Born in Lamesa, in
Dawson County October 16, 1940, Corbin attended O.L. Slaton Jr. High
and graduated from Monterey High School in Lubbock Texas. At 21, he
joined the United States Marine Corps, served two years, and then
returned to graduate from Texas Tech University.
began his career as an actor in the 1960s, today he is likely to be
remembered in the role of the local sheriff, military leader, or
some other authority figure, though on occasion, he has effectively
portrayed murderous villains. 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 starring fellow Texan,
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.
From 1990 to 1995, Corbin portrayed former astronaut and local
business leader Maurice Minnifield on CBS's Northern Exposure, for
which he received an Emmy Award nomination.
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