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Peter Breck appears in a still from The Big Valley. - Provided courtesy of ABC

Peter Breck, 'The Big Valley' actor, dies at 82

02/11/2012 by Olivia Allin

Peter Breck, best known as playing the son of ranch owner Barbara Stanwyck on the 1960s Western series 'The Big Valley,' has died at 82.

According to the Associated Press, the actor passed away on Monday, February 6, 2012 in Vancouver, British Columbia after battling an unnamed illness for some time, his wife Diane announced on February 10.

The Massachusetts native was a regular on TV series like "Maverick" and "Black Saddle." He also had guest appearances from the 1950s through the early 2000s on series like "Perry Mason," "The Virginian," "General Hospital" and "Fantasy Island."

But he is best known for his role as loose cannon rancher Nick Barkley on the ABC series "The Big Valley," which aired from 1965 until 1969.

His film appearances included "Thunder Road," "The Beatniks," "I Want to Live!" and "Benji."

Breck married former dancer Diane Bourne in 1960. They had one son named Christopher, who tragically died of acute myeloid leukemia at a young age.

Breck is survived by his wife Diane.

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