The Barkley mansion from The Big Valley turned up all over classic television

Everyone from Clint Eastwood to the Beverly Hillbillies popped by the house.

Mack Sennett was Hollywood's first true king of comedy. The producer-director crafted countless silent films that boosted the careers of Charlie Chaplin, Fatty Arbuckle, Buster Keaton and W.C. Fields. But Sennett's Keystone Studios is probably best remembered for its "Keystone Cops," the slapstick policemen who dominated the early two-reel movie industry. Box-office success afforded Sennett a sparkling new studio, which he built alongside the Los Angeles River in the San Fernando Valley in 1928. 

Today, Sennett's ambitious plot of land is known as CBS Studio City. It sits at the intersection of Ventura Boulevard and Radford Avenue. Over the course of 92 years, the studio has changed hands several times. Mascot Pictures, Republic Pictures, Revue Productions, Four Star Productions, MTM Enterprises and, of course, CBS have all owned or leased the lot in those nine-plus decades, as everything from Leave It to Beaver to Seinfeld filmed on the property.

Classic television fans are familiar with the lagoon that once sat on the north side of the land next to the river. It was the home of Gilligan's Island. The lush jungle set was tucked behind a large white mansion. While the Skipper and the other castaways dwelled in the backyard, of sorts, the front of the house did heavy work on Sixties television. 

Vines could often be seen crawling up the large white pillars that lined the front porch. The structure's primary starring role was on The Big Valley, as it served as the home of the Barkley from 1965–69. Each week, the faces of the stars — Barbara Stanwyck, Peter Breck, Lee Majors and Linda Evans — were superimposed over the abode in the opening credits of the hit Western. You can see an image from that opening at the top of this post.

But the Barkley Mansion popped up on dozens of other notable productions, too.

Before The Big Valley began, in October 1964, investigator Paul Drake (William Hopper) visited the place in the Perry Mason episode "The Case of the Paper Bullets," where it served as the home of a senator.

Perry Mason

The place often popped up on The Wild Wild West. It is just one of the notable things about "The Night of the Eccentrics," the season-two premiere, which also happens to contain the screen debut of Richard Pryor, who plays a ventriloquist.

The Wild Wild West

A chill wind blows dead leaves past the porch in the opening scenes of "The Cemetary" in Night Gallery, the 1969 made-for-TV movie that launched Rod Serling's eerie anthology series.

Night Gallery

Clint Eastwood met Charles Bronson in the front yard in "Duel at Daybreak," the 1965 Rawhide episode that brought together two budding legends.


Granny confuses a movie production at the mansion for a rekindling of the Civil War in "The South Rises Again," a 1967 episode of The Beverly Hillbillies.

The Beverly Hillbillies

Rewind the clock to the Fifties and find the joint in Alfred Hitchcock Presents, in "The Morning of the Bride," a sort of spiritual precursor to Psycho.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents

The mansion even has a place in a cult B-movie serial, 1952's Zombies of the Stratosphere, which also happens to contain one of Leonard Nimoy's earliest screen appearances. Here is star Judd Holdren posing by a tree on the front lawn.

The Everett CollectionZombies of the Stratosphere

Don't go looking for the Barkley house today. A beige, six-story parking deck now hogs that particular piece of land.

