Friday, January 23, 2009


If this is your only memory of James Best then you don't know James Best. This actor is truly an american treasure. Think of it this many times have you been recognized for something at work that took very little effort and the boss goes on and on about this one small thing that you equate to teaching a dog how to eat while you want desperately for the boss to know how you finished the project that got the company a million dollar contract!!! Well, James Best is one of the most accomplished actors of our time but most of us can't forget him as the bumbling Roscoe P. Coltrane from The Dukes Of Hazzard.
Now, don't get me wrong. I love Roscoe. But looking back on Mr. Bests career is like walking down the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He has worked with most major stars in the industry and has worked ON some of the most famous shows in TV history.
How about this...he was in 3 Twilight Zone episodes.

He was in 2 Andy Griffith Episodes as the guitar-man Jim Lindsey.

But here goes the unbelieveable list. Ready?

He was in Hopalong Cassidy, The Gene Autry Show, The Adventures of Kit Carson, The Lone Ranger, Wagon Train, Bat Masterson, Have Gun Will Travel, General Electric Theatre, Aalfred Hitchcock Presents, Surfside 6, Hawaiian Eye, 77 Sunset Strip, The Rifleman, The Fugitive, Rawhide, Daniel Boone, Ben Casey, Flipper, Perry Mason, The Green Hornet, Bonanza, I Spy, Mod Squad, Gunsmoke...and don't forget The Caine Mutiny!!
Are you kidding me!!! OK...i'm alright now.

He has dedicated his life to acting. He formed the first school to teach actors Motion Picture Technique in the 1970s. He taught in Hollywood for 25 years and worked with such prominent stars as Burt Reynolds, Clint Eastwood, Gary Busey, Teri Garr, Lindsay Wagner, Farrah Fawcett, and Quentin Tarantino. In 1987 he moved to Florida and taught at the University of Central Florida.

I can't say enough about the man most of us remember as Roscoe P. Coletrane. Do yourself a favor...research all he has been in and you will find your jaw hanging open. He is a real success story. IMDB says "The sixth of seven children, his mother died when he was 3 and he was taken to an orphanage when his Kentucky-born coal-mining father, an alcoholic, could no longer keep the family together. He was adopted at age 5 by Armen and Essa Best of Indiana".

He has risen from a challenging beginning to being one of the best actors of the past 50 years. Check out to see snippets of his career and even more impressive is his fabulous art!! Go to to see that.

(If you are reading this from a feed go to for more cool trivia!)


Malcolm said...

One of the side effects of TV is that it can typecast a performer even though they've had an accomplished career. One of my favorite episodes of "The Fugitive" is the one in which he appeared as a villainous construction worker. Although I have seen "The Caine Mutiny" numerous times, it wasn't until a few years ago that I realized James Best was in it. I'm looking forward to hearing what he has to say when you interview him on your show.

Eric said...

Thanks, Malcom. I agree. We record the interview on "Wait, I Know This" tonight at 7pm EST on be sure to log on to the show at about 10 minutes before. If you have a mic on your PC you can ask a question yorself...if not, then just use the chat interface to type a question for ME to ask. Hope to see you then.