James Best
American actor, musician, artist
James Best
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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News
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'Longform' Podcast Names Best Magazine Articles Of 2016
NPR - 2 months
NPR's Audie Cornish talks with Max Linsky, editor of the podcast and website, "Longform," about three of the best magazine articles of 2016 and why they're worth a read.
Article Link:
NPR article
Brooklyn Nightlife Comes Together To Celebrate Accomplishments, Community
Huffington Post - 9 months
On Saturday, May 21, the movers and shakers of various industries that intersect within the nightlife community in Brooklyn, New York, came together to celebrate one another's accomplishments -- and one another. Curated by Brooklyn drag queen Merrie Cherry, the Brooklyn Nightlife Awards are a chance for a large-scale queer community to be recognized for individual work as creatives. Now in its fourth incarnation, the range of awards is widespread, from "Best Drag Queen" to "Best Fashion Designer" to "Best Visual Artist." As HuffPost Queer Voices explored in the series "After Dark," nightlife acts as a major source of cultural production for a multitude of other industries, both within the context of the queer community and the fabric of our society as a whole. The BNAs provides a platform to recognize this. "Who doesn't like a good excuse to dress up and show out?" Merrie Cherry told The Huffington Post. "That aside, I think it is important to represent the people and places t ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
A Good-Old-Boy Thing: Remembering Actor James Best
NPR - almost 2 years
Actor James Best died last week at age 88. He was best known for playing Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane in the TV series "The Dukes of Hazzard." NPR's Rachel Martin spoke with him in 2013. » E-Mail This
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NPR article
Actor James Best dies at 88
CNN - almost 2 years
Article Link:
CNN article
James Best: Character actor best known for his role as the hapless Sheriff Rosco P Coltrane in The Dukes of Hazzard
The Independent - almost 2 years
Alongside the country soundtrack, cut-off jeans and car stunts that crowded the amiably silly TV series The Dukes of Hazzard (1979-85), a constant was the character actor James Best. His performance as the bumbling Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane, constantly confounded in his attempts to run in the Duke boys, was enjoyably over the top.
Article Link:
The Independent article
'Dukes of Hazzard' actor James Best dies
CNN - almost 2 years
Article Link:
CNN article
Rita Ora Cast In '50 Shades Of Grey'
Huffington Post - about 3 years
This is how she do: Rita Ora has been cast in the upcoming adaptation of "50 Shades of Grey." The 23-year-old singer has booked the role of Mia, the adopted sister of Christian Grey, this according to The Hollywood Reporter. Ora joins a cast which already includes Jamie Dornan (who will be playing Grey), Dakota Johnson (Grey's love interest, Anastasia Steele), and Eloise Mumford, Luke Grimes, and Max Martini. Ora is saying "R.I.P." to the singer she used to be and turning her focus to the major film project. She released her last album, "Ora," in 2012, and has since made appearances in an episode of "90210" and in the latest "Fast & Furious" movie, "Fast Six." Hitting theaters on Feb. 13, 2015, the adaptation of E L James' best-selling novel began filming this week. The upcoming movie tells the story of the kinky relationship that forms between Grey and Steele. [via THR]
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Older Marathoners Reveal Secrets For Getting In Shape
Huffington Post Sports - over 3 years
Here's a fact that will quash all of your excuses for not working out: Over 12,000 people over 50 will pound the pavement in the ING New York City Marathon Sunday. The oldest runner is 93! Many of these marathoners have been running for more than half their lives. Here's what keeps three incredible runners -- marathoners for decades -- going strong: Ken Rosen, 64 Ken has run every single New York City Marathon since 1979. The New Jersey native started running one block at a time and eventually built up to the 26.2 mile race. He says running is part of who he is. Literally. Even his license plate reads "I Run Far." Ken Rosen What do you love about running? After a while it just becomes part of your being -- just something you do. I can't imagine not doing it... it's part of who I am. What's the toughest part of a race? I think a marathon really is about mental toughness. You just have to persevere. One foot up, other foot down, eventually until you get there. It's as much m ...
