Peter Breck

  • Born: March 13, 1929
  • Died: February 6, 2012
  • Location: Vancouver


'Big Valley' star dead at age 82

The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — The actor who played a son of ranch owner Barbara Stanwyck on the 1960s Western "The Big Valley," has died. Peter Breck was 82.

Breck died Monday in Vancouver, British Columbia, after a long illness, his wife, Diane, announced on the website The Big Valley Writing Desk.

A native of Haverhill, Mass., Breck was also a regular on the TV Westerns "Maverick" and "Black Saddle." He had guest roles on series from the 1950s through the early 2000s including "Perry Mason," ''The Virginian" and "Fantasy Island."

His film appearances include "Thunder Road," ''I Want to Live!" and "Benji."

Breck was best known for his role as hot-tempered rancher Nick Barkley on "The Big Valley," which aired from 1965 to 1969.

He and his wife were longtime Vancouver residents.

Condolence & Memory Journal

RIp Peter we still miss you. How are you doing Diane? Hope you're doing well.

Posted by My name is Mary Mcclendon - Little Rock, Ark - A fan   December 06, 2015

Some actors go their whole careers and never make much of an impression, this however is not the case with Peter Breck. I have grown up watching him on Big Valley and decided to google him today. Only to find he's been gone 3 years. My condolences to his wife.

Posted by Diane - Torrington, CT - Fan   April 26, 2015

I realized a few months ago that episodes of "The Big Valley" were on one of the stations so I began watching and dvd-ing them faithfully. I so fondly remember watching them when I was in my teens. Nick was always my favorite character. I just loved his personality - rugged, tough guy, but truly a kind man. May he rest in peace.

Posted by Kathy Hoey - Auburn, NY - etc.   September 26, 2013

Such fond memories of a wonderful man with a beautiful smile and a kind and gentle heart. I never missed a single episode of the Big Valley. Kathy O' Tampa,fl.

Posted by kathy o'berry - Tampa, FL - as a big valley fan   February 11, 2013

I am sad that such a great actor has left us!! I was a freshman in high school when I would come home at 3:00 and watch the big valley with my mom!! It was a found memory , I loved all the actors . But espically Peter !! My mom died 11 years ago , and when they put the show on insp . And I heard the song intro ! I wept. There I was a freshman again with my mom in my memory (like it was 1975 again ! And to see Peter Breckinridge on screen it brought back awesome memories of me and my mom . Thank you for a wonderful man you had as a husbendand . He was a great actor !!

Posted by Lori - San clemente, CA - Friend with a great memory   December 13, 2012

Leave a condolence or a memory.

Posted by Nick - San Mateo, CA - fan   August 23, 2012

I've just finished bunidlig a super-super-insulated house in SF. Walls: 10 of foam in Structural Integrated Panels. 20 of cellulose in the ceiling. Deep-well (6) geothermal heat-pump. NO wall-to-wall carpets. No sliding patio doors. NO incandescent lights (even a few well-used LEDs). Workin' on a cistern and maybe a well. In 2-3 years, photoelectric panels. I guess I'm doin' my part. Tours limited to 1st Saturdays, 1PM. 57th & Lewis. 339-2938 Jon

Posted by Paulo - xQnYTPyWNHfRfLGzFkE, WI   August 17, 2012

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Posted by Falegan - fcWMDckFgrFpXf, MD   August 15, 2012

My heart sank when i read about Mr. Breck's passing. I only know him as Nick Barkley but I'm sure he was a fine man. I do know he was a great actor. No one could make a mad speech like he could. Rest In Peace.

Posted by pam hamilton - st. Augustine, FL - big fan   August 04, 2012


Peter Breck has left us a wonderful snapshot of his personality and talent in his westerns. He may be in heaven but he will always be here on earth, too, thanks to his great films. And so will Nick! I can't see a dark brown cowboy hat or a blue handkerchief (around the neck) without remembering this big handsome and sweet man with the dimples! God bless you, Diane.

Posted by Beth - fan   July 22, 2012

I'm so sorry Peter (Nick). I've loved you since the 60's. Diane was a lucky lady!!!!!

Posted by Debbie Love - Lovelady, TX - A Hugh fan since the 60's.   June 24, 2012

You will always be remembered, love watching you in The big valley, goodbye Mr Barklay R.I.P.

Posted by Loretta Smart - Melbourne, Australia - Huge fan   June 05, 2012

Peter breck is one of my favorite actor of all times right there with john wayne he will be missed but we still have big valley to see him he was great.

Posted by allen conway - euless, TX - big fan always   May 30, 2012

Among my earliest memories is one of watching the Big Valley at my grandmother's house with my Mom, Dad, and Sister. Through the years, my love of that show has remained strong, with certain episodes I never tire of seeing again. Television is unique as an entertainment medium; it does, in a compelling way, bring fictional characters to life. I never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Breck, but Nick Barkley was one of my oldest, dearest friends, and I will miss him for the rest of my life.

