How Well Do You Remember the Show "The Big Valley"?


By: Stella Alexander

5 Min Quiz

Image: ABC

About This Quiz

We're going to the Wild Wild West! Traveling back to California in the 1800s, you'd find that life surrounded the ranch. From the cowboys and ranchers to the cattle and sheep, "The Big Valley" portrayed real life on a 19th-century ranch. From all the drama that played out in this TV western, how well do you remember the show?

Life in California during the 19th century was all about the ranch. Families would set up their lives around the work and business that came from it. Surrounding the lives of cowboys and ranchers, these workers, normally men, were essentially responsible for everything. You couldn't have a ranch without animals and they were tasked with taking care of them, whether that required herding, round-ups, or cattle drives. While these normally rugged men helped run the ranch, all happenings were controlled by the head of the family. In most cases, this was usually the patriarch, but in a series like "The Big Valley," it's the women who call the shots!

"The Big Valley" premiered in 1965 on ABC. Following Victoria Barkley and the lives of her family, the series centered on their lives on their Central Valley ranch. A lot happened through four seasons of laughs, tears, and drama. Can you remember all of it? What was the name of Tom's illegitimate son? How did Victoria's husband die before the beginning of the series? Before Eugene disappeared from the show, what profession was he studying to become?

Life on the ranch wasn't all sunshine as the Barkley's would show you. Can you remember all the hardship and adventures in "The Big Valley"? Let's find out!

What was the name of the central family in "The Big Valley"?

"The Big Valley" followed the life of widow, Victoria Barkley, and her family on their California ranch.


What's the name of Barbara's late husband?

In the series, we find out that Victoria's husband, Thomas, died years before the starting point of the show.


In what city would you find the Barkley family ranch?

The Barkley family lived in Stockton, California, which is a part of the Central Valley.


How does Thomas Barkley die?

In the series, while they don't specifically mention the way in which Thomas Barkley died, viewers are told that he was murdered six years prior to the beginning of the show.


How many children did Victoria Barkley have?

At the beginning of the series, Victoria has four children, three sons and one daughter. Her youngest son, Eugene, was eventually phased out of the show.


What is the name of the actress who played Victoria Barkley?

Barbara Stanwyck starred as Victoria Barkley in all four seasons of "The Big Valley."


What was the name of Victoria's oldest son?

Played by Richard Long, Jarrod was the oldest Barkley child.


What was Jarrod's profession?

Victoria's oldest, Jarrod, was an intelligent and successful lawyer.


How did Jarrod's wife die?

Jarrod was married for one episode. His marriage was short-lived when his wife was shot.


The bullet that killed Jarrod's wife was meant for which member of the family?

Jarrod's short-lived marriage was ended by a man attempting to shoot Jarrod but the bullet accidentally struck his wife.


When Victoria went undercover in a women's prison, what crime was she pretending to have committed?

In order to get the real dirt on what happens in women's prisons, Victoria impersonated a thief.


While Victoria was impersonating a thief, what was the name of her alias?

When Victoria went undercover as a thief in a women's prison, she went by the alias Nellie Handley.


What is the name of Victoria's second son?

Nick was Victoria's second son and the manager of the ranch.


Which of the following was not a black accessory that you would always find Nick wearing?

Nicholas worked as the ranch's manager and you could always find him with his signature black hat, vest, and gloves.


What was the name of Victoria's only daughter?

Audra Barkley was Victoria's only daughter. Portrayed by Linda Evans, her character was known for being outspoken and self-absorbed.


In what war did Jarrod fight?

In the series, it is revealed that Jarrod was a veteran of the American Civil War.


Audra often volunteered where?

Although Audra seemed a bit self-absorbed, her caring nature could also be seen at the children's orphanage she visited.


What was the name of Thomas' illegitimate son?

Heath Barkley appears in the series as Thomas' illegitimate son. He was initially greeted in a hostile manner.


What was the name of Victoria's youngest son in the first season of "The Big Valley"?

In the first season of "The Big Valley," Eugene appears as the youngest son of Victoria Barkley. After appearing in a few episodes, Eugene kind of disappeared from the series.


When Victoria was lined up to testify as a witness in a murder case, where was she sent?

In the series, Victoria was always in the midst of serious situations. When she was set to testify as a witness in a murder case, she was sent to an asylum to stop her from testifying.


When Eugene appeared in Season 1, what was he studying to become?

When we saw Eugene for the few episodes of Season 1, he was a medical student.


For what side of the Civil War did Jarrod fight?

in the series, it is revealed that Jarrod was a veteran of the Civil War. As a Cavalry commander, it is also revealed that he led a group of black soldiers.


What school was Eugene attending?

Although Eugene has a very small story line, we found out he was a medical student studying at Berkeley.


How was Eugene written off the show?

Although Eugene was a medical student, he was drafted into the Army and his character never appeared again. He was only mentioned once by name after his character's departure.


Who reveals to Heath that Tom Barkley, his father, never knew about him?

Initially, Heath had some hostility because he believed his father abandoned his mother. His mother revealed to him that she never told his father about him.


It is revealed that Heath was also a member of the Union army during the Civil War. What state what he stationed in?

In "The Guilt of Matt Bentell," we are told that Heath served during the Civil War and was stationed in New Mexico.


What was the name of the Stockton sheriff?

Fred Madden appeared several times throughout the series as the sheriff. His character was portrayed by Douglas Kennedy.


While serving in the Union Army, Heath was captured by the Confederate forces. How long was he captured?

During Heath's army service, he was captured by Confederate forces for seven months.


Which of the following characters is never shot throughout the series?

Throughout the entirety of "The Big Valley," Victoria is the only member of the Barkley family who wasn't shot.


What was the name of Heath's horse?

In the series, we often see Heath with his horse, Charger.


Who was the Barkley's majordomo?

Silas was the only regularly recurring person of color on "The Big Valley." He acted as the majordomo for the Barkley's and his character arc focused on his former life as a slave.


How long did Jarrod and his wife know each other before they got married?

Their entire relationship wasn't long. Jarrod and his wife had only met a week prior to getting married and she was killed a few days after their wedding.


What was the name of the man who was pretending to be Heath's father?

In Season 2, a man name Charlie Sawyer appeared to Heath, pretending to be his father. While he did have a relationship with Heath's mother, it was revealed that their relationship ended years before Heath was born.


What was the name of the nanny who helped raise Heath?

In the same episode in which the con man pretending to be Heath's dad appears, so does Hannah, the nanny who helped Heath's mother raise him.


Which of the following people never appeared on an episode of "The Big Valley"?​

"The Big Valley" featured dozens of guest stars, but you won't see Clint Eastwood in any of its episodes.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!