Tuesday, April 7, 2015

James Best actor dies at 88

 July 26, 1926 – April 6, 2015

James Best character actor and teacher died on April 6, 2015 from complications of pneumonia, Best was 88. 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. Best joined the Army during World War II. The majority of his service was as an MP in Wiesbaden, Germany just after the end of the war. 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.

Best also served as artist-in-residence at the University of Mississippi, teaching and directing. His greatest fame was in the 1979 TV series, The Dukes of Hazzard, as Sheriff Roscoe Coltrane. It was Best's idea to bring his real-life dog on Dukes of Hazzard with him, he named her 'Flash'. Before he was a successful actor and teacher, he was once a bagger at Kroger Supermarket. His hobbies were sailing, painting, fishing, writing plays, traveling, and playing guitars, he also had a black belt in karate. Best is survived by his wife Dorothy and three children.

 James Best as Jim Lindsey on the Andy Griffith Show

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