Glenn Corbett (born Glenn Edwin Rothenburg; August 17, 1933 – January 16, 1993) was an American actor in movies and television for more than thirty years. Corbett came to national attention in the early 1960s when he replaced George Maharis in the cast of the popular CBS adventure drama Route 66.
He followed this with roles in high-profile films and television shows like the original Star Trek series, the daytime soap opera The Doctors, the prime-time soap Dallas, and movies like Chisum with John Wayne, as one of Jimmy Stewart’s sons in Shenandoah (film), and the World War II epic Midway.
An American lead actor and supporting actor, Corbett was born on August 17, 1933 in El Monte, California, the son of Sarah Bell (Holland) and John Warren Rothenburg, a garage mechanic.
After serving in the United States Navy as a Seabee, he met his wife Judy at Occidental College in Los Angeles, and, with her encouragement, he began acting in campus theater plays. He was seen by a talent scout and was signed to a contract with Columbia Pictures.
In his youth Corbett had done male modeling for photographer Bob Mizer.
Film and television career
Corbett’s film debut was in The Crimson Kimono (1959); it was followed with supporting roles in The Mountain Road (1960) and Man on a String (1960). He took the lead role in William Castle’s suspense thriller, Homicidal (1961) and was cast as one of the sons of Jimmy Stewart’s character in the Civil War film Shenandoah (1965). In other film work, he starred as Pat Garrett, opposite John Wayne in Chisum (1970). He again co-starred with Wayne in Big Jake (1971). Later, he appeared in Nashville Girl (1976) and Midway (1976).
In 1963, Corbett replaced George Maharis on Route 66. Corbett, playing Lincoln Case, co-starred with Martin Milner during part of the third season and the fourth and final season of the series (1963–64). In 1964–65, he had a role on Twelve O’Clock High as Lt. Tom Lockridge for two episodes.
Corbett’s other television roles in the early to late 1960s include Wes Macauley on It’s a Man’s World (1962–63). He was featured in 1964 as “Dan Collins” in an episode of Gunsmoke titled “Chicken” in which a man gets an undeserved reputation as a gunman when he is found at a way station with four dead outlaws at his feet. In the 1965–1966 season, Corbett guest-starred on The Legend of Jesse James. Corbett also guest-starred in an episode of The Virginian, entitled “The Awakening”, in which his character, David Henderson, is a destitute former minister who has had a crisis of faith and comes to Medicine Bow just as a dispute breaks out at a local mine over safety issues. He appeared as “Chance Reynolds”, a regular cast member on The Road West (1966–67). He guest-starred in the second season Star Trek episode “Metamorphosis” (1967) as Zefram Cochrane.
In 1971, Corbett had a guest appearance with Mariette Hartley on Gunsmoke (episode: “Phoenix”). In the 1970s, he had guest-starring roles on the television shows The Mod Squad, Cannon, The Streets of San Francisco, Police Woman, The Rockford Files, and Barnaby Jones.
In 1976, Corbett joined the cast of the NBC daytime soap opera The Doctors as Jason Aldrich. He stayed on The Doctors until 1981. Throughout the 1980s, Corbett was a recurring guest star on the long-running television series Dallas as Paul Morgan from 1983–84, and then from 1986–88.
In January 1993, Corbett died of lung cancer at the Veterans Administration (VA) hospital in San Antonio, Texas at the age of 59. He was buried in Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, San Antonio.