James Best Biography (1926-)

Original name, Jules Guy; born July 26, 1926, in Powderly, KY (some sources cite Corydon, IN); married second wife, Jobee Ayers, 1959 (divorced, 1977); married Dorothy Collier (an actress and producer), 1986; children: (second marriage) two daughters, including Janeen (a producer). Addresses: Office:Best Friend Films, James Best Enterprises, Inc., P.O. Box 621027, Oviedo, FL32762.

Nationality
American
Gender
Male
Occupation
Actor, director, writer, producer
Birth Details
July 26, 1926
Powderly, Kentucky, United States

Famous Works

  • CREDITS
  • Film Appearances
  • Crator, Winchester '73 (also known as Montana Winchester),Universal, 1950
  • Frank, Peggy, Universal, 1950
  • Naval lieutenant, Mystery Submarine, Universal, 1950
  • Cole Younger, Kansas Raiders, Universal, 1950
  • Sam, Comanche Territory, Universal, 1950
  • One Way Street, Universal, 1950
  • Sergeant Ralph Phelps, Target Unknown, Universal, 1951
  • Bittercreek, The Cimarron Kid, Universal, 1951
  • Bert Keon, Apache Drums, Universal, 1951
  • Jerry Connell, Air Cadet (also known as Jet Men of the Air), Universal, 1951
  • Joe McNamara, Steel Town, Universal, 1952
  • Marvin Johnson, Ma and Pa Kettle at the Fair (also known as Maand Pa Kettle at the County Fair), Universal, 1952
  • Corporal Ransom, Francis Goes to West Point, Universal, 1952
  • Radar operator, Flat Top (also known as Eagles of the Fleet), Allied Artists, 1952
  • Corporal Hassett, The Battle at Apache Pass, Universal, 1952
  • About Face, Warner Bros., 1952
  • Corporal Gerard, Seminole, Universal, 1953
  • Sidney K. Fuller, Riders to the Stars, United Artists, 1953
  • Samuel, The President's Lady, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1953
  • Primrose, Column South, Universal, 1953
  • Gig Davis, City of Bad Men, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1953
  • Radar operator, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (also known as Monster from beneath the Sea), Warner Bros., 1953
  • Lieutenant Friday, They Rode West, Columbia, 1954
  • Barr, Return from the Sea, Allied Artists, 1954
  • Lieutenant Junior Grade Jorgensen, The Caine Mutiny, Columbia, 1954
  • Lieutenant Robinson, The Raid, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1954
  • Jason Brown, Seven Angry Men (also known as God's Angry Man), Allied Artists, 1955
  • A Man Named Peter (also known as A Man Called Peter), 1955
  • The Eternal Sea, Republic, 1955
  • Jerry Ames, When Gangland Strikes, Republic, 1956
  • Jim, Gaby, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1956
  • Bill Jackson, Come Next Spring, Republic, 1956
  • Detective Arnie Arnholf, Calling Homicide, Allied Artists, 1956
  • Crew member, Forbidden Planet, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1956
  • Millard Chilson Cassidy, The Rack, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1956
  • Kermit, Hot Summer Night, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1957
  • Ted "Kid" Hamilton, Last of the Badmen, Allied Artists, 1957
  • Doug Gerhardt, Man on the Prowl, United Artists, 1957
  • Rhidges, The Naked and the Dead, Warner Bros., 1958
  • Tom Folliard, The Left-Handed Gun, Warner Bros., 1958
  • Kit Caswell, Cole Younger, Gunfighter, Allied Artists, 1958
  • Sergeant David Brent, Verboten!, Columbia, 1959
  • Billy John, Ride Lonesome, Columbia, 1959
  • Thorne Sherman, The Killer Shrews (also known as The Attack ofthe Killer Shrews), McLendon, 1959
  • Sam Mullen, Cast a Long Shadow, United Artists, 1959
  • Niergaard, The Mountain Road, Columbia, 1960
  • Jericho Larkin, Black Gold, Warner Bros., 1963
  • Stuart, Shock Corridor, Allied Artists, 1963
  • Scotty Grant, The Quick Gun, Columbia, 1964
  • Sheriff Elkins, Black Spurs, Paramount, 1965
  • Carter, Shenandoah, Universal, 1965
  • Dr. Ben Mizer, Three on a Couch, Columbia, 1966
