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James Best ACTOR
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JAMES BEST BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:

James Best was born on July 26th, 1926 in Powderly, Kentucky with the birth name Jewel Franklin Guy, born the sixth of seven children.  At the age of three, his mother passed away and he became an orphan and he was adopted by Armen and Essa Best.  He was then re-named, James K. Best and raised in Corydon, Indiana.  
 
After he earned his high school diploma, Best went on to first find work as a metalworker and then decided during World War II to join the United States Army and worked as a military policeman.  Upon completing his military service he began to pursue a career in acting, first by joining stock companies and touring on the road.  

During a production, a talent scout from Universal Pictures took notice of him and he was signed to a contract.  Soon he was appearing in a number of western films and he is most well known for his role as Sheriff Roscoe Coltrane from the television series, "The Dukes of Hazard" (1979-1985).  

He began working in films in 1950 with an un-credited role in, "One Way Street" (1950).  Soon he began adding other film credits to his resume such as, "Winchester '73" (1950) starring James Stewart, Stephen McNally, Shelley Winters and Dan Duryea, "Seven Angry Men" (1955), "Cole Younger, Gunfighter" (1958), "The Naked and the Dead" (1958), "The Left Handed Gun" (1958) starring Paul Newman, "Ride Lonesome" (1959) starring Randolph Scott, Lee Van Cleef and Pernell Roberts, "Three on a Couch" (1966), "Ode to Billy Joe" (1976) and "Firecreek" (1968) starring Henry Fonda and James Stewart
 
In addition to his numerous film roles he also appeared on such television series as, "The Dupont Show with June Allyson", "Wagon Train", "The Adventures of Kit Carson", "Sheriff of Cochise", "Pony Express", "Bonanza", "Gunsmoke", "Overland Trail", "Perry Mason", "The Fugitive" and "Stagecoach West" among many others. 

Towards the end of his career, he began to suffer from a number of ailments and therefore did not perform so much, however he remained working in the industry establishing a well known acting workshop in Los Angeles, California, that taught actors Motion Picture Technique.  In addition, he worked as a teacher at the University of Mississippi and also relocated to Florida in 1987 and taught in at the University of Central Florida.    

He is for the most part now retired from the industry, but on occasion will make an appearance and is also a talented artist.  James has a number of paintings that he chooses to have displayed at various exhibits.    
 
James Best has married a total of three times.  He and his second wife Jobee Ayers have two daughters together and were married from 1959 through 1977.  He also has one son, Gary, from a previous marriage.  He is currently married to his third wife, Dorothy Vest whom he wed in 1986.  He and his wife own their own production company along with Kevin Lang called, "Best Friend Films" and currently reside in North Carolina.     
 
 

