James Best

Actor + Musician + Artist
Born Jul 26, 1926

James Best is an American actor best known for his role as bumbling Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane in the CBS television series The Dukes of Hazzard. He has also worked as an acting coach, artist, college professor, and musician.

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1926 Birth James Best was born as Jewel Franklin Guy on July 26, 1926, in Powderly, Kentucky, to Lark and Lena Guy. … Read More


1944 17 Years Old He served honorably in the United States Army in World War II, training in 1944 in Biloxi, Mississippi as a gunner on a B-17 bomber, but by the time he finished training the war was almost at an end and he joined the Military Police. … Read More


1950 23 Years Old Best began his screen acting career with an uncredited role in the 1950 film, One Way Street. … Read More
1954 27 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1954, he played the outlaw Dave Ridley, opposite Gloria Winters as the female bandit "Little Britches" in an episode of Stories of the Century.
1956 29 Years Old He was cast in the religion anthology series, Crossroads, in the 1956 episode "The White Carnation". … Read More


1959 32 Years Old In 1959, Best married his second wife, Jobee Ayers. The couple had two daughters, Janeen and Jojami. They divorced in 1977. … Read More
1960 33 Years Old In 1960, Best appeared in the episode "Love on Credit" of CBS's anthology series, The DuPont Show with June Allyson. … Read More
1962 35 Years Old In 1962, he played the part of Art Fuller in the episode "Incident of El Toro" on CBS's Rawhide and in 1963, he returned to play Willie Cain in the episode "Incident at Spider Rock". … Read More
1963 36 Years Old In 1963 he played title character Martin Potter in "The Case of the Surplus Suitor," and in 1966 he played defendant and oilman Allan Winford in "The Case of the Unwelcome Well". … Read More


1979 52 Years Old Best played Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane on CBS's The Dukes of Hazzard from the debut of the program in 1979 until the series ended in 1985. … Read More
1986 59 Years Old He married his third (and last) wife, Dorothy Collier, in 1986. … Read More


1991 64 Years Old In 1991, in contrast to the comical Rosco Coltrane of The Dukes of Hazzard, Best appeared in an episode of the NBC crime drama In the Heat of the Night. … Read More
2009 82 Years Old In 2009, he completed his autobiography, Best In Hollywood: The Good, The Bad and The Beautiful. … Read More
2014 87 Years Old On November 9, 2014, Best and fellow actor Robert Fuller (along with their wives) attended the 100th birthday celebration of lifelong friend and fellow actor, Norman Lloyd. … Read More
2015 89 Years Old Best died on April 6, 2015, in Hickory, North Carolina from complications of pneumonia. … Read More
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