Leonard Barrie "Barry" Corbin (born October 16, 1940) is an American actor. His most well-known role came in the television series Northern Exposure (1990–1995), for which he was consecutively nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards.
Corbin and Peg Phillips in 1993
Leonard Barrie Corbin
October 16, 1940
|Education||Texas Tech University|
Marie Elyse Soape
(m. 1965; div. 1974)
(m. 1976; div. 1993)
|Parent(s)||Kilmer B. Corbin |
|Relatives||Jane Corbin (sister)|
Corbin was born in Lamesa, the seat of Dawson County, south of Lubbock in West Texas. He is the son of the former Alma LaMerle Scott (1918–1994), a teacher, and Kilmer Blaine Corbin, Sr. (1919–1993), a school principal, judge, and Democratic member of the Texas State Senate for two terms, from 1949–1957. Corbin was named for author J. M. Barrie by his mother. He played football briefly in eighth grade, but soon moved to the arts, including acting and ballet classes. He graduated from Monterey High School. Corbin studied theatre arts at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. At 21, he joined the United States Marine Corps, served two years, and then returned to Tech.
Corbin began his career as a Shakespearean actor in the 1960s, but today he is more likely to be seen in the role of the local sheriff, military leader, or some other authority figure, though on occasion, he has effectively portrayed murderous villains, as well. To moviegoers, he is well remembered as General Beringer in WarGames, John Travolta's uncle Bob Davis in Urban Cowboy, co-starring with Clint Eastwood in Any Which Way You Can, or Roscoe Brown, July Johnson's bumbling deputy in the acclaimed Western Lonesome Dove.
From 1979 until 1984, he appeared in several episodes of Dallas as Sheriff Fenton Washburn. In 1983, Corbin co-starred in the famed television miniseries The Thorn Birds. Corbin played Mary Carson's stockman Pete, who teaches the Clearys' sons how to shear sheep on their aunt's gigantic sheep station Drogheda, in Australia. In 1983–1984, Corbin played Merit Sawyer in the NBC television series Boone. Corbin's role was that of a stern father to the young actor Tom Byrd, who played Boone Sawyer, an aspiring singer. The program was set in rural Tennessee during the 1950s and was created by Earl Hamner, who had great success earlier with CBS's The Waltons.
In 1994, Corbin narrated the acclaimed TBS documentary MoonShot, telling the story of the 1960s space race from the first-person viewpoint of Mercury Seven astronaut Deke Slayton. In 2007, he played the character Clay Johnson, father of Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson on The Closer series.
In 2003, Corbin co-starred with Northern Exposure castmate John Cullum in Blackwater Elegy, an award-winning short film written by Matthew Porter and co-directed by Porter and Joe O'Brien.
From 2003–2008, Corbin played Whitey Durham, the basketball coach for the Tree Hill Ravens on The WB/CW teenager drama series One Tree Hill. He also had a role in 2007's Oscar-winning film No Country for Old Men.
Corbin is the signature voice of radio station KPLX in Fort Worth, Texas, and has also voiced trailers and promotions for CMT and various other country radio stations. In 2014, he became the spokesman for the Texas Veterans Land Board.
In 2014, Corbin worked with Tracey Birdsall on Dawn of the Crescent Moon, followed by working alongside her for the up-coming science fiction films At the Edge of Time (2016) and The Time War (2017).
Before breaking into film, Corbin won many cutting-horse competitions. Much of his spare time is spent riding horses and tending to cattle on his small Texas ranch near Fort Worth. He has volunteered his time to charity for many years, including rodeos and being spokesman for the National Alopecia Areata Foundation. In 2006, he participated in the Lubbock centennial.
Corbin lives on the ranch with his daughter, Shannon Ross (born 1965) and grandchildren. Shannon had been adopted as an infant; her birth mother, who had an affair with Corbin, gave up the child through the Methodist Mission Home in San Antonio, without having told Corbin of the pregnancy. Corbin found Shannon in June 1991, when she was 26. Corbin has three sons: Bernard Weiss (born 1970), Jim Corbin (born 1979), and Christopher Corbin (born 1982). Christopher has followed in his father's footsteps as an actor. Bernard was adopted by the Weiss family and later in life got in touch with Corbin. His second wife, Susan Berger, and he divorced in 1992.
In 2009, Corbin was inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame in Fort Worth. A recent painting of Corbin has been placed at the museum exhibit. Corbin has appeared at gatherings of the American Cowboy Culture Association, which holds the annual National Cowboy Symposium and Celebration each September in Lubbock.
In September 2011, Corbin was given a lifetime achievement award by the Estes Park Film Festival in Estes Park, Colorado. The Texas Film Hall of Fame inducted Corbin into its membership on March 8, 2012.