  • Sergeant Carnavan, First to Fight, Warner Bros., 1967
  • Drew, Firecreek, Warner Bros., 1968
  • Sheriff Young, Sounder, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1972
  • Dewey Barksdale, Ode to Billy Joe, Warner Bros., 1976
  • Jim, Nickelodeon, Columbia, 1976
  • Gator, United Artists, 1976
  • Texan, Rolling Thunder, American International Pictures, 1977
  • The Brain Machine (also known as The E-Box, Gray Matter, Grey Matter, Mind Warp, and Time Warp), Howco Productions, 1977
  • Pacemaker patient, The End, United Artists, 1978
  • Cully, Hooper, Warner Bros., 1978
  • Wilbur Johnson, Death Mask, 1986 MTI Video, 1998
  • Film Work
  • Director and assistant to producer, Gator, United Artists, 1976
  • Director and associate producer, The End, United Artists, 1978
  • Television Appearances
  • Series
  • Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane, The Dukes of Hazzard, CBS, 1979-1986
  • Voice of Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane, The Dukes (animated), CBS, 1983
  • Also appeared as "Gotch" in the series Temple Houston.
  • Movies
  • Skip Taylor, 1953
  • Frank Simms, Good Deed (also known as Gentry's People), 1959
  • Hardy Couter, Aftermath (also known as The Code of Jonathan West), 1960
  • Henry Burroughs, Run, Simon, Run (also known as Savage Runand The Tradition of Simon Zuniga), ABC, 1970
  • Sheriff Bert Hamilton, Savages, ABC, 1974
  • Bingo Washington, The Runaway Barge (also known as River Bandits), NBC, 1975
  • Deputy Mayor Pelligrino, The Savage Bees, NBC, 1976
  • Lamarr Skinner, McLaren's Riders, CBS, 1977
  • Boss and Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane, The Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion!(also known as Reunion in Hazzard), NBC, 1997
  • Rosco P. Coltrane, The Dukes of Hazzard: Hazzard in Hollywood, NBC, 2000
  • Episodic
  • "Little Britches," Stories of the Century, 1954
  • "Outlaw Mesa," Annie Oakley, 1954
  • "Annie and the Outlaw's Son," Annie Oakley, 1954
  • Bank teller, "The Hold-Up," The Gene Autry Show, 1954
  • Ray Saunders, "Hoodoo Canyon," The Gene Autry Show, 1954
  • "Million Dollar Wedding," Death Valley Days, 1955
  • "The Death of Johnny Ringo," Buffalo Bill Jr., 1955
  • Jim Blake, "Framed for Murder," The Lone Ranger, 1955
  • "The Stone Heart," The Adventures of Champion, 1955
  • "The Texicans," Frontier, 1956
  • "Andrew and the Deadly Double," The Adventures of Champion, 1956
  • "Out from Texas," Frontier, 1956
  • "The Three Graves," Zane Grey Theater, CBS, 1957
  • "Merry-Go-Round Case," Richard Diamond, Private Detective, CBS, 1957
  • "Marple Brothers," Trackdown, 1957
  • Andy Fisher, "The Long Night," Have Gun Will Travel, CBS, 1957
  • "The Mistake," Trackdown, 1958
  • Norman Frayne, "Death Sentence," Alfred Hitchcock Presents, CBS, 1958
  • "Sheriff of Red Rock," Wanted: Dead or Alive, CBS, 1958
  • "Guilt of a Town," Tombstone Territory, 1958
  • "Jebediah Bonner," The Restless Gun, 1958
  • Joe Best, "Stampede at Tent City," Bat Masterson, 1958
  • "Sunday's Child," Trackdown, 1958
  • "Six-Up to Bannack," Wanted: Dead or Alive, CBS, 1959
  • Garth English, "The Andrew Hale Story," Wagon Train, NBC, 1959
  • Dallas, "The Lawbreakers," Laramie, 1959
  • Ben Travers, "Client: Nelson," Black Saddle, NBC and ABC, 1959
  • Ben Leach, "Company Man," Laramie, 1960
  • "The Story of Julesberg," Pony Express, 1960
  • "Escort Detail," Overland Trail, 1960
  • "Night on a Rainbow," The Rebel, 1960
  • "High Lonesome," Stagecoach West, 1960
  • Bowman Lewis, "The Colonel Harris Story," Wagon Train, NBC, 1960
  • Art Bernard, "The Clayton Tucker Story," Wagon Train, NBC, 1960
  • (As James K. Best) Hennessey, "Cell 227," Alfred Hitchcock Presents, CBS, 1960
  • Jim Lindsey, "The Guitar Player," The Andy Griffith Show, CBS, 1960
  • "Deathwatch," The Rebel, 1960
  • "Dakota Showdown," Bat Masterson, 1960
