Dukes of Hazzard star James Best, known for his role as Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane, died Monday in North Carolina at the age of 88.
Born in Kentucky, the actor also appeared in many other roles on both TV and in films. Those roles included The Caine Mutiny (1954), alongside actor Humphrey Bogart, and The Left Handed Gun, in which he starred with Paul Newman. He also appeared on popular TV programs including The Andy Griffith Show, Bonanza, and Gunsmoke.
James Best appeared on The Dukes of Hazzard from 1979 to 1985–throughout the show’s entire run.
An obituary for the actor is posted on his website. The Dukes of Hazzard clearly played a big role in his life.
“Throughout the decades that followed its seven-season run and two reunion movies, “Dukes” continued to keep Jimmie busy with reunions and personal appearances at festivals and fan gatherings. Through the enormous viewership of “Dukes” reruns, the popularity of the show has now spanned several generations of fans,” his obituary reads.
Tom Wopat, known for his Dukes of Hazzard role as Luke Duke, was quoted in the obituary as well.
“He was a fine actor, director and mentor, and an even better friend,” he wrote.
Sonny Shroyer, known for his Dukes of Hazzard role as Deputy Sheriff Enos Strate in the series, wrote, “James Best will go down as one of the greatest actors that ever lived.”
— People magazine (@people) April 7, 2015
In addition to acting, James Best also ran an acting school. Some of his notable students throughout the years included Clint Eastwood, Farrah Fawcett, Regis Philbin and Quentin Tarantino.
The acting world has certainly lost a beloved character in the passing of Dukes of Hazzard star James Best. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy Collier, as well as son Gary Allen Best and wife Angela, daughter JoJami Best Tyler and husband Eric, and daughter Janeen Damian and husband Michael Damian; and by grandchildren Lauren Best, Cameron Tyler, and Tessa Tyler.