- Urban Cowboy (1980) .... Bob Davis
- Stir Crazy (1980) .... Warden Walter Beatty
- Any Which Way You Can (1980) .... Fat Zack Tupper
- Bitter Harvest (1981, TV Movie) .... Dr. Agajanian
- Dead & Buried (1981) .... Phil
- The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia (1981) .... Wimbish
- The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982) .... B.R. Abernathy
- Six Pack (1982) .... Sheriff
- The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982) .... C.J.
- Honkytonk Man (1982) .... Arnspriger
- WarGames (1983) .... General Beringer
- The Man Who Loved Women (1983) .... Roy Carr
- What Comes Around (1985) .... Leon Redden
- My Science Project (1985) .... Lew Harlan
- Nothing in Common (1986) .... Andrew Woolridge
- Hard Traveling (1986) .... Frank Burton
- Firefighter (1986, TV Movie) .... Captain Johnson
- Under Cover (1987) .... Sergeant Irwin Lee
- Off the Mark (1987) .... Walt Warner
- Permanent Record (1988) .... Jim Sinclair
- Critters 2: The Main Course (1988) .... Harv
- It Takes Two (1988) .... George Lawrence
- Who's Harry Crumb? (1989) .... P.J. Downing
- Short Time (1990) .... Captain
- Ghost Dad (1990) .... Mr. Emery Collins
- The Hot Spot (1990) .... Sheriff
- Career Opportunities (1991) .... Officer Don
- Solo (1996) .... General Clyde Haynes
- Curdled (1996) .... Lodger
- The Fanatics (1997) .... Robert Blister
- Judgment Day: The Ellie Nesler Story (1999) .... Tony Serra
- Held Up (1999) .... Pembry
- Timequest (2000) .... Lyndon B. Johnson
- The Journeyman (2001) .... Charlie Ledbetter
- No One Can Hear You (2001) .... Sheriff Joe Webster
- Race to Space (2001) .... Earl Vestal
- The Gristle (2001) .... Senator Dorm
- Clover Bend (2002) .... Cotton
- Dunsmore (2003) .... Sheriff Breen
- Monte Walsh (2003) .... Bob Alderson
- Tin Can Shinny (2003) .... Daddy Jack
- Yesterday's Dreams (2005) .... Pastor
- River's End (2005) .... Sheriff 'Buster' Watkins
- The Dukes of Hazzard (2005) .... Mr. Pullman (uncredited)
- Waitin' to Live (2006) .... Buford Pike
- Beautiful Dreamer (2006) .... Grandpa
- No Country for Old Men (2007) .... Ellis
- The Grand (2007) .... Jimminy 'Lucky' Faro
- Trail End (2007, Short) .... Hank
- In the Valley of Elah (2007) .... Arnold Bickman
- Lake City (2008) .... George
- Beer for My Horses (2008) .... Buck Baker
- That Evening Sun (2009) .... Thurl Chessor
- Not Since You (2009) .... Uncle Dennis
- Ben 10: Alien Swarm (2009, TV Movie) .... Grandpa Max Tennyson
- Feed the Fish (2009) .... Axel Andersen
- Bloodworth (2010) .... Itchy
- Rising Stars (2010) .... Farmer
- Nonames (2010) .... Ed
- The Next Door Neighbor (2010) .... Judge Rodgers
- Sedona (2011) .... Les
- Valley of the Sun (2011) .... Gene Taggert
- Universal Squadrons (2011) .... Deakin
- Redemption: For Robbing the Dead (2011) .... Judge Smith
- 3 Blind Saints (2011)
- Cinema Six (2012) .... Roger
- The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vicente Fernandez (2012) .... Walker
- Born Wild (2012) .... Ray Jennings
- This Is Where We Live (2013) .... Bode
- Dawn of the Crescent Moon (2014) .... Cyrus
- The Homesman (2014) .... Buster Shaver
- Planes: Fire & Rescue (2014) .... Ol' Jammer (voice)
- Finding Harmony (2014) .... Grady Pickett
- Beyond the Farthest Star (2015) .... Chief Burns
- Christmas in the Smokies (2015) .... Wade Haygood
- Last Man Club (2016) .... Pete Williams
- At the Edge of Time (2016) .... Titus
- Mountain Top (2017) .... Sam Miller
- The Valley (2017) .... Gary
- All Saints (2017) .... Forrest
- New Life (2017) .... Oscar
- An American in Texas (2017) .... Larry Korchinsky
- Windsor (2018) .... Gil Denton
- Farmer of the Year (2018) .... Hap
- Eminence Hill (2019) .... Noah
- Man Against the Mob
- Celebrity Poker Showdown
- Dallas – Sheriff Fenton Washburn, Sheriff of Braddock County
- M*A*S*H – Sgt. Joe Vickers in episode "Your Retention, Please" (episode 205)
- This House Possessed – Lieutenant Fletcher (1981)
