Western, The Big Valley.

From 1965 to 1969, Breck starred in The Big Valley, having portrayed Nick Barkley, ramrod of the Barkley ranch and son to Barbara Stanwyck's character Victoria Barkley. The second of four children, Nick was hotheaded, short-tempered, and very fast with a gun. Always spoiling for a fight and frequently wearing leather gloves, Breck's character took the slightest offense to the Barkley name personally and quickly made his displeasure known, as often with his fists as with his vociferous shouts.

Often this proved to be a mistake and only through the calming influence of his mother and cooler-headed siblings, Jarrod (Richard Long), half-brother Heath (Lee Majors), sister Audra (Linda Evans) and Eugene (Charles Briles,) (written out after season 1), would a difficult situation be rectified. Breck, having been a Barbara Stanwyck admirer since the 1940s, as a teenager, developed a on- and off-screen chemistry with her, practicing longer lines and even being a ranch foreman on the set. After the show was canceled, he stayed close to her until her death.

Peter returned to Vancouver, Canada after The Big Valley and taught acting and had many parts in various projects. He passed peacefully in the hospital this past February.

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