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E18talks13 5 months ago
I have seen it in a few of these different shows as well. I also just uncovered it in Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater S5E14 One Must Die! Had no idea Gilligan's island was behind it! I also have a sneaky suspension that I may run into it on Bourbon Street Beat, but we'll see. Oh, it was also on 77 Sunset Strip too I'm pretty positive. Could be wrong but I thiught I saw it on there. Maybe on Paladin too?
Pleach 14 months ago
Don't forget Richard Long! Someone forgot to include him in who was in the opening credits. I loved this show and all the characters. When I was a boy, Richard Long reminded me of my dad, I wanted to be Heath and Linda Evans.....WOW!!! LOL!
MichaelPowers 19 months ago
The Wild, Wild West not only used the exterior of the mansion in quite a number of their episodes, it also utilized the interior set of the mansion from The Big Valley, too.
QuatreMasques 24 months ago
Could anyone confirm that this mansion served on yet another episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents — "The Rose Garden" (Season 2, Episode 12)? In that story, set in a Louisiana town, two elderly sisters harbor a secret which divides them. Thanks!
Susan00100 24 months ago
The basic design of that house stems from Tara in GWTW.
starcommander 37 months ago
You can see the studio from 1957 at the site posted below. It shows the Barkley house, the house from "My Three Son" and the original house from "Leave it To Beaver" before they added the second floor for the show .
MichaelPowers 40 months ago
I read that the mansion was first constructed for the Republic movie "The Fighting Kentuckian" (1949) that starred John Wayne and Oliver Hardy.
JohnDiPinto 43 months ago
Besides Alfred Hitchcock Presents, the house also shows up in a third season episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour from 1965 called "The Monkey's Paw - A Retelling", as the Bahamas mansion of one of the main characters, played by Collin Wilcox. (Oddly, the first time an exterior shot of the mansion is shown, it is of a different house. However a second front exterior shot, which comes at about the 20 minute mark, is of the "Barkley mansion", which is noticeably different in appearance from the earlier house shown, despite the fact that it is supposed to be the same residence.)
DavidOsterman 47 months ago
Thank you! I have been trying for a long time to find the back story on this house (it looks so much like Tara in GWTW.)
48 months ago
I always heard the house was first used as either Ashley Wilkes family's home or Tara in Gone With The Wind
Cowgirl 49 months ago
It's a shame they tore down that beautiful mansion & replaced it with a parking garage.
BuckeyeBeth 51 months ago
The mansion pops up in tv episodes fairly often during the 60's and 70's. Sometimes it's the front of the house, lots of times it's just that iconic front staircase and the front room, and sometimes it's just a side entrance or a back or attic stairwell. Off the top of my head Robert Wagner's "It takes a Thief" used it a few times including episode S1E9 "When Good Friends Get Together" and S2E23 "The Family" where the better parts of the episodes were shot in and on the property including climbing on the outside of the house to get from room to room. Also, I believe a Thriller episode that involved an English country haunted house and a husband's plot to kill his wife by her falling down the stairs with the help of the resident ghost. But then again it might have been the Night Gallery episode "House - With a Ghost." with Bob Crane and Bernard Fox (It's been a several years since I've seen it so I'm a bit foggy on it). But yes, quite often I've seen that curving staircase in the background when the rich heavy of some episode is plotting and scheming something.
I was sad to discover years ago that they knocked the house down and it couldn't be on any Hollywood tours anymore.
jsmotley 51 months ago
Forgot to mention Richard Long as one of the stars of The Big Valley. You have the other faces of the stars that were superimposed — Barbara Stanwyck, Peter Breck, Lee Majors and Linda Evans — but somehow forgot the attorney...
Kevin jsmotley 51 months ago
Truth. So sad he passed away at 47 from a weakened heart exacerbated by heavy smoking and drinking.
Wiseguy jsmotley 51 months ago
Every time MeTV doesn't show something or mention something, somebody says they "forgot" to. They can't show or write everything. It's called editing. No one "forgot" anything.
cookiegirl1957 jsmotley 38 months ago
The big valley. a show about the 1800s, and everyone had 1960s hairdos,
Elvis 51 months ago
BrianMoore 51 months ago
Awww, the mansion's not there anymore? :(
Lacey BrianMoore 51 months ago
Thank you, I thought it was just my server. All the pictures are gone as of today.
BrittReid 51 months ago
I remember it from Wild Wild West and Night Gallery.
cperrynaples 51 months ago
I think this mansion may have been in the Eastwood version of "The Beguiled" and perhaps in the TZ with Diana Hyland as a middle-aged woman chasing her teenage self! Anyone know?
BrittReid cperrynaples 51 months ago
The 1971 "The Beguiled" was filmed in Baton Rouge.
cperrynaples BrittReid 51 months ago
OK, but I think it was in this Sunday's Columbo!
Mac2Nite cperrynaples 51 months ago
Yup... that Twilight Zone episode was "Spur of the Moment" written by Richard Matheson.
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