James Best

Despite having played some of the orneriest bad guys in films and on television for over four decades, actor James Best was forever ingrained in the minds of audiences as the bumbling Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane on "The ... Read more »
Born: 07/26/1926 in Powderly, Kentucky, USA

Filmography

Actor (53)

The Sweeter Side of Life 2012 - 2013 (TV Show)

Actor

Moondance Alexander 2007 (Movie)

Mr. McClancy (Actor)

TV Road Trip 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Raney 1997 (Movie)

Uncle Nate (Actor)

Death Mask 1995 (Movie)

(Actor)

In the Heat of the Night 1991 - 1992 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Dukes of Hazzard 1978 - 1985, 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Night Train 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

The Dukes 1982 - 1984 (TV Show)

Voice

Hooper 1978 (Movie)

Cully (Actor)

The End 1978 (Movie)

Pacemaker Patient (Actor)

McLaren's Riders 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor

Rolling Thunder 1977 (Movie)

Texan (Actor)

Nickelodeon 1976 (Movie)

Jim (Actor)

Ode to Billy Joe 1976 (Movie)

Dewey Barksdale (Actor)

Savages 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Actor

Sounder 1972 (Movie)

Sheriff Young (Actor)

Run Simon Run 1970 - 1971 (TV Show)

Actor

Firecreek 1968 (Movie)

Drew (Actor)

The Andy Griffith Show 1960 - 1968 (TV Show)

Actor

First to Fight 1966 (Movie)

Sgt Carnavan (Actor)

Shenandoah 1965 (Movie)

Carter (Actor)

Three on a Couch 1965 (Movie)

Dr Ben Mizer (Actor)

Black Spurs 1964 (Movie)

Sheriff Elkins (Actor)

Shock Corridor 1963 (Movie)

Stuart (Actor)

The Mountain Road 1960 (Movie)

Niergaard (Actor)

Cast a Long Shadow 1958 (Movie)

Sam Mullen (Actor)

Ride Lonesome 1958 (Movie)

Billy John (Actor)

The Killer Shrews 1958 (Movie)

Thorne Sherman (Actor)

The Left-Handed Gun 1958 (Movie)

Tom Folliard (Actor)

The Naked and the Dead 1958 (Movie)

Ridges (Actor)

Verboten! 1958 (Movie)

David (Actor)

Hot Summer Night 1957 (Movie)

Kermit (Actor)

Come Next Spring 1956 (Movie)

Bill Jackson (Actor)

The Rack 1956 (Movie)

Millard Chilson Cassidy (Actor)

Seven Angry Men 1955 (Movie)

Jason (Actor)

The Caine Mutiny 1954 (Movie)

Lieutenant Jorgenson (Actor)

The Raid 1954 (Movie)

Lieutenant Robinson (Actor)

Seminole 1952 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Cimarron Kid 1951 (Movie)

(Actor)

Centennial (TV Show)

Actor

Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion (TV Show)

Actor

Francis Goes to West Point (Movie)

Corporal Ransom (Actor)

Mystery Submarine (Movie)

Navy Lieutenant (Actor)

Peggy (Movie)

Frank Addison (Actor)

The Battle at Apache Pass (Movie)

Cpl. Hassett (Actor)

The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (Movie)

Radar Man (Actor)

The President's Lady (Movie)

Samuel (Actor)

The Runaway Barge (TV Show)

Actor

The Savage Bees (TV Show)

Actor

The Twilight Zone (TV Show)

Actor

Winchester '73 (Movie)

Crator (Actor)
Producer (1)

The End 1978 (Movie)

(Associate Producer)

Biography

Despite having played some of the orneriest bad guys in films and on television for over four decades, actor James Best was forever ingrained in the minds of audiences as the bumbling Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane on "The Dukes of Hazzard" (CBS, 1979-1985). A World War II veteran, he fell in love with acting while serving in Europe, and became a Universal contract player in the early 1950s. Scores of small film roles led to steady work in television and films, frequently as villainous cowpokes in "Ride Lonesome" (1959) and "Shenandoah" (1965). The bumbling Rosco P. Coltrane showcased Best's rarely-seen comic side to its fullest, and if it typecast him for the remainder of his career, he did not seem to mind. A respected acting teacher and occasional producer-director, he settled into independent film production and enjoyed the minor immortality afforded by nostalgia and television reruns. James Best died of complications from pneumonia on April 6, 2015. He was 88.

Milestones

1998

Acted in and wrote independent film "Death Mask"

1979

Played Sheriff Roscoe T. Coltrane in "Dukes of Hazzard"

1972

Played an overtly racist sheriff in "Sounder"

1959

Appeared in three episodes of NBC's "The Twilight Zone"

1959

Played lead role in the film "Verboten!"

1950

Played supporting role in the film "One Way Street"

1950

Played role in the more popular film "Kansas Raiders"

1940

Had first acting role in stage play "My Sister Eileen"

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