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While he is probably most widely known for his role as rosco P. Coltrane in the long running television hit, "The Dukes of Hazzard", James Best has built an impressive career on both stage and screen, and has taught and guided the careers of some of the Film Industry's biggest stars.
Born in Kentucky and reared in Indiana, Best's first professional stage experience came in a European tour of "My Sister Eileen" which was produced and directed by Arthur Penn. Penn would later go on to drect such film classics as "Bonnie and Clyde" and "Left Handed Gun".
Upon his return to New York, Best was noticed by an executive for Universal Pictures. Best moved to California and was placed under contract to Universal Studios for two years. He then embarked on a free lance career that firmly established his credentials in the performance arena of Hollywood.
Since then, he has appeared in more than 600 television shows, including "The Twilight Zone", "Gunsmoke", "Andy Griffith Show", "Rawhide", "Wagon Train", "Have Gun Will Travel", "The Rebel", "Bonanza", "Black Saddle", "Big Valley", "Mod Squad", "River Boat", to name a few.
While the years in Jackson were productive, Best returned to California. Under contract to Warner Brothers, he to do his first regular series, an hour long comedy/adventure set in rural America. "The Dukes of Hazzard" of course went on to become one of the biggest hits in television history. The CBS show which ran for seven and a half years was the top rated series on the air for three full years and can be seen in syndication across the United States and in 42 foreign countries.
Best, an accomplished painter (oil and watercolor), song writer, and devoted fisherman, now lives in Geneva, Florida. He and his lovely actress wife, Dorothy, have formed their own Independent Film Company, appropriately called, "Best Friend Films". They have just completed their first full feature film for the video market entitled, "Death Mask" which Mr. Best wrote and starred in. His wife Dorothy and his daughter Janeen were the executive producers on the film.
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