Image of James Best

James Best

‚ÄčAmerican 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.


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Born:
Jul 26, 1926 In Powderly, Kentucky, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
136
First Appeared:
In the movie One Way Street 1950-04-01
Latest Project:
Series Pony Express 2017
Known For
Poster of Inside Fame
Poster of The Twilight Zone
Poster of The David Niven Show
Poster of Stories of the Century
Filmography

Pony Express (2018)

Western
Series
as Unknown
8 1 votes

Inside Fame (2018)

Series
as Unknown

The Sweeter Side of Life (2013)

TV Movie Comedy
Movie
as Paddy Kerrigan
6.1 8 votes

Return of the Killer Shrews (2012)

Horror
Movie
as Thorne Sherman
2.8 3 votes

Moondance Alexander (2007)

Drama Family
Movie
as McClancy
5.6 8 votes

Hot Tamale (2007)

Action Comedy Crime Thriller
Movie
as Hank Larson
6.8 8 votes

The Dukes of Hazzard: Hazzard in Hollywood (2000)

Comedy Action Adventure
Movie
as Rosco P. Coltrane
6.2 3 votes

Death Mask (1998)

Horror
Movie
as Wilbur Johnson
8 2 votes

The Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion! (1997)

TV Movie Action Adventure
Movie
as Boss / Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane
2.9 4 votes

E! True Hollywood Story (1996)

Documentary
Series
as Unknown
6.3 3 votes

B.L. Stryker (1989)

Series
as Unknown

In the Heat of the Night (1988)

Crime Drama
Series
as Unknown
7.3 7 votes

The Dukes (1983)

Animation
Series

Enos (1980)

Comedy Action & Adventure
Series
as Unknown

The Dukes of Hazzard (1979)

Action & Adventure Drama Comedy
Series
as Sheriff Rosco Coltrane
6.5 24 votes

Hooper (1978)

Action Comedy
Movie
as Cully
5.9 28 votes

Centennial (1978)

Western Drama
Series
as Unknown
8 1 votes

The Brain Machine (1977)

Thriller Science Fiction
Movie
as Rev. Emory Neill
3.3 2 votes

Rolling Thunder (1977)

Action Crime Drama Thriller
Movie
as Texan
6.7 43 votes

How the West Was Won (1976)

Western Drama
Series
as Unknown
8 1 votes

Ode to Billy Joe (1976)

Drama Romance
Movie
as Dewey Barksdale
6.9 6 votes

The Runaway Barge (1975)

Movie
as Bingo Washington

Savages (1974)

TV Movie Thriller
Movie
as Sheriff Bert Hamilton
8.5 1 votes

The Manhunter (1974)

Drama Crime
Series
as Unknown

Hawkins (1973)

Mystery
Series
as Unknown
10 1 votes

Sounder (1972)

Drama
Movie
as Sheriff Charlie Young
5.8 8 votes

Run, Simon, Run (1970)

Action Crime Thriller
Movie
as Henry Burroughs
6 2 votes

The Mod Squad (1968)

Action Drama
Series
as Unknown
6.6 5 votes

Firecreek (1968)

Western
Movie
as Drew
5.3 13 votes

Lancer (1968)

Western
Series
as Unknown
0.5 1 votes

First to Fight (1967)

War
Movie
as Sergeant Carnavan

The Guns of Will Sonnett (1967)

Western
Series
as Unknown
8 1 votes

Three on a Couch (1966)

Comedy Romance
Movie
as Dr. Ben Mizer
5 4 votes

Hawk (1966)

Series
as Unknown

The Green Hornet (1966)

Action & Adventure
Series
as Unknown
8.3 12 votes

Felony Squad (1966)

Crime Drama
Series
as Unknown

Black Spurs (1965)

Western
Movie
as Ralph Elkins
6.6 4 votes

Shenandoah (1965)

Action Adventure Drama Western
Movie
as Carter, Rebel Soldier
6.7 29 votes

Honey West (1965)

Action & Adventure Drama
Series
as Unknown
8.4 5 votes

The Quick Gun (1964)

Western
Movie
as Scotty Wade (listed as "Scotty Grant" in end credits but named "Scotty Wade" in the film)
5.5 4 votes