  • Carl Reagan, "The Fugitive," Bonanza, 1961
  • "The Arsonist," Stagecoach West, 1961
  • Jim Lindsey, "The Guitar Player Returns," The Andy Griffith Show,CBS, 1961
  • Bish Darby, "Make My Death Bed," Alfred Hitchcock Presents, NBC, 1961
  • "The Choice," The Barbara Stanwyck Show, 1961
  • "The Dead Don't Cry," Stagecoach West, 1961
  • "The Hemp Reeger Case," Whispering Smith, NBC, 1961
  • Johnny Rob, "The Grave," The Twilight Zone, CBS, 1961
  • Jeff Myrtlebank, "The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank," The Twilight Zone, CBS, 1962
  • Johnny Best, "The Runaway," Laramie, 1962
  • Bob Barrett, "The Day a Town Slept," The Rifleman, 1962
  • "Then the Mountains," Bronco, 1962
  • "Satonka," Cheyenne, 1962
  • Johnny Olin, "Day in the Sun," Hawaiian Eye, 1962
  • "Sweet Sam," Cheyenne, 1962
  • Willy Cain, "Incident at Spider Rock," Rawhide, 1963
  • "Say Goodbye to All That," The Virginian, 1963
  • Simon Waller, "Six Impossible Things before Breakfast," Ben Casey,ABC, 1963
  • Billy-Ben, "Jess-Belle," The Twilight Zone, CBS, 1963
  • Martin Potter, "The Case of the Surplus Suitor," Perry Mason, CBS,1963
  • Dal Creed, "With a Smile," Gunsmoke, CBS, 1963
  • Dan, "Terror at High Point," The Fugitive, ABC, 1963
  • "Little Angel Blue Eyes," Redigo, 1963
  • "Incident of the Rawhiders," Rawhide, 1963
  • Page, "The Legacy," Bonanza, 1963
  • Tom Carmody, "The Jar," The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, CBS, 1964
  • Sam Beal, "The Glory and the Mud," Gunsmoke, CBS, 1964
  • Private Meredith Trenton, "Mail Call," Combat!, ABC, 1964
  • "Go Away, Little Sheba," Destry, 1964
  • "Incident at El Toro," Rawhide, 1964
  • Jethroe Wyatt, "The Devil's Four," Daniel Boone, 1965
  • "A Matter of Wife and Death," Honey West, ABC, 1965
  • "Steam Heat," Burke's Law, 1965
  • Curt Westley, "Letter of the Law," The Virginian, 1965
  • Allan Winford, "The Case of the Unwelcome Well," Perry Mason, CBS,1966
  • "Lisa," I Spy, NBC, 1966
  • "High Devil," The Iron Horse, 1966
  • Arnold Wyatt, "Flame Out," Felony Squad, 1966
  • "Meeting at Devil's Fork," The Guns of Will Sonnett, 1967
  • "Suitable for Framing," I Spy, NBC, 1968
  • Vern, "The Price of Salt," Bonanza, 1968
  • George "Lucky" Collins, "The Distant Shore," Felony Squad, 1968
  • Title role, "Charlie Noon," Gunsmoke, CBS, 1969
  • "Robber's Roost," The Guns of Will Sonnett, 1969
  • Sheriff Gruner, "Luke," How the West Was Won, 1979
  • Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane, "Grits and Greens Strike Again," Enos,1980
  • Woody, "Too Many Roscos," The Dukes of Hazzard, CBS, 1983
  • Mr. Parkinson, "Night Train," B. L. Stryker (also known as TheABC Saturday Mystery), ABC, 1990
  • Nathan Bedford, "Sweet, Sweet Blues," In the Heat of the Night, NBC, 1991
  • Also appeared in The Big Valley, ABC; Hawkins, CBS; TheMod Squad, ABC; and Riverboat, NBC.
  • Other
  • Hank Garvey, Centennial (miniseries), NBC, 1978
  • Himself, TV Road Trip (special), The Travel Channel, 2002
  • Television Work
  • Episodic
  • Directed "Cale Yarborough Comes to Hazzard," "Dead and Alive," and "Diamonds in the Rough," episodes of The Dukes of Hazzard, CBS.
  • Stage Appearances
  • Appeared in Bus Stop and Goodbye Charlie, both at Burt Reynolds Dinner Theatre, Jupiter, FL.
  • Major Tours
  • Appeared in Marinka, U.S. cities; and My Sister Eileen, European cities.
  • Stage Work
  • Directed a production of The Fantasticks, Burt Reynolds Dinner Theatre, Jupiter, FL.
  • RECORDINGS
  • Videos
  • Appeared in His Own Words and Rosco Remembers.
  • WRITINGS
  • Screenplays
  • Gator, United Artists, 1976
  • The End, United Artists, 1978
  • Hooper, Warner Bros., 1978
  • Death Mask, 1986 MTI Video, 1998
  • Electronic
  • James Best, http://www.jamesbest.com, 6 13, 2002

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