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James Best (1926 - 2015)

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James Best in Rolling Thunder

Film Deaths:[]

  • Apache Drums (1951) [Bert Keon]: He rides off at night to fetch help from the cavalry for the besieged mission, but in the morning his body (unseen) is found in the well. (Thanks to Brian)
  • The Cimarron Kid (1952) [Bitter Creek Dalton]: Gunned down by a group of railroad security men as he collects payroll money thrown from a robbed train. (Thanks to Brian)
  • The Raid (1954) [Confederate]: Shot in the back by a prison guard, he is later further shot more times by guards when his gang leaves him behind. (I'm not 100% Sure this character was him, though).
  • Last Of The Badmen (1958) [Ted Hamilton]: Shot dead by crooked Marshall Willis Bouchey when he asks him for help to raid the bank robbers' hideout. (Thanks to Brian)
  • The Left Haned Gun (1958) [Tom Folliard]: Presumably shot to death during a shoot-out with John Dehner’s men. (I haven’t seen any of this, but I’m familiar with the events).
  • Cast A Long Shadow (1959) [Sam Mullen]: He is lining up a rifle shot on Audie Murphy across a herd of stampeding cattle, when Robert Foulk rides up behind him and threatens to shoot him: they end up killing each other. (Thanks to Brian)
  • The Quick Gun (1964) [Sheriff Scotty Grant]: Gunned down by Ted de Corsia when he tries to talk him out of sacking the town. (Thanks to Brian)
  • Firecreek (1968) [Drew]: Trying to sexually assault BarBara Luna, he is discovered by the unarmed J. Robert Porter, and after a brief scuffle, Porter grabs Best's gun and shoots him in the back. James' body is then seen when his men prepare to burn it by setting a pile of wood on fire. (Thanks to Brian)
  • Rolling Thunder (1977) [Texan]: Shot to death by William Devane in revenge for his family's murder early in the film.

Television Deaths:[]

  • Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Death Sentence (1958) [Norman Frayne]: Commits suicide off-camera after an argument with his wife Katharine Bard. He starts up his car which blows up as he had earlier attached dynamite to the starter cable intending to kill Steve Brodie who was going to use it. (Thanks to Brian)
  • Tombstone Territory: Guilt of a Town (1958) [Mitt Porter]: Shot to death in a shootout with Apache warriors as he trying to escape the law.
  • Stagecoach West: High Lonesome S1 E1 (1960) (Les Hardeen]: Shot by Wayne Rogers as he is about to gun down Robert Bray. (Thanks to Brian)
  • Bonanza: The Fugitive (1961) [Carl Reagan]: Shot in the chest by Pernell Roberts; he dies in Ziva Rodann's arms shortly afterwards.
  • Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Make My Death Bed (1961) [Bishop Darby} Shot by Joe Flynn who believes James is having an affair with his wife Diana Van der Vlis. (Thanks to Brian)
  • The Rifleman: The Day a Town Slept (1962) [Bob Barrett]: Shot to death in a shoot-out with Paul Fix.
  • The Twilight Zone: The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank (1962) [Jeff Myrtlebank]: Dies of an unspecified illness before the story begins. He comes back to life during his funeral, and stays alive throughout the rest of the episode (though it's left ambiguous whether he actually did come back to life or whether a spirit possessed his body).
  • Gunsmoke: Charlie Noon (1969) [Charlie Noon]: Best is James Arness' prisoner, being taken back to Dodge when they rescue runaway Comanche bride Miriam Colon and her son Ron Howard. When the Comanche's catch up with them they believe Best is Parker, the man who stole her away, so he sacrifices himself by charging at a line of warriors who shoot him dead, allowing the others to go free. (Thanks to Brian)
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