Not to be confused with the 1940s bit player of the same name, American leading man Peter Breck was the son of a bandleader. Majoring in drama and minoring in psychology at the University of Houston, Breck went the regional-theater route until selected by Robert Mitchum for a role in Mitchum's Thunder Road (1958). He paid a few further dues on network television, showing up now and then as Doc Holiday on the weekly Western Maverick. In 1959, Breck starred in his own sagebrush series, Black Saddle, in which he played gunslinger-turned-lawyer Clay Culhane. When the series was dropped after one season, he accepted a few low-paying theater assignments, making ends meet with whatever odd jobs came along. His tenacity paid off when, in 1969, Breck was cast as firebrand "number two son" Nick Barkeley on The Big Valley, which ran for four years. A decade later, he appeared in still another Western, playing a megalomaniac miner in the serialized Secret Empire. Peter Breck has devoted considerable time to teaching drama in Vancouver, British Columbia.