Heath Barkley Cowboy Hat
The Lee Majors Big Valley Cowboy Hat. This is a reproduction of the Heath Barkley cowboy hat from the classic TV western series, The Big Valley. This great looking hat has a 5 1/4 inch crown with a 3 3/4 inch, hand rolled and shaped brim.
The Big Valley, was one of many popular western series shown on TV in the 1960s and had an impressive group of stars. In many ways this series was a counterpoint to Bonanza.
Barbara Stanwyck played the widowed matriarch of a massive cattle ranch. Richard Long played the eldest son who managed the ranch’s affairs. And Peter Breck and Lee Majors were the brothers who got to do most of the real work on the ranch, while drop dead gorgeous Linda Evans played the headstrong daughter.
Lee Majors was one of the biggest tv stars of the 1970s and 80s and his role as Heath Barkley on The Big Valley (1965-1969) was his first big exposure. His career started in the 1960s where he got guest shots on a number of well known TV series like Gunsmoke and the Alfred Hitchcock Hour and small parts in feature films like Clambake and Will Penny.
Then in 1965 he was cast as the youngest of the Barkley boys, in The Big Valley, and his career took off. By the time he made the 1973 TV movie, The Six Million Dollar Man, Majors was a well known and liked TV star. The TV movie was turned into one of the most popular series of the 1970s, and ran from 1974-1978.
During these years he met and wed a young, beautiful, actress by the name of Farrah Fawcett, whose hair and bathing suit poster came to represent the unbridled excitement of the youth of those days.
Farrah co-starred on The Six Million Dollar Man for a couple of years (as Farrah Fawcett-Majors) until she landed a plum role on the smash TV series, Charley Angels (1976-1980).
With the massive success of their shows, they became the “IT” couple of Hollywood in those years. And a darling of the tabloids where they were featured time and again.
The clip below illustrates a great point: How difficult it is to determine the color of a hat from a TV show or movie. If you look at the hat in the first few minutes of the clip, where the scenes are inside the Barkley mansion. Heath’s hat looks to be a sahara color or maybe undyed natural. Now look at the hat again in the later minutes of the video, where the action is outside. The hat looks to be a sand color. This dramatically illustrates the point we make about hat color: Lighting will dramatically affect the way the color appears.