Actor James Best talks to Mountain News

It's been 30 years since some of the stars of the "Dukes of Hazzard" visited Hazard, Kentucky during the 1981 Black Gold Festival.

One of them was James Best, who played Sheriff Rosco.

At 85 years old, Best is now the oldest living cast member.

What many of you may not know is that Best is a Kentucky native and was the son of a coal miner.

Long before the "Dukes of Hazzard," James Best could be seen in films and guest starring on some of the most popular shows on television going back to the 1950's.

He appeared on shows like "The Twilight Zone" and "The Andy Griffith Show."

But it's the role of Sheriff Rosco P. Coltraine that he played from 1979 to 1985 that made him a superstar.

Best says Kentucky holds a special place in his heart.

After his mother died while living in Muhlenberg County as a young boy, he was sent to live in an orphanage and was later adopted by an Indiana couple.

During the 1981 Black Gold Festival, Best got to meet one of his long lost brothers.

"They put the camera practically in my mouth and said we want to introduce you to your brother and it was... it was one of my brothers I'd never met," said Best during an interview with Mountain News last month.

Best later met other siblings and found out the pop group the Everly Brothers were first cousins!

He would also return to the town of Powderly, where he was born.

"I keep going back there to meet some of my relatives I've never met before," said Best.

Since the "Dukes of Hazzard," Best has stayed busy.

He completed his autobiography is also known as a painter.

Some of his work was on display at the recent Hazzard Homecoming in Sperryville, Virginia.

But Best will always be known as the Sheriff who loved "hot pursuits" and had his fair share of "horrendous crashes."

"It's been a blessing to me... I thank God everyday for being a part of a show that had family values and it's known all over the world now and it's getting bigger everyday... we're third generation," Best said.

Best now lives with his wife in Hickory, North Carolina.

You can learn more about Best by going to his website, www.jamesbest.com.


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