‘Yellowstone’ star feared oral cancer treatment could cause career ‘disruption’


“Yellowstone” fans know the gravelly Texan drawl of Barry Corbin when they hear it, but the 82-year-old actor feared he might lose that signature cowboy voice and craggy face after being diagnosed with oral cancer.

Corbin, who has guest-starred on the hit Paramount+ show as Ross, the cowboy at the Four Sixes Ranch, spoke to People about his treatment for oral cancer earlier this year and his fears of how it could affect his acting career.

“They told me there was a possibility my vocal cords would be impacted and that would cause a big disruption in my business,” Corbin said.

“Yellowstone” and “Tulsa King” actor Barry Corbin, 82, shown being honored at the 2009 Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, feared he might have his voice and face dramatically altered from treatment for oral cancer.Tom Pennington / Associated Press

His acting career, which began in the mid-1970s, is still going strong; Corbin is also part of the cast for the upcoming “Tulsa King” with Sylvester Stallone on Paramount+ and has a role in the upcoming Martin Scorsese movie “Killers of the Flower Moon.”

He worried that could all change after he said he found a spot inside of his cheek that turned out to be oral cancer.

“I already knew what it was. I hadn’t discussed it with anybody, but I knew,” he said.

He and his wife, Jo Corbin, dreaded the possibility that he may have to have his jawbone removed and replaced with a bone from his fibula if the cancer had spread.

Corbin said he took two weeks off during the filming of “Tulsa King” to get treated for cancer.

“He did have some fear that he would not look the same when he returned to work after the surgery. He says he put his trust in the makeup people to make him presentable,” Jo Corbin told People. “And if that wasn’t possible, he thought he might be written off the show.”

“They could have kept the scenes I was in and explained in the finale why I’m not there because I play a man with dementia,” Barry Corbin said.

Corbin has been a television fixture since appearing on nine episodes of the classic 1980s nighttime soap opera “Dallas” and is well known for his roles on “Northern Exposure,” “One Tree Hill” and “The Ranch.”

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