- Hart to Hart – Hart, Line, and Sinker, Sheriff Bud Williams (1982)
- Travis McGee – TV Movie – Sheriff Hack Ames (1983)
- The A-Team – Kinkaid
- Lonesome Dove – Roscoe Brown
- The Thorn Birds miniseries
- Matlock The Court Martial – Army Col. Steven McRea (1987)
- LBJ: The Early Years – TV Movie – Judge Alvin J. Wirtz (1987)
- Man Against the Mob – TV Movie – Big Mac McCleary (1988)
- Northern Exposure – 110 episodes – Maurice J. Minnifield / Mace Mobrey (main role, 1990–1995)
- The Chase – TV Movie – Wallis (1991)
- Conagher – TV Movie - McCloud (1991)
- Moon Shot • The Inside Story of America's Race to the Moon (narrator) (1994)
- Life with Louie – episode – The Fourth Thursday in November – Uncle Sammy (voice) (1995)
- Ellen "A Penney Saved..." – Jack (1996)
- The Big Easy – 35 episodes – C.D. LeBlanc (1996–1997)
- Murder She Wrote
- Flight 90: Disaster on the Potomac (TV film) – Burt Hamilton
- Walker, Texas Ranger – episode – Widow Maker – Ben Crowder (1999)
- Chicken Soup for the Soul – episode – The Real Father – Doctor (1999)
- Columbo – episode – A Trace of Murder – Clifford Calvert (1997)
- Understanding – narrator for "Traffic" episode
- Spin City – Peter Noland
- The Closer – Clay Johnson
- The Closer – episode – Pilot – Angus Clayton (1998)
- The Magnificent Seven – episode – Working Girls – Wickes
- JAG - Season 4, Episode 6 October 27, 1997 guest star role industrialist Bertram
Act of Terror(1998)
- Crossfire Trail – TV Movie – Sheriff Walter Moncrief (2001)
- Monte Walsh – TV Movie – Bob the Storekeeper (2003)
- One Tree Hill – Coach Whitey Durham (main role, 2003–2008)
- Wyvern – TV Movie – Hass (2009)
- King of the Hill – Fire Chief
- Psych – Bamford
- The Drew Carey Show – Mr. Pheifer
- Hidden Places (Hallmark movie) – Sheriff
- The Unit – Carson
- Hope Ranch (TV film) – Shorty
- Reba – J. V. McKinney
- Modern Family – Merle Tucker (3 episodes)
- Anger Management – Ed (main role, 2012–2014)
- The Looney Tunes Show – episode – A Christmas Carol – Santa Claus (voice) (2012)
- Suit Up – 16 episodes – Dick Devereaux (2012–2013)
- Dallas – J.R. Ewing's lawyer/Executor, episode: "Ewings Unite!" (2013)
- Blood & Oil – Clifton Lundegren (6 episodes, 2015)
- Netflix's The Ranch – Dale the Veterinarian (2016-present)
- Young Sheldon - Mr. Gilford- episode - A Math Emrgency and Perky Palms (2019)
- The Twilight Zone – episode – Dead Run – Pete (1986)
- Red Alert: Retaliation as General Ben Carville. In the sequel, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2, he reprised this character with a much larger role. The game also featured a number of cinematics spoofing his role in WarGames.
- Tex Murphy: The Pandora Directive as Jackson Cross – An NSA operative who kidnaps and threatens to kill the main character in his pursuit of an alien artifact.
- "Barry Corbin Biography (1940–)". www.filmreference.com.
- Sumner, Jane (4 March 2012). "Texas' Corbin returns to his roots". Austin American-Statesman.
- University, Texas Tech (1962). "La Ventana, vol. 037". Cite journal requires
- "Northern Exposure: Barry Corbin bio". Archived from the original on 2006-10-01.
- "Barry Corbin". IMDb.
- "The Official Barry Corbin Site – Articles". www.barrycorbin.com.
- "Tracey Birdsall". IMDb. Retrieved 2016-09-25.
- Loudon, Kirk (2014-04-01), Dawn of the Crescent Moon, retrieved 2016-09-25
- Johnson, Neil (2000-01-01), At the Edge of Time, retrieved 2016-09-25
- The Time War (2017), retrieved 2016-09-25
- "The Official Barry Corbin Site – Achievement". www.barrycorbin.com.
- Museum exhibit, Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, Fort Worth.
- "National Cowboy Symposium & Celebration, Inc. (Lubbock, Texas)". cowboy.org. Archived from the original on August 26, 2013. Retrieved September 5, 2013.
- Cangialosi, Jason. "Estes Park Film Festival: Barry Corbin’s Lifetime Achievement Award." www.milehighcinema.com, Archived April 24, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
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