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Huffington Post Sports article
Luke Grimes Joins '50 Shades Of Grey' Cast As Christian's Brother
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Amid the endless hunt for an actor to play Christian Grey, you may have forgotten that "50 Shades of Grey" has other characters in it, too. Thank goodness Luke Grimes is here to jog your memory. The "True Blood" actor has been cast as Christian's brother, Elliot, in the adaptation of E L James' best-selling novel, Variety reports. Grimes is the fourth actor to join the cast. Dakota Johnson has been on board as Anastasia Steele since the first casting reports emerged, Jamie Dornan was announced earlier this week as Charlie Hunnam's replacement in the title role, and Jennifer Ehle will play Anastasia's mother. Grimes, 29, starred in the indie thriller "All the Boys Love Mandy Lane" and "Taken 2." He also had a recurring role on ABC's "Brothers & Sisters" before being cast as Deborah Ann Woll’s new love interest, James, on "True Blood." The news of Dornan's casting broke on Wednesday night, and many have responded positively to the choice. Now the movie just has a few more suppo ...
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Huffington Post article
Charlie Hunnam Explains His '50 Shades Of Grey' Exit
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Earlier this month, it was announced that Charlie Hunnam was stepping down from his role of Christian Grey in the upcoming adaptation of E L James' "Fifty Shades of Grey." As soon as his exit was made public, speculation began that Hunnam had dropped the role for a multitude of reasons, including an issue with scheduling conflicts and reported clashes between Hunnam and Universal Pictures over the direction of the script. The "Sons of Anarchy" actor finally broke his silence on his choice to drop the "Fifty Shades" movie this week. Hunnam appeared at an event in Burbank, Calif. and opened up to E! News about his decision. "I am doing good. I am just really concentrating on work. It's been a really busy time," he told the publication. Hunnam, whose father reportedly passed away in May, added, "I have had some family stuff going on so just trying to stay focused and stay positive and keep trying to do a good job at work and be with my family and stay positive." As to what's ahead, ...
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Huffington Post article
'Smash' Star Goes Rock 'N' Roll For Cabaret Return
Huffington Post - over 3 years
New York nightspot 54 Below is set to welcome back one of its inaugural stars when Brian d'Arcy James takes the stage Sept. 5. Though he's predominately known as a song-and-dance man, the two-time Tony Award nominee ("Sweet Smell of Success," "Shrek the Musical") will mostly eschew showtunes in favor of rock and pop songs for "Under The Influence," an eclectic "hodgepodge" show that he premiered at 54 Below to great acclaim last year, shortly after the club opened. "I've always said this endeavor was a bit of a selfish one," James, 45, said in an interview with The Huffington Post, noting that the 2013 version of his set will comprises tunes by Billy Joel, Steve Winwood and Squeeze. "Since it was the first time I've really put together an official show of my own, I gravitated towards the music that I grew up listening to, which is predominately a traditional pop sound." James' renditions of pop-rock tunes earned him raves during his 2012 engagement: The New York Times ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Will He Star In '50 Shades Of Grey'?
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Charlie Hunnam is the latest actor rumored to play Christian Grey in "50 Shades of Grey," this according to a report from TWITCH. HuffPost Entertainment contacted Hunnam's representation for comment on the matter; this post will be updated with their response. Hunnam, who stars on "Sons of Anarchy" and played the lead in this summer's "Pacific Rim," joins Garrett Hedlund and Ian Sommerhalder as actors who have been mentioned for the Grey role. (Neither Hedlund nor Sommerhalder are expected to star.) Regardless of who plays Grey and his paramour, Anastasia Steele, expect some casting announcement soon. The adaptation of E L James' best-selling book is due out in theaters on Aug. 1, 2014. Sam Taylor-Johnson was hired to direct the "50 Shades" film, from a script by Kelly Marcel. For more, head to TWITCH. To find out who could play Steele, head to Indiewire.
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Pat Gallagher: 'Dukes Of Hazzard' Star Discusses Family Tragedy
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Catherine Bach had the perfect life. And then, the unthinkable happened. On April 30, 2010, her beloved husband of 20 years, entertainment lawyer Peter Lopez, committed suicide, and life, as she knew it, changed forever. Bach, who played the sexy, sassy Daisy Duke on the CBS action adventure TV show The Dukes of Hazzard from 1979 to 1885, spends her time these days portraying Chelsea's mother, Anita Lawson, on The Young and the Restless as well as overseeing her Catherine Bach Signature Line of jewelry and participating in Dukes Fan Fairs where she signs autographs for thousands of fans with fellow castmates John Schneider, Tom Wopat, Rick Hurst, Sonny Shroyer, James Best and Ben Jones -- and, most importantly, she takes great care of her precious teenage daughters, Laura and Sophia. Bach has not spoken of her husband's suicide in depth until now. She graciously sat down with The Huffington Post to talk about the heart-breaking circumstances that took place before and a ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Watch: Peter Travers Names Best and Worst Movies of the Year (So Far)
ABC News - over 3 years
This week on "Popcorn with Peter Travers," Peter names the best and worst movies of the year so far!     
