Who Plays Colby on 'Yellowstone'? Denim Richards is Everyone's Favorite Ranch Hand

The Paramount Network's Yellowstone just couldn't get any better. From John Dutton (Kevin Costner) and Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser) to Beth (Kelly Reilly) and Kayce (Luke Grimes), the all-star cast really brings the modern Wild West to life. But let's not forget about the boys in the bunkhouse. Without the trusty ranch hands, not only would no work get done, but who else would keep us laughing, making fun of Jimmy (Jefferson White) for being a mediocre cowboy? One of our favorite ranch hands is Colby, played by Denim Richards. 

But Colby is more than just a ranch hand. He's blossomed into a fully-fledged character that folks tune in for just like they do Beth or Rip. Especially interesting is his relationship with Teeter (Jennifer Landon), a romance that's been just as stalwart as Colby himself, bringing a complicated but fun romance to the forefront of the show that we don't always see without being mired in tragedy. Yes, Colby is a multifaceted character who you should absolutely keep an eye on. If you've never given any thought to taking a peek into the man who brings this ranch hand to life, now's a great time to do just that.

Who is Denim Richards?

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 14: Denim Richards attends the premiere of Paramount Pictures' "68 Whiskey" at Sunset Tower on January 14, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)

Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images

Richards grew up in Orange County, Calif., and was not only a talented singer but an avid horseback rider. From an early age, it was clear that he was going to be a performer, and he grew up not only singing but performing in musical theater. While it was a somewhat tough transition from the stage to in front of the camera, Richards did it and started booking TV roles after working on short films in college. 

He made his acting debut as a member of the choir in Lincoln Heights before going on to appear in shows like Catfish: The TV Show, Murder Book, and Acting Out in a variety of smaller and uncredited roles. His Hollywood career officially kicked off with a role in the Disney series Good Luck Charlie followed by a recurring role on Freeform's Good Trouble. But the role that Richards is best known for to date is definitely Colby in Yellowstone.

Yellowstone and Beyond

FORT WORTH, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 13: Denim Richards attends the premiere for Paramount Network's "Yellowstone" Season 5 at Hotel Drover on November 13, 2022 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images for Paramount)

Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images for Paramount

Richards amassed several years' worth of experience when he finally made it in Hollywood. But the role that Richards is best known for to date is definitely Colby in Yellowstone. Richards told Orange Coast that it was convenient getting to audition for Yellowstone since he had just appeared in another western, his first feature film, The Chickasaw Rancher.

"I just filmed Chickasaw Rancher, a period piece set around 1860, where I played a real-life cowboy named Jack Brown. So when they sent me the (lines) for my character, Colby, in Yellowstone, it was easy for me to prepare for the role. I felt like I was playing Jack Brown's great-great-grandson."

But one of the most exciting aspects of working on the show was likely, as it is for many, related to getting to work with a major name in the industry. Like many of the actors on the popular series, Richards told the Digital Journal that it's been life-changing getting to work with Kevin Costner

"Working with Kevin Costner was excellent. It's a great opportunity to work with somebody who was at the top of his game for so many decades in the entertainment business," he said. "I feel I gained 20 years of experience being able to just be around him."

Richards explained that unlike many sets in the entertainment industry, his co-stars on Yellowstone treat everyone as equals. In their minds, if creator Taylor Sheridan chose you to be on the show, you deserve it regardless of your experience. Over the past three seasons, the entire cast has gotten incredibly close while filming up in Montana.

"Every night, the Yellowstone actors get together, make a bonfire by the lake, share stories, and look at the stars. We get to live this very simple lifestyle while also living out our dream of acting, which is amazing and hard to do in California. It's usually just one or the other. That's what makes all of this a dream come true."

Beyond Yellowstone

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 30: Denim Richards attends the premiere party for Paramount Network's "Yellowstone" Season 2 at Lombardi House on May 30, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Outside of his hit series, Richards is also involved behind the camera. He wrote and directed the short film The Zoo, which follows the story of Black people during the Holocaust, a story that is rarely told. 

"For me, The Zoo is an opportunity to talk about these types of stories and be able to start a dialogue to not only share with the world but then for us to understand what our other history is," the actor explained to Your Money Geek

"Before all these other things in 1619, arriving in Jamestown, Virginia, in chains, before this Africa was a mecca, we were kings and queens. We were inventors, we were scientists, and we were all of these amazing things. This is just an opportunity to expound upon that information, but then to also help start that dialogue."

Now that Richards has become something of an indispensable part of Yellowstone, we'll likely see a little less from him on the side, but that leaves more room for Colby to grow and become even more of a beloved character — at least, we hope so, because his actor certainly has a lot to offer.

READ MORE: Music From 'Yellowstone': Every Country Song Featured in the Series