Barbara Stanwyck had been trying to act in a Western television series for years before she landed ''The Big Valley''

Stanwyck wasn't lucky to be on The Big Valley — the show was lucky to have her.

Sometimes an opportunity lands in your lap unexpectedly, and what a lucky break it is. However, sometimes our victories are the result of years of preparation, hard work, and meticulous planning that are necessary to get what we want.

For someone like Barbara Stanwyck, the latter felt more true than the former. According to an article from the Associated Press, hard work came easily to Stanwyck. Actress Jane Wyman said of her, "Everyone in the industry looked up to her as such a perfectionist. Her honesty in everything she did came through on the screen, but she never took credit for it. Her ego was never first. It was always her work."

According to that same article, Stanwyck explained that the motivation behind her work ethic actually came from a place of tenderness. She said, "I think it's a matter of caring about people. I care about the crew. These people are my friends. They help me. I'm with them more than I am with anyone else...if they are happy and contented, the set is good. I can't work under pressure and duress."

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Stanwyck also explained that she had been an integral driving force behind her series The Big Valley, even before the show hit the air. The actor explained that she had actually been given a firsthand perspective of the show's series producers pitching the show to potential networks.

However, in the early days of the series, interest was scarce. Stanwyck said, "Madison Avenue was leery of women in Westerns. I know because I've been trying to do a Western series for four years."

Originally, ABC turned down the series, though they became willing to air the series later once a few more producers who were well-experienced in Westerns like The Rifleman, put stock in the show.

Even though the series had been passed through various hands, Stanwyck's work wasn't all for naught. Once the series was set to begin filming, she was asked if she still had an interest in the role of the Barkley matriarch. The rest is Western history

Watch The Big Valley on MeTV!

Saturdays at 12 PM

*available in most MeTV markets
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


meeko9 3 months ago
Every Era has a Cher,Madonna,or J Lo but Barara Stanwyck outshines them all!!! I think Ryan Murphy should concentrate on her next....hint !
MeFanFromSavan 3 months ago
A very attractive woman who aged gracefully throughout her years.
Mwd1655 3 months ago
I have watched the big valley so many times I can tell you what everyone is going to say before they say it every episode
AgingDisgracefully 3 months ago
That's MISS Barbara Stanwyck to you, fella.
McGillahooala 3 months ago
I guess all that trying paid off because whether you like the Big Valley or not, it was a big one where westerns are concerned.
Runeshaper 3 months ago
Barbara Stanwyck was AWESOME! Love her in every role I've ever seen her in!
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?