James Best

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Age: 88
Birthplace:

​American character actor and teacher. Born Jules Guy in Powderly, Kentucky, on July 26, 1926, he was orphaned at three and adopted by Armen and Essa Best, who re-named him James K. Best and raised him in Corydon, Indiana. Following high school he worked briefly as a metalworker before joining the Army shortly after World War II, in December, 1945. According to Best, he first acted in a European tour of "My Sister Eileen" directed by Arthur Penn. Upon his return to the U.S., he toured in road and stock companies in plays and musicals, and was finally spotted by a scout from Universal Pictures, who put him under contract. A handsome young man, his rural inflections perhaps kept him from frequent leading man roles. During the 1950s and '60s, he was a familiar face in movies and television in a wide range of roles, from Western bad guys to craven cowards and country bumpkins. Physical ailments curtailed his work for a long period late in his career, and he established a well-respected acting workshop in Los Angeles. He also served as artist-in-residence at the University of Mississippi, teaching and directing. He worked in both acting and producing capacities for Burt Reynolds on several of the latter's films in the late 1970s, before taking on his greatest commercial success. Although the The Dukes of Hazzard (1979) TV series was far beneath his talents, his role as Sheriff Roscoe Coltrane was the part that gave him his greatest fame. He continued teaching, both in Hollywood and later in Florida (at the University of Central Florida). Semi-retired, he makes personal appearances and exhibits his paintings.

 
Movie Character Year
Bhr0hz1fba22vwrvckmfgg0vcaa Comanche Territory Sam 1950
Qbutzmb1k5mv8hznywaes2jla6j Winchester '73 Crater 1950
5ypcuewtzjw4kxpgoy8k1n8ntw5 Apache Drums Bert Keon 1951
Aevp75fnbmxsjmi3wl9v6n3g2sp The Battle at Apache Pass Cpl. Hassett 1952
Lmkecegfqypifncyucypw9hbkzy Top Of The World Serviceman receptionist for Major French 1955
Ld9drb7p9w6aos204lznly6ymjw Come Next Spring Bill Jackson 1956
Qgumrzajp17iprjztgmd22wmtnu Calling Homicide Det. Arnie Arnhoff 1956
Ralhrapz69bzarqqurzebtt1oam The Rack Millard Chilson Cassidy 1956
Cjhvlopjwlqa1mziyvrbo0oiqvv The Naked and the Dead Rhidges 1958
Ttgdip5uz9jhpvfug5o7uotqt5k Shenandoah Carter, Rebel Soldier 1965
Bl531lyunhl6ijwjgzjulqdx9eb Firecreek Drew 1968
Crcvx35qkdn3q4xna0z4l3zevzx Rolling Thunder Texan 1977
1g5wkedvuh58wxdjrd5ptbc7xbd Hooper Cully 1978
Popcorn The Dukes of Hazzard: Hazzard in Hollywood Rosco P. Coltrane 2000
7kig17sgjrlcgjryjzcsjuhicqq Moondance Alexander McClancy 2007
2c10si6jizujdaz44mkhf2orlc2 Return of the Killer Shrews Thorne Sherman 2012