Daniel Boone (1964)

Action & Adventure Drama
Series
as Unknown
5.8 5 votes

Flipper (1964)

Action & Adventure Family
Series
as Unknown
4.5 6 votes

Shock Corridor (1963)

Drama Mystery Thriller
Movie
as Stuart
6.5 56 votes

The Fugitive (1963)

Action & Adventure Drama Mystery
Series
as Unknown
7.9 11 votes

Burke's Law (1963)

Drama
Series
as Unknown
8 4 votes

Redigo (1963)

Western Drama
Series
as Unknown

Black Gold (1962)

Adventure
Movie
as Jericho Larkin

The Virginian (1962)

Western Drama
Series
as Unknown
7 1 votes

General Electric True (1962)

Series
as Unknown

The Gallant Men (1962)

Series
as Unknown

Combat! (1962)

War & Politics Drama
Series
as Unknown
7.8 8 votes

Whispering Smith (1961)

Western
Series
as Unknown

Ben Casey (1961)

Drama
Series
as Unknown
6.3 3 votes

Overland Trail (1960)

Western
Series
as Unknown

Surfside 6 (1960)

Drama
Series
as Unknown

The Barbara Stanwyck Show (1960)

Drama
Series
as Unknown

The Mountain Road (1960)

Drama War
Movie
as Niergaard
7 1 votes

Michael Shayne (1960)

Drama Crime
Series
as Unknown

The Andy Griffith Show (1960)

Comedy
Series
as Unknown
7.5 26 votes

Stagecoach West (1960)

Western
Series
as Unknown
8 1 votes

The Killer Shrews (1959)

Horror Science Fiction
Movie
as Thorne Sherman
4.4 14 votes

Cast A Long Shadow (1959)

Drama Western
Movie
as Sam Mullen
6.3 4 votes

The Man and the Challenge (1959)

Sci-Fi & Fantasy Action & Adventure
Series
as Unknown

The David Niven Show (1959)

Drama
Series
as Unknown

Rawhide (1959)

Western
Series
as Unknown
7.7 9 votes

Black Saddle (1959)

Western Drama
Series
as Unknown

Ride Lonesome (1959)

Action Western
Movie
as Billy John
6 25 votes

Verboten! (1959)

Thriller War Drama
Movie
as Sgt. David Brent
4.9 5 votes

Laramie (1959)

Western
Series
as Unknown
9 1 votes

Hawaiian Eye (1959)

Crime Drama
Series
as Unknown
6.5 2 votes

The DuPont Show with June Allyson (1959)

Drama
Series
as Unknown
6 1 votes

The Rebel (1959)

Western
Series
as Unknown

Startime (1959)

Comedy Drama
Series
as Unknown

The Twilight Zone (1959)

Drama Mystery Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Series
as Unknown
8.2 128 votes

Men into Space (1959)

Sci-Fi & Fantasy Action & Adventure
Series
as Unknown
6 1 votes

Lock-Up (1959)

Series
as Unknown
9 2 votes

Wanted: Dead or Alive (1958)

Western
Series
as Unknown
7.6 7 votes

The Naked and the Dead (1958)

War
Movie
as Rhidges
6 1 votes

The Left Handed Gun (1958)

Drama Action Western
Movie
as Tom Folliard
5.2 16 votes

Bronco (1958)

Western
Series
as Unknown
7 1 votes

Cole Younger, Gunfighter (1958)

Western
Movie
as Kit Caswell
5 1 votes

The Texan (1958)

Western
Series
as Unknown

77 Sunset Strip (1958)

Drama Crime
Series
as Unknown
7.8 6 votes

Bat Masterson (1958)

Western
Series
as Unknown
7.5 2 votes

The Rifleman (1958)

Action & Adventure Western
Series
as Unknown
8 11 votes

Behind Closed Doors (1958)

War & Politics Drama
Series
as Unknown

Last of the Badmen (1957)

Western
Movie
as Ted Hamilton
5 2 votes

Hot Summer Night (1957)

Crime Drama
Movie
as Kermit

Have Gun – Will Travel (1957)

Western Action & Adventure
Series
as Unknown
8.2 12 votes

Richard Diamond, Private Detective (1957)

