James Best Biography

Birthday: 1926-07-26
Place of Birth: Powderly, Kentucky USA
Height: 6' 1" (1.85 m)
Wiki Biography: 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.

James BestPhotos & Pictures

James Best James Best


TV Title Appeared As Year Genre
Cavalcade of America 1952 Drama
The Dukes Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane 1983 - 1983
Frontier Ben Reed / ... 3727
Movies Title Appeared As Year Genre
Hot Summer Night 1957
The Left Handed Gun 1958
Ride Lonesome 1959
The Mountain Road 1960
The Killer Shrews Thorne Sherman 1962 Horror, Sci Fi
Shock Corridor 1963 Drama, Mystery
Shenandoah 1965 Drama
Three On A Couch 1966
Firecreek 1968
Ode to Billy Joe 1976 Drama
Rolling Thunder 1978 Action, Drama, Crime
Hooper 1978 Action, Comedy
The Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion! Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane 1997 Action, Adventure
Raney Uncle Nate 1997 Drama
Hot Tamale Hank Larson 2006 Action, Comedy, Crime
Moondance Alexander 2007 Family
Return of the Killer Shrews Thorne Sherman 2012 Horror
Old Soldiers Joe McBee 2015 Adventure, Comedy, Drama