Filmography

2013   Confections of a Discarded Woman 

2012   Return of the Killer Shrews
 
2007   Moondance Alexander

2006   Once Not Far from Home 

2006   Hot Tamale 
 
2004   The Dukes of Hazzard: Return of the General Lee 

2004   House of Forever
 
2000   The Dukes of Hazzard: Hazzard in Hollywood

1999   The Dukes of Hazzard: Racing for Home 
 
1998   Finders Keepers 

1998   Death Mask

1997   Raney
 
1997   The Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion!

1991   In the Heat of the Night

1990   B.L. Stryker 
 
1979-1985  The Dukes of Hazzard 

1983   The Dukes 

1980   Enos 
 
1979   How the West Was Won 

1979   Centennial 

1978   Hooper
 
1978   The End

1977   Rolling Thunder

1977   McLaren's Riders 
 
1977   The Brain Machine

1976   Nickelodeon

1976   The Savage Bees
 
1976   Gator

1976   Ode to Billy Joe

1975   The Runaway Barge 
 
1974   Savages

1973   Hawkins

1972   Sounder
 
1970   Run, Simon, Run

1970   Dan August

1970   Lancer
 
1963-1969  Gunsmoke 

1967-1969  The Guns of Will Sonnett

1966-1968  Felony Squad 
 
1968   Mod Squad 

1966-1968  I Spy 

1961-1968  Bonanza 
 
1968   Firecreek 

1967   First to Fight

1966   Hawk
 
1966   The Green Hornet

1966   Iron Horse 

1963-1966  Perry Mason 
 
1966   Three on a Couch

1965   The Virginian

1965   Honey West 
 
1965   Burke's Law 

1965   Shenandoah 

1965   Black Spurs 
 
1965   Flipper 

1963-1965  Ben Casey 

1965   Daniel Boone
 
1955-1964  Death Valley Days 

1964   The Quick Gun 

1963-1964  Rawhide 
 
1964   Destry 

1964   The Alfred Hitchcock Hour 

1964   Combat
 
1963   The Fugitive 

1963   Redigo 

1963   Temple Houston
 
1963   Shock Corridor 

1963   The Gallant Men

1961-1963  Twilight Zone
 
1963   G.E. True 

1962   Hawaiian Eye

1962   Cheyenne 
 
1962   Black Gold

1962   Bronco 

1962   The Rifleman
 
1962   77 Sunset Strip

1959-1962  Laramie

1961   Surfside 6
 
1961   Whispering Smith

1958-1961  Alfred Hitchcock Presents

1960-1961  The Andy Griffith Show 
 
1960-1961  Stagecoach West 

1961   The Barbara Stanwyck Show 

1961   Michael Shayne 
 
1957-1961  Have Gun - Will Travel 

1960   The DuPont Show with June Allyson 

 1958-1960  Bat Masterson

1960   The Rebel

1960   Lock Up
 
1960   The Mountain Road 

1960   Overland Trail

1960   Men Into Space 
 
1960   Markham

1960   The Texan 

1960   G.E. True Theater
 
1960   Pony Express

1959-1960  Wagon Train

1960   Aftermath
 
1959   Startime

1955-1959  The Lineup

1959   The Man and the Challenge
 
1959   Cast a Long Shadow

1959   The David Niven Show

1959   The Killer Shrews 
 
1959   Black Saddle 

1959   Verboten!

1959   Ride Lonesome
 
1959   Rescue 8 

1958-1959  Wanted: Dead or Alive

1959   Good Deed
 
1958   Behind Closed Doors 

1957-1958  Trackdown

1958   The Restless Gun
 
1958   The Millionaire 

1958   The Naked and the Dead 

1958   Target
 
1958   The Left Handed Gun

1958   Cole Younger, Gunfighter 

1958   Tombstone Territory
 
1958   Climax!

1958   Schlitz Playhouse

1957   Man on the Prowl 
 
1957   Code 3 

1957   Richard Diamond, Private Detective

1957   West Point 
 
1957   The People's Choice

1957   Hot Summer Night

1957   Last of the Badmen 
 
1957   Sheriff of Cochise

1957   Zane Grey Theater

1953-1956  Cavalcade of America
 
1956   The Rack

1956   Calling Homicide

1956   Telephone Time
 
1956   Frontier 

1956   Gaby

1956   Crossroads
 
1956   When Gangland Strikes 

1956   Forbidden Planet 

1956   Come Next Spring 
 
1955-1956  The Adventures of Champion 

1956   Red Ryder

1955   The Lone Ranger 
 
1955   Top of the World 

1955   The Eternal Sea

1955   A Man Called Peter
 
1955   Seven Angry Men 

1955   Buffalo Bill Jr.

1954-1955  The Adventures of Kit Carson 
 
1954   The Raid

1954   Return from the Sea 

1954   Annie Oakley
 
1954   The Caine Mutiny

1954   Stories of the Century 

1954   The Yellow Tomahawk 
 
1954   They Rode West 

1954   Hopalong Cassidy

1954   Riders to the Stars 
 
1953   Lux Video Theatre

1953   McCoy of Abilene

1953   City of Bad Men 
 
1953   The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms 

1953   The President's Lady 

1953   Column South 
 
1953   Seminole 

1953   Skip Taylor

1952   Flat Top 
 
1952   Francis Goes to West Point

1952   Ma and Pa Kettle at the Fair 

1952   Steel Town 
 
1952   The Battle at Apache Pass 

1952   About Face 

1952   The Cimarron Kid 
 
1951   Apache Drums 

1951   Air Cadet 

1951   Target Unknown 
 
1950   Kansas Raiders

1950   Winchester '73 

1950   Peggy 
 
1950   Comanche Territory 

1950   One Way Street 





Matinee Classics - The Naked and the Dead starring Aldo Ray, Cliff Robertson, Raymond Massey, Lili St. Cyr, Barbara Nichols, William Campbell, Richard Jaeckel, James Best, Joey Bishop, Jerry Paris, Robert Gist, L.Q. Jones, Max Showalter, John Beradino and Edward McNally
Matinee Classics - Peggy starring Diana Lynn, Charles Coburn, Charlotte Greenwood, Barbara Lawrence, Charles Drake, Rock Hudson, Connie Gilchrist, Griff Barnett, James Todd, Jerome Cowan, Charles Trowbridge, Ellen Corby, Donna Martell, James Best and Lucille Barkley
Matinee Classics - Seminole starring Rock Hudson, Barbara Hale, Anthony Quinn, Richard Carlson, Hugh O'Brian, Russell Johnson, Lee Marvin, Ralph Moody, Fay Roope, James Best and John Daheim
Matinee Classics - Shenandoah starring James Stewart, Doug McClure, Glenn Corbett, Patrick Wayne, Rosemary Forsythe, Phillip Alford, Katharine Ross, Charles Robinson, Jim McMullan, Tim McIntire, Eugene Jackson, Paul Fix, Denver Pyle, George Kennedy, James Best, Tom Simcox, Berkeley Harris, Harry Carey Jr., Kevin Hagen, Dabbs Greer, Strother Martin and Kelly Thordsen
Matinee Classics - Shenandoah starring James Stewart, Doug McClure, Glenn Corbett, Patrick Wayne, Rosemary Forsythe, Phillip Alford, Katharine Ross, Charles Robinson, Jim McMullan, Tim McIntire, Eugene Jackson, Paul Fix, Denver Pyle, George Kennedy, James Best, Tom Simcox, Berkeley Harris, Harry Carey Jr., Kevin Hagen, Dabbs Greer, Strother Martin and Kelly Thordsen
Matinee Classics - The Brain Machine starring James Best, Barbara Burgess, Gil Peterson, Gerald McRaney, Marcus J. Grapes and Doug Collins
Matinee Classics - Dukes of Hazzard starring John Schneider, Tom Wopat, Catherine Bach, Denver Pyle, James Best, Christopher Mayer, Bryon Cherry, Sorrell Brooke, Rick Hurst, Sonny Shroyer, Johnathan Frakes, Peggy Rhea, Ben Jones, Jeff Altman, Kim Richards, Nedra Voltz and Waylon Jennings


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