Article Link:
ABC News article
'Fifty Shades of Grey' hitting theaters in August 2014
Yahoo News - over 3 years
By Brent Lang LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - Break out the chains and whips America. "Fifty Shades of Grey" will open domestically on Friday, August 1, 2014. It will face some heavy competition in the form of Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy," an adaptation of the popular comic book series of the same name. The worldwide rollout for the big screen adaptation of f E L James' best-selling sadomasochistic romance will be announced later, Focus Features said. Sam Taylor-Johnson ("Nowhere Boy") is directing the film adaptation from a screenplay by Kelly Marcel ("Saving Mr. Banks"). ...
Article Link:
Yahoo News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of James Best
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2015
    Age 88
    Best died on April 6, 2015, in Hickory, North Carolina from complications of pneumonia.
    More Details Hide Details He was 88. Prior to his death, Best's former The Dukes of Hazzard co-star and long-time friend, John Schneider, released a statement; "I laughed and learned more from Jimmie in one hour, than from anyone else in a whole year. Give Uncle Jesse my love when you see him dear friend," he also added, "(Best) would say, 'sure thing, which eye?' I'm forever thankful to have cut my teeth in the company of such a fine man." Then, nearly one year after Best's death, Schneider said of his favorite episodes, which included most of Best's off-camera personality was: "One that always comes to mind was called The Ghost of General Lee... Someone had taken our car, The General Lee, and Rosco thinks he's caused us to drown. It shows Rosco's real appreciation, in fact love, for the Duke boys and he was terribly hurt when he thought he'd killed them," He also added, "There are a couple of moments in Dukes... that aren't all fun and games and that was one of them. Then I wrote and directed the last episode we did called Opening Night at the Boar's Nest and in that, Rosco does a magic trick and thinks he's made Boss Hogg disappear - and you see the love he has for Boss Hogg." Schneider also said about the laughter; "We drop the veil of shenanigans and laughter and show what those relationships are really like.
  • 2014
    Age 87
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Best said, "I had the honor to have been directed by Norman in a Hitchcock episode called "The Jar". Having worked with hundreds of directors in my career, I found very few that had Norman's qualities. He was most kind, gracious and patient with his actors. He is in all respects a complete gentleman in his personal life and I found it a genuine pleasure just to be in the presence of such a talented man. I am also doubly honored to consider him my friend. We are so blessed to have such a man among us for so long."
  • 2009
    Age 82
    In 2009, he completed his autobiography, Best In Hollywood: The Good, The Bad and The Beautiful.
    More Details Hide Details The book, published in 2009 through Bear Manor Media, premiered at the Mid Atlantic Nostalgia Convention in Aberdeen, Maryland.
  • 1991
    Age 64
    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.
    More Details Hide Details He won the Crystal Reel Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Nathan Bedford in the episode "Sweet, Sweet Blues", directed by Vincent McEveety and written by William James Royce, Best plays a retired Sheriff and repentant killer who has to come to terms with being involved in the death of now Sparta police officer Sweet's grandfather. He later moved to Florida and taught at the University of Central Florida (Orlando). After semi-retiring, Best ran a production company and took occasional acting roles. He also earned a name for himself as an artist and painter. Best formerly resided in Lake Murray, South Carolina before moving once again, this time to Hickory, North Carolina. An acting coach, Best taught drama and acting techniques for more than a quarter century in Los Angeles. He also served as artist-in-residence and taught drama at the University of Mississippi (Oxford) for two years prior to his stint on The Dukes of Hazzard.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1986
    Age 59
    He married his third (and last) wife, Dorothy Collier, in 1986.
    More Details Hide Details His niece is actress Jennifer Lyons. Best enjoyed a wide range of hobbies and interests. He was an accomplished painter, a Black Belt in Karate, enjoyed writing (poetry, songs and stories), and ran his own acting school (students included Lindsay Wagner, Roger Miller, Glen Campbell, Quentin Tarantino, and Regis Philbin). He was also an animal rights advocate.
  • 1979
    Age 52
    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.