Crime Drama Action & Adventure
Series
as Unknown

Perry Mason (1957)

Mystery Drama Crime Family
Series
as Unknown
7.8 21 votes

Tombstone Territory (1957)

Western
Series
as Unknown
8 1 votes

Man on the Prowl (1957)

Movie
as Doug Gerhardt

Trackdown (1957)

Western Action & Adventure
Series
as Unknown
6.5 2 votes

Forbidden Planet (1956)

Science Fiction
Movie
as Crewman (uncredited)
7.2 197 votes

Come Next Spring (1956)

Drama
Movie
as Bill Jackson
7 1 votes

Gaby (1956)

Drama
Movie
as Jim

Calling Homicide (1956)

Crime
Movie
as Det. Arnie Arnhoff
5.5 2 votes

The West Point Story (1956)

Drama
Series
as Unknown

The Rack (1956)

War Drama Romance
Movie
as Millard Chilson Cassidy
3.5 4 votes

Top Of The World (1955)

Adventure
Movie
as Serviceman receptionist for Major French
6 1 votes

The Millionaire (1955)

Drama
Series
as Unknown
7 2 votes

Buffalo Bill, Jr. (1955)

Western
Series
as Unknown

Cheyenne (1955)

Action & Adventure Western
Series
as Unknown
7.5 4 votes

Gunsmoke (1955)

Western Action & Adventure
Series
as Unknown
6.5 17 votes

Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955)

Mystery Drama
Series
as Unknown
7.7 42 votes

Frontier (1955)

Western
Series
as Unknown

The Yellow Tomahawk (1954)

Western
Movie
as Private Bliss
5 1 votes

Stories of the Century (1954)

Western
Series
as Unknown

Return from the Sea (1954)

Romance Drama
Movie
as Barr

The Caine Mutiny (1954)

Drama War
Movie
as Lt. JG Jorgensen (uncredited)
7.2 73 votes

Climax! (1954)

Drama Mystery
Series
as Unknown
6 1 votes

The Lineup (1954)

Crime Drama
Series
as Unknown

The Raid (1954)

Western War
Movie
as Lt. Robinson
5.8 4 votes

General Electric Theater (1953)

Comedy Drama
Series
as Unknown

Seminole (1953)

Action
Movie
as Corporal Gerad
5.5 2 votes

The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953)

Adventure Horror Science Fiction
Movie
as Charlie - Radar Man
6.7 37 votes

City of Bad Men (1953)

Western
Movie
as Deputy Gig
5 1 votes

The Cimarron Kid (1952)

Western
Movie
as Bitter Creek Dalton
6.7 3 votes

The Battle at Apache Pass (1952)

Action Western
Movie
as Cpl. Hassett
5 3 votes

Hopalong Cassidy (1952)

Western
Series
as Unknown
8 1 votes

Francis Goes to West Point (1952)

Adventure Romance Fantasy Comedy
Movie
as Cpl. Ransom
7 3 votes

Cavalcade of America (1952)

Series
as Unknown

Target Unknown (1951)

Movie
as Sgt. Ralph Phelps

The Adventures of Kit Carson (1951)

Western
Series
as Unknown

Apache Drums (1951)

Action Western
Movie
as Bert Keon
4.6 5 votes

Schlitz Playhouse of Stars (1951)

Drama Comedy
Series
as Unknown

Hallmark Hall of Fame (1951)

Drama
Series
as Unknown

I Was a Shoplifter (1950)

Crime
Movie
as Police Broadcaster in Surveillance Plane (uncredited)
5 1 votes

Comanche Territory (1950)

Western Adventure Action
Movie
as Sam
2 1 votes

One Way Street (1950)

Movie
as Driver (uncredited)
3.3 3 votes

Peggy (1950)

Comedy
Movie
as Frank Addison

Lux Video Theatre (1950)

Drama
Series
as Unknown

Kansas Raiders (1950)

Action Adventure War Western
Movie
as Cole Younger
5.3 6 votes

The Gene Autry Show (1950)

Western Comedy
Series
as Unknown

Winchester '73 (1950)

Western
Movie
as Crater
7.4 59 votes