“Yellowstone” actor Barry Corbin opens up about his battle with oral cancer in a new interview with People.
The star, a real-life cowboy who is known for his trademark Texas voice, tells the magazine: “There was a spot in the inside of my cheek that didn’t go away. It came back that it was cancer.
“I already knew what it was. I hadn’t discussed it with anybody, but I knew,” the 82-year-old adds.
Despite Corbin being in his 80s and his recent health struggle, he’s showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
He’s set to star in the series “Tulsa King” alongside Sylvester Stallone, as well as Martin Scorsese’s 2023 flick “Killers of the Flower Moon”, also starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and Jesse Plemons.
Corbin figured he’d finish filming “Tulsa King” then get the surgery done, but filming got behind schedule and he had to ask for time off for a medical procedure. He chose not to mention it was for cancer surgery.
The actor took two weeks off before returning to set.
“I didn’t realize how much it would knock me out. I was sleeping 12 to 14 hours a day,” Corbin admits of his recovery. “It was a little difficult, but we got it done.”
There was a possibility his career would be affected, with him telling the mag: “They told me there was a possibility my vocal cords would be impacted and that would cause a big disruption in my business.”
There was also a possibility that the cancer could have “progressed rapidly and surgeons might have had to take his jawbone out and replace it with a bone from his fibula,” People points out.
“Both my fibulas have been broken, so they’re not in very good shape either, so that kinda worried me,” Corbin shares.
Corbin’s wife Jo says, “My big fear going into this wasn’t his looks. But Barry makes his living off his face and his voice, the two things they told us might be the most affected.”
She continues, “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 make-up people to make him presentable. 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,” Corbin explains.