    More Details Hide Details This role was Best's most visible success. He later revealed that the caricature-like persona of Sheriff Coltrane was developed from a voice that he used when playing with his young children. On set, Best was particularly close to Sorrell Booke, who played the character of Boss Hogg, who was both the boss and the brother-in-law of Rosco. The two actors became close friends and according to interviews by the series creators, the two would often improvise their scenes together, making up their own dialogue as they went along. Until his death, he also remained close to Catherine Bach, who played the character of Daisy Duke, and long after the show's cancellation, she was a regular visitor to the website dedicated to Best's painting.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1963
    Age 36
    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".
    More Details Hide Details He appeared on a long list of other television series in the 1950s and '60s including Wagon Train (three times), The Adventures of Kit Carson (twice as Henry Jordan), the western anthology series Frontier (twice), The Rebel, Bonanza, Sheriff of Cochise, Pony Express, Rescue 8, Behind Closed Doors, The Texan, Gunsmoke, Have Gun – Will Travel, The Barbara Stanwyck Show, Tombstone Territory, Whispering Smith, Trackdown, The Rifleman, Stagecoach West, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Overland Trail, Bat Masterson, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Man and the Challenge, Combat! The Green Hornet ("Deadline For Death"), The Mod Squad, I Spy and The Fugitive.
  • 1962
    Age 35
    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".
    More Details Hide Details Best made two guest appearances on Perry Mason.
  • 1960
    Age 33
    In 1960, Best appeared in the episode "Love on Credit" of CBS's anthology series, The DuPont Show with June Allyson.
    More Details Hide Details The same year, he guest starred on The Andy Griffith Show as "The Guitar Player" (Season 1, Episode 31). He starred in three episodes of The Twilight Zone including "The Grave" (Season 3, Episode 7), "The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank" (Season 3, Episode 23) and "Jess-Belle" (Season 4, Episode 7). In 1963, he was cast as the courageous Wisconsin game warden, Ernie Swift, in the episode "Open Season" of another CBS anthology series, GE True, hosted by Jack Webb. In the story line, Swift faces the reprisal of organized crime after he tickets gangster Frank MacErlane (David McLean) for illegal fishing.
  • 1959
    Age 32
    In 1959, Best married his second wife, Jobee Ayers. The couple had two daughters, Janeen and Jojami. They divorced in 1977.
    More Details Hide Details Best also had a son, Gary, from a previous marriage.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1956
    Age 29
    He was cast in the religion anthology series, Crossroads, in the 1956 episode "The White Carnation".
    More Details Hide Details He was also cast on an episode of Jackie Cooper's early NBC sitcom, The People's Choice and in the David Janssen crime drama, Richard Diamond, Private Detective.
  • 1954
    Age 27
    In 1954, Best appeared twice on the syndicated Annie Oakley series, starring Gail Davis and Brad Johnson.
    More Details Hide Details
    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.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1950
    Age 23
    Best began his screen acting career with an uncredited role in the 1950 film, One Way Street.
    More Details Hide Details Some of his more notable roles include Jason Brown in the 1955 historical drama about the abolitionist John Brown titled Seven Angry Men and as Kit Caswell in the 1958 western Cole Younger, Gunfighter, based on the infamous outlaw. He was further cast as Private Ridges in the 1958 film adaptation of Norman Mailer's The Naked and the Dead. He played the outlaw Billy John in Ride Lonesome (1959), Dr. Ben Mizer in the 1966 comedy Three on a Couch, the gunfighter Drew in Firecreek (1968), with James Stewart and Henry Fonda, and the cross-dressing Dewey Barksdale in the 1976 drama Ode to Billy Joe. Best guest-starred more than 280 times in numerous television series.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1944
    Age 17
    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.
    More Details Hide Details As an MP, Best played a role in bringing stability to war-torn Germany immediately after their surrender. While stationed in Germany, Best transferred out of the MP and joined a special services unit of actors for the US Army that travelled around Europe performing plays for the troops. This was the true beginning of his acting career.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1926
    Born
    James Best was born as Jewel Franklin Guy on July 26, 1926, in Powderly, Kentucky, to Lark and Lena Guy.
    More Details Hide Details His mother was the sister of Ike Everly, the father of the pop duo The Everly Brothers. After his mother died of tuberculosis in 1929, then three-year-old James was sent to live in an orphanage. He was later adopted by Armen Best (1897-1984) and his wife Essa (1896-1988) and went to live with them in Corydon, Indiana.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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