Happy Birthday Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane!

Jimmie Best, known around the world as the inept, corrupt, but entirely fun-loving Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane, is celebrating is 86th birthday on July 26.  A veteran of Hollywood’s golden era, Jimmie has impressive film work on his resume. But it was his role in “The Dukes of Hazzard” that launched him into household fame and helped create the Dukes legacy.

Fortunately for Dukes fans, Jimmie has made hundreds of personal appearances at car shows and Dukes of Hazzard events.  He has endured thousands of miles of travel, and spent many long  hours of his life signing autographs. He’s done biker gigs, art shows, charity appearances, and bachelorette parties.  We’re kidding about that last one, but if his wife was ok with it, he’d be there! He’s befriended fans of all ages and he knows how to delight a crowd. He’s entertained audiences for generations, and his approachability has created a lot of goodwill for The Dukes of Hazzard.

Please join us in wishing Jimmie a Happy Birthday in our Forums and on our Facebook page! We also strongly recommend that you take the opportunity to visit him at Hazzard Homecoming on August 11 & 12 in Amissville, VA.  Ol’ Rosco might just decide to hang up the badge someday and spend more time fishing, so don’t pass up this chance to meet him!

We love ya, Rosco! Happy Birthday, and God Bless!


Dukes Cast Member Appearances Coming Up!

Dukes of Hazzard Bo, Luke, and RoscoLooking for a chance to see your favorite Dukes of Hazzard cast member in person? Then mark your calendar with these upcoming events!

Feb 4 & 5, James Best, known to us all as Rosco P. Coltrane, will be at the Mount Dora Art Festival in Mount Dora, FL.  While this isn’t a Dukes event, it’s a good chance to see Jimmie and check out his paintings.

Feb 17, 18 & 19, Tom Wopat, alias “Luke Duke” will be at the Canton Hot Rod Show at the Canton Memorial Civic Center in…you guessed it, Canton OH!  A General Lee is scheduled to be with him at the show. See the official website for show hours and admission fees. Note, Tom doesn’t do a lot of Dukes-themed shindigs, so this is a rare chance for a meet & greet.  If you are interested in Tom’s vocal performances, check out the upcoming show dates on his website.

March 23, 24 & 25, Ben Jones, a/k/a Cooter Davenport, will be at the International Auto Showcase at the New York State Fairgrounds. This huge indoor car show will feature classic and custom cars with an emphasis on old-school muscle. Cooter is always a crowd-pleaser, stop by and say howdy!

And don’t forget, tickets go on sale this Friday, Jan 13 at noon for the Tom Wopat & John Schneider concert on April 12 & 13! Last year’s gig at this venue completely sold out, so we’ve been alerting y’all about this as much as we can.

Us Dukes of Hazzard fans have it good, don’t we? Stay tuned for more Dukes of Hazzard news as it comes!

25 Million Dollar Sheriff

Dukes of Hazzard fans may remember an episode called “10 Million Dollar Sheriff” where Rosco inherits money by mistake. Here in the real world, James Best, who played Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane, is saying there’s been a mistake, alright, and Warner Bros. made it.

A lawsuit filed by Best against TimeWarner states that he has been shorted his share of royalties from Dukes of Hazzard merchandise. Specifically, merchandise that bears his likeness. Best was entitled to 5% of these proceeds. (is that 50% of 50% of 50%?) The dispute arises from the lack of accounting by Warner Bros; Best has received $175,000 in the past 30 years from merchandise sales – but he reckons he should have received 5 to 25 million.

Doing the math roughly, Warner is saying it made 3.5 million from Dukes merchandise with Best’s likeness – while Best is saying they probably made more like…a billion.

Best’s claim also includes a share of merchandise revenue from any Dukes product with Flash on it. Adding the dog to the show was his idea and he held 50% ownership of the pooch.

We took a quick look at what we could find with Sheriff Rosco’s likeness, and came up with the following: packaging for Mego action figures, back cover cases for Columbia House VHS tapes, the front artwork for The Dukes of Hazzard music CD, and DVD box back covers for Seasons 1, 2, 3, and 7. There were also a number of metal TV trays, wastebaskets, and…heck, we can’t count all the stuff Warner Bros authorized back in the day with Rosco on it.

But Warner Bros is going to have to count it, and disclose it, to settle this lawsuit. Best claims he made numerous efforts over the years to obtain fair accounting, without success.

