White hat: Victoria Barkley, played by Barbara Stanwyck, along with Lee Majors (above) as Heath Barkley, were two of the leading white hats in "The Big Valley." Stanwyck plays a no-nonsense western widow who keeps her adult children, including her late husband's illegitimate son, Heath, on the straight and narrow. Based in California's San Joaquin Valley, the matriarch faces calamity, drunks and land-grabbing thieves while protecting her brood. Black hat: Nick Barkley isn't your typical black hat. Played by Peter Breck, Nick is a fist-fighting hot-tempered young man who wears a black hat complete with a black leather vest and matching gloves. Notorious for his brawls, this black hat has a warmer side complete with a sense of humor. Despite fighting with his siblings, Nick is fiercely loyal and loving -- even to his half-brother Heath.