1 9 6 5 – 1 9 6 9 (USA)
112 x 50 minute episodes
Rich but hard-headed widow Victoria Barkley (Barbara Stanwyck) ran a huge 30,000-acre ranch in California’s San Joaquin Valley in the 1870’s, with the help of her four sons (a bashful youngest son, Eugene, was seen in early episodes) and her daughter.
Eldest son Jarrod (Richard Long) was a successful San Franciscan lawyer, who handled the family’s legal affairs, and Nick Barkley (Peter Breck) ran the ranch.
Heath (Lee Majors) was the illegitimate son of Victoria’s late husband Tom and an Indian squaw and threatened to leave the family home regularly. Ultimately iron-willed Victoria would calm him down by reassuring him that he was indeed a Barkley, and then he’d stay.
Heath was Majors’ first acting job after only six weeks of drama school.
Completing the family was Linda Evans (in her pre-Dynasty days) as Victoria’s beautiful but impetuous daughter Audra. Napoleon Whiting played Silas, the Barkley’s loyal black retainer.
The Barkley’s were a feisty group who were determined to hold on to their sprawling spread of land no matter what the cost. They constantly battled crooked bankers, murderers, outlaws, and even Mexican revolutionaries to hold on to what was theirs.
Sheriff Fred Madden