Lee Majors was chosen to be Heath Barkley out of hundreds of actors

With James Dean's agent, anything is possible.

A show like The Big Valley was guaranteed to be a hit from the moment of its conception. First and foremost, everyone loves a good Western. When done properly, the genre guarantees a perfect storm of love and upbeat action that's sure to ensnare any audience. Secondly, the series was created with powerhouse Barbara Stanwyck in mind for the lead role of matriarch Victoria Barkley, which meant that the series was sure to be led with greatness.

But what about casting other members of the Barkley family? Apparently, the production team was determined to find the perfect actors for the job, which meant that they needed to leave no stone unturned. Luckily, their efforts weren't in vain - as the search allowed them to discover Lee Majors, who played the perfect Heath Barkley.

According to an interview with the Copley News Service, Majors claimed that 500 other actors were also auditioning for the role. The funny thing is that becoming an actor wasn't Majors' first career choice. He said, "I figured I'd teach or coach, and I'd work either in Florida or California, which has the highest pay for teachers." However, Majors was able to convince James Dean's old agent to take him on as a client, though it took some effort.

According to the North Adams Transcript, the agent informed Majors that he'd need to take some acting lessons before he agreed to work with him. Even after the agent had taken Majors on, it wasn't smooth sailing. Majors stated, "I was terribly depressed because Mr. Clayton [his agent] refused to let me do even bit parts. He told me, 'I can get you a bit role,  but then you will be playing bits for the rest of your life.'"

However, Majors' agent knew what he was doing, and it wasn't long before he was able to secure the spotlight that his client deserved. Majors said, "When he finally did arrange a screen test, it was for the role of Heath in The Big Valley."

Watch The Big Valley on MeTV!

Saturdays at 12 PM

*available in most MeTV markets
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


GOOSEYGOOSE9 6 months ago
Peter breck went on to the secret empire lee majors went on to the six million dollar man linda evans went on to dynasty
Let's not forget milestones like "The Sword and the Sorcerer" for Peter Breck.
LoveMETV22 CaptainDunsel 6 months ago
From looking at a few bios on Lee Majors it shows a movie "Fall Guy " set to be released in
March 2024 starring- Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt. (Although Mr. Majors is listed in the credits)

Wikipedia describes it as:
"an adaptation of the 1980s TV series of the same name."
IMDb describes the storyline as :
" Colt Seavers is a stuntman who left the business a year earlier to focus on both his physical and mental health. He's drafted back into service when the star of a mega-budget studio movie, which is being directed by his ex, goes missing.

The trailers for it look interesting, Just wondering how they are including Lee Majors in it? Perhaps a cameo?
LoveMETV22 GOOSEYGOOSE9 6 months ago
Peter Breck did many other series from the time he finished The Big Valley and before his role on
The Secret Empire. Also a few movies as well.
GOOSEYGOOSE9 6 months ago
Richard long went on to nanny and the professor
GOOSEYGOOSE9 6 months ago
The big valley starred Barbara stanwyck it also starred Richard Long nanny and the professor Peter Breck the secret empire,lee majors the six million dollar man,Linda evans dynasty
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?