James Best, the legendary American actor best known for his role as Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane in the TV show The Dukes of Hazzard, has died at the age of 88.
He had a very successful acting career with roles in 83 movies and over 600 television shows. According to The Guardian, his wife indicated that he died in a hospice on Monday night after a brief illness stemming from complications with pneumonia.
James Best starred in a series that ran for 6 years on CBS, from 1979 to 1985. He played the lawman who had little success in chasing the Duke Boys, often accompanied by his droopy-faced basset hound named Flash. Finding himself between his demanding Boss Hogg and the bad guys, he was often outwitted and always in pursuit.
During his long career spanning over several decades, he acted in movies including Rolling Thunder and The Cain Mutiny, and numerous TV shows including The Andy Griffith Show and Gunsmoke.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Burt Reynolds”]
I was fortunate enough to call him my friend since the day he walked on the set of Gunsmoke back in the early 60s. Onset or off, behind the scenes, in front of a class or just as a friend, his name was so fitting because he was truly the best at whatever he did. My heart is heavy, and I miss him deeply.
James was the youngest of eight siblings, and after his mother died, he was adopted as a toddler and raised in Indiana. According to his website, he served the US army in the Second World War and began his acting career in a military theater company.
His first professional experience with the army after the war. Best’s last film was “The Sweeter Side of Life,” in 2013, according to Portland Press Herald.
It seems like nobody can escape death and it eventually gets us all. In a recently covered story celebrity dermatologist Frederic Brandt suffered the same fate, dying in his home in Miami.