Coroner identifies burned body in house fire as Jim Dollarhide - - Jackson, MS


Coroner identifies burned body in house fire as Jim Dollarhide

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Jim Dollarhide has been positively identified as the body found in Canton Fire, according to Coroner Alex Breeland in Madison County.

Late Wednesday night, March 17, Madison County authorities found a badly burned body inside the home of filmmaker Jim Dollarhide.

It took firefighters more than 2 hours to put out the blaze in the 4,000-square-foot home.

“It was totally engulfed," said Southwest Madison Fire Department Lt. Minor Norman. "The only thing remaining is the front of the house. Everything else is totally gone.”

The family of Dollarhide said they had not heard from him in 24 hours and he was suffering lately from health problems.

When search crews were able to go inside, they found the body in the back of the home.

“Because the home was unstable to search in the dark, in the daylight they resumed searches where they actually found the body this morning,” said Norman.

Investigators said the family of the fire victim had identified the body, but were not releasing the name or if it was the famous filmmaker at this time.

“The state will have to determine through a DNA to verify the victim,” added Norman.

Jim Dollarhide made many friends over the years, here in Mississippi. Many were made through his work in film.

Dollarhide was a native of Greenwood, and  much of his career showcased through the state tourism office in documentaries like Harmonies: A Mississippi Overture. 

"He was always enthusiastic about telling the state story, about being involved, about giving," said longtime friend Malcolm White.

For nearly 20 years he ran his own film company, Imageworks in Jackson, helping other aspiring filmmakers like Randy King, launch their own careers.  

"He was a tremendous force in this state," said King. "Probably half of the people who work in film, TV commercials today got their start at Imageworks.  He was an incubator for talent." 

His work there also included commercials for WLBT.  He eventually branched out, and shot commercials for big companies nationwide. 

Jim Dollarhide's friends say he loved to give back, and had an even deeper affection for the blues, eventually becoming good friends with BB King, shooting many films on the late great guitarist.  

"He is probably the only person that ever got the quality footage, quality interviews, quality tape on B.B. King," said White. "If you go to the BB King museum today and look at the videos, you see Jim Dollarhide."

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