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|Nickname:||James Best / James K. Best / Jim Best /|
|Known for:||The Killer Shrews, Sounder, Shock Corridor|
|Birth name:||Jules Guy|
|Birthday:||26 July 1926, Powderly, Kentucky, USA|
|Height:||6' 1" (1.85 m)|
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TriviaHis billing for Three on a Couch (1966) read: "Introducing James Best", despite the fact that he had been in movies for 16 years and had appeared in over 30 films. Father of Janeen Damian. Father-in-law of Michael Damian. Has a black belt in karate. The son of a coal miner. In the early 1970s he decided to take a semi-retirement, and became an artist-in-residence at the University of Mississippi. During his two years there, he taught Motion Picture technique and Drama; directed four plays, established the Mississippi Film Commission and was elected to the University's Hall of Fame. Moved to Florida in 1987 and taught on campus at the University of Central Florida. He was also appointed to the Advisory Council for the Motion Picture, Television, and Recording Industry of Florida. In 1992 he was the recipient of Florida's "Crystal Reel Award" for Best Actor in a Dramatic Series, for an episode of "In the Heat of the Night" with Carroll O'Connor. Before she took up acting, Lindsay Wagner babysat for Best's children. It was Best who encouraged Wagner to take acting lessons and, in effect, kick-started her career.