In memory of James Best

James Best died yesterday, April 6, 2015, at age 88.

The actor was best known for playing Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane on The Dukes of Hazzard from 1979 to 1985. He also appeared on lots of other shows over the course of a career that stretched back to the 1950s.

Clip from “The Fugitive,” The Dukes of Hazzard (Nov. 3, 1981)

James Best sits up in his coffin on The Twilight Zone
James Best sits up in his coffin in The Twilight Zone, “The Last Rights of Jeff Myrtlebank” (1962).

I was never really a Dukes of Hazzard fan. To me, Best was memorable for his Twilight Zone episodes, “Jess-Belle” and “The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank.”

In the former, Best plays a handsome country boy who is fought over by two young women, one of whom uses a love potion to secure his affection. (The episode was penned by The Waltons creator Earl Hamner.)

In “The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank,” he plays a man who awakens in the middle of his own funeral, causing the superstitious townsfolk to fear him.


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