Jim Ball

Posted by Jim Ball - Terre Haute, IN - Fan   May 09, 2012

I'm impressed. You've rlelay raised the bar with that.

Posted by Veronica - XlGVpJfzfX, SD - jqACCWFjD   April 10, 2012


I watch big valley reruns all the time. I still love the entire cast. But, Peter(Nick) is my favorite. The very best to you, Diane. I am so sorry for your loss.

Posted by M. Fouse - a faithful fan forever   April 08, 2012


Diane so sorry for your loss, he gave a wonderful memory to many people. There is a new star in the skies and a wonderful angel in heaven. may god bless you

Posted by debbie mccollm    March 24, 2012


I want to offer my condolescences to Mrs. Breck at this sad time. I am a devoted fan of Peter Breck and absolutely love watching him again on The Big Valley on INSP. What a treat! What a joy to see him on television again. Thanks, Peter for the great film and t.v. roles.

Posted by Laurene Pinto - a devoted fan   March 22, 2012


Pa Happy birthday. Thank you for making me a part of your life. I know that you are at peace and with Christopher. Ma thank you for all that you are and for what you do. You are moved special and loved then you will ever know. Pa don't cause any trouble at the gates lol.

Love Lorrie

Posted by Lorrie Twobears - friend/fan   March 13, 2012


Rest in Peace Mr.Breck.My prayers are with Diane Breck!Peter Breck will be missed,but always in our memories as *Nick Barkley*.

Posted by Susi    March 12, 2012


Peter Breck was a wonderful actor, and left a priceless legacy of work we can enjoy for years to come. He was also a wonderful human being that never forgot who he was and where he came from. Always helping out a person in need. We fans love him, and will never forget him. Nor will we let the world forget him. My heart goes out to his wife, Diane. She is truly an angel. God Bless You Mr. Breck. We will miss you!

Posted by Teri Burgett - Fan   February 21, 2012

my prayers to diane and may peter rest in peace, peter is riding horses with the angels !

Posted by maggie dominguez - peoria, AZ - fan   February 20, 2012


Thank You for your dedication as an actor in the series "Big Valley". Peter Breck brought the character of "Nick " to life and demonstrated courage, faith, family and life is hard and to fight hard.

Posted by Melanie Lewin - Fan   February 20, 2012


First my condolences to Diane...And then to all of Peter Breck's loved ones around the world. Peter has made a great impact on so very many lives...Indeed, Peter has left such a legacy. The world is better for having had him here and I'm so grateful for his life and his talent. Peter Breck, we love you always..., You will forever be in our hearts..., Thank you for all you have given to make our lives better!!! The Big Valley is my favorite television program of all time and Nick Barkley is my favorite character (thanks to Peter Breck). Now, may God bless you, Peter, with heavenly blessings and may you enjoy the pleasures of heaven forevermore...,

Posted by Vicky Jackson    February 20, 2012


I loved watching Mr. Breck on Big Valley when growing up. Sorry for your loss.....

Posted by Lynda Michaud    February 16, 2012


Dear Mrs. Breck,
I cannot believe that it has been all of these years since I began watching 'Big Valley." I absolutely loved that show and your husband, Peter, was a terrific actor and was great playing Barbara Stanwyck's son, Nick! I remember him! He was the very good looking man with the black hair slicked back and he was handsome. He played a great part on that show. I also remember him on the other shows too. I am now almost 58 years old so I was much younger we ALL were.
I just wish to say how terribly sorry I am to hear that Peter has passed away. I mean that sincerely. I just want you to know that he is certainly remembered and will also be remembered in my prayers.
I am sure he is in Heaven now and is probably doing better than all of us down here. I believe that people we have loved are always with us even after they have passed on.
Please take care and know that Peter's acting abilities brought much enjoyment to myself and so many other people throughout the entire world.....and still do!
May God Bless you and your family always.
Take care.
Sue/Arlington, Mass.

Posted by Sue McMorrow - big fan   February 14, 2012


I will always love him. diane you are inmy prayers

Posted by buena silve - fan   February 14, 2012


In Loving memory of you, Peter,and my thoughts and prayers for you ,Diane and your family.

Posted by Curt    February 13, 2012

Still watching Big Valley! RIP Peter Breck.
Condolences to the family.
Long time fan since was younger. still watching. Loved Nicks kick a$$ role,
he played it well.

Posted by Robin Wells - Sharpsburg, NC - fan   February 13, 2012


My prayers are with you and your family. I grew up watching the Big Valley and still enjoy watching today.

Posted by Kim Norwood    February 13, 2012


Dear Diane & Christopher. I liked your Father but not in love with him I respict your wishes by all he done but never knew him well. My prayers gose out too you both. Mimi

Posted by Mimi - Friend   February 11, 2012

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