‘Yellowstone’ Star Barry Corbin Reveals Cancer Diagnosis

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/WireImage)

Not the news anyone wants to share, Yellowstone star Barry Corbin revealed he has been diagnosed with oral cancer, which nearly cost him his voice. During his recent interview with PEOPLE, Barry Corbin spoke about the unfortunate medical news. “There was a spot in the indie of my check that didn’t go away,” the Yellowstone actor shared. “It came back that it was cancer. I already knew what it was. I hadn’t discussed it with anybody, but I knew.”

Although Yellowstone’s production company let him take some time off for a medical procedure, Barry Corbin said he didn’t mention it was for cancer. He also didn’t realize how the recovery would impact him. “I didn’t realize how much it would knock me out,” the actor stated. “I was sleeping 12 to 14 hours a day. It was a little difficult, but we got it done.” 

Barry Corbin also shared what his doctors told him about the cancer and how it would affect his body and even his career. “They told me there was a possibility my vocal cords would be impacted,” the Yellowstone star continued. “And that would cause a big disruption in my business.”

Barry Corbin’s doctor, Dr. Jonathan Jelmini also spoke to the media outlet about the Yellowstone actor’s diagnosis. “It’s much more aggressive when it’s involved in the mouth,” he said about squamous cell carcinoma, which is normally referred to as skin cancer. “And there are a lot of nerves that run through the tongue around where things need to be removed.” 

‘Yellowstone’ Star Barry Corbin Talks Cancer Treatment Options & His Wife Speaks Out

Barry Corbin also said that he was prepared for the possibility of the cancer progressing rapidly. This meant that surgeons would have taken his jawbone out and replaced it with a bone from the fibula. Unfortunately, there is an issue with that option. “Both my fibulas have been broken,” Corbin shared. “So they’re not in very good shape either, so that kinda worried me.”

Meanwhile, Barry Corbin’s wife, Jo, told PEOPLE that her big fear going into the cancer treatments wasn’t his looks. “But Barry makes his life off his face and his voice,” she said. “The two things they told us might be the most affected.” 

Barry Corbin’s wife then said that he had some fear that he would not look the same when he returned to work post-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.”

The Yellowstone star then said, “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.”