88-year-old actor James Best died Monday night due to illness. He had been battling pneumonia, and his body couldn’t fight it off any longer. His legacy lives on though.
While best known for his breakout role as Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane in The Dukes of Hazzard, Best’s acting career dates back to World War II, when he enrolled in a military theatrical company while stationed in Germany.
Best also made appearances in films like One Way Street and Shenandoah and on the The Andy Griffith Show and Annie Oakley. Best’s co-star, Tom Wopat, told JamesBest.com that “the work he did with Sorrell Booke (Boss Hogg) probably defined our show as much as the car chases. He was a fine actor, director, and mentor, and an even better friend. He will be greatly missed.”
John Schnider, who played Bo Duke, stated, “I’m forever thankful to have cut my teeth in the company of such a fine man.”
The sad death of James Best (aka Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane) has made the BBC news. God bless dem Dook bwoys! pic.twitter.com/LhKa2DqATU
— Jonny Smith (@Carpervert) April 7, 2015
Best’s last role was in the 2013 Hallmark film The Sweeter Side of Life. He published an autobiography titled Best in Hollywood: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful while teaching at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.
Best is survived by his wife Angela, a son, two daughters and three grandchildren.
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