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Growing up in Lubbock, I didn’t want to be a real cowboy, because I knew a bunch of them and they didn’t get paid anything and they were hurt all the time. But I wanted to play one in the movies. My favorite early on was Bill Elliott, and another one was Ben Johnson—he was just about the best horse rider in Hollywood. Going to the Majestic Theater during a sandstorm and watching those guys on the screen, I realized there was something beyond topsoil and three hundred feet to the sky. As I went along, I started reading Shakespeare and Stanislavsky and Chekhov, and I picked up the idea that acting is a little more than gritting your jaw before you hit someone.
Barry Corbin was born in Lamesa, grew up in Lubbock, and attended Texas Tech University. From 1990 to 1995 he played astronaut Maurice Minnifield on Northern Exposure. His new series, Raising Caines, premieres this month on NBC.