Tom Wopat and John Schneider sued Warner Bros over merchandising revenue during the 5th season of the show. The dispute resulted in a temporary walkout by the two actors and the introduction of temporary replacement stars, Byron Cherry and Christopher Mayer. It was eventually resolved to Wopat and Schneider’s satisfaction, and the replacements were given the heave-ho without fanfare.

We will keep you posted as this story continues. Who knows…maybe ol’ Rosco will get his “pension” here, after all! And what a pension it could be.

Happy Birthday Rosco!

Yes, another birthday! July 26 marks the 85th birthday of James Best, known to Dukes of Hazzard fans the world over as Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane. In addition to delighting us as Rosco since 1979, Jimmie is also a reknown actor, director, screenwriter, painter,  fisherman, animal lover, poet, military veteran, teacher, mentor, online gamer, and all-around cuss.

If you had told Jimmie in 1979, that in 2011, he’d still be dressing up as Rosco and going “khee khee khee” to amuse people, or be autographing yet another General Lee, or greeting fans by the thousands at Dukes of Hazzard events…he’d probably have said you were crazy. Out of your mind. 

After all, James Best has nearly 300 film credits to his name through his roles in movies and television. He has co-starred with Hollywood legends like Paul Newman, Jimmy Stewart, Burt Reynolds, and Jerry Lewis.  He has taught motion picture technique to scores of successful actors.  He remains active in film making, starring in the sequel to the cult classic Killer Shrews.  

Why then, would the role of Rosco P. Coltrane remain so prominent?

Because The Dukes of Hazzard itself would remain an international sensation, with a fan base that continues to grow with every syndicated re-run of the series. From airing on CBS, to TNN, to CMT, to home release on DVD’s, to references in pop culture, The Dukes of Hazzard is as popular today as it was over 30 years ago. 

Rosco P. Coltrane, the inept, gleefully corrupt, yet dedicated Sheriff of Hazzard County would prove to be one of the most iconic characters of the show.  This speaks to the talent and creativity of James Best, who breathed life into the role with trademark inflections, utterances and expressions that gave Rosco an unforgettable persona. 

Rosco’s goofball style reminds us of the kid in all of us. Rosco never completely grew up, with every “hot pursuit” as exciting as the first.  He made being Sheriff look like a helluva good time.  And despite his human failings of greed and dishonesty, he remained loyal to his dog, his sister, and his brother-in-law. Underneath that badge of graft and cowardice, there was a heart.   

Fans have a special affection for Rosco P. Coltrane, and they always will.  That affection translates into an honest reverence and affection for James Best.  We love ya, Jimmie.  Happy Birthday, and God Bless.

Dukes of Hazzard on CMT Update

CMT continues the late-night airings of the Dukes of Hazzard, but this week they’ve shook up the broadcast days. No Dukes Monday or Tuesday, but you’ll have Dukes Wednesday through Friday, with a double feature o’ Dukes on Thursday.

Set your TiVo, or pull an all-nighter, and watch the following episodes:

The Canterbury Crock
Wed, July 06, 1:00 a.m. Eastern

Mrs. Daisy Hogg, & Double Dukes
Thurs, July 07, 1:00 a.m + 2:00 a.m. Eastern

Diamonds in the Rough
Fri,  July 08, 1:00 a.m. Eastern

Notable in this week’s episodes: “The Canterbury Crock” features one of the zaniest chase scenes in the Dukes of Hazzard series, where everyone switches cars and then the chase runs backwards. If you’ve never seen Rosco drive the General Lee, you won’t want to miss this episode. Does Rosco crash the General? Watch and find out!

The episode “Diamonds in the Rough” was directed by James Best, ol’ Rosco P. Coltrane himself. Does the episode itself crash? You’ll have to watch and decide on your own!

We should also mention that in the episode “Mrs. Daisy Hogg,”  Daisy Duke has another romance go completely down the tubes. You’d think a girl this pretty would have better luck landing a man.

Meanwhile, we continue to hope that CMT will air The Dukes of Hazzard during a family viewing hour. So far, they’re airing the Dukes very randomly and the pleas of fans have fallen on deaf ears.  We are making our own appeal to CMT concerning this and we’ll let you know if we get a response.

By using this website you agree to accept our Privacy Policy and Disclosure