John Schneider (screen actor)

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John Schneider
JohnSchneiderB yPhilKOnstantinPublicDomainCropped.jpg
Schneider in December 2007
Born John Richard Schneider
(1960-04-08) April 8, 1960 (age 57)
Mount Kisco, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor, singer, screenwriter, film producer, director
Years active 1977–present
Children 3
Musical career
Genres Country
Instruments Vocals, Guitar
Years active 1981–present
Labels Scotti Brothers, MCA Nashville, FaithWorks, Maven Entertainment
Associated acts Tom Wopat, Catherine Bach, Randy Travis, Tom Welling, Waylon Jennings

John Richard Schneider (born April 8, 1960) is an American actor and country music singer.[1] He is best known for his portrayal of Beauregard "Bo" Duke in the American television action/comedy series The Dukes of Hazzard, (opposite Tom Wopat, Catherine Bach and James Best),[1] Jonathan Kent in the 2001–11 TV series Smallville (an adaptation of Superman),[1] and James "Jim" Cryer on the television series The Haves and the Have Nots, created by Tyler Perry.

Alongside his acting career, Schneider has been a singer since the early 1980s, releasing nine studio albums and a greatest hits package, as well as eighteen singles. This total includes "I've Been Around Enough to Know", "Country Girls", "What's a Memory Like You", and "You're the Last Thing I Needed Tonight", all of which reached the top of the Billboard country singles charts.

Early life[edit]

Schneider was born on April 8, 1960, in Mount Kisco, New York, the son of Shirley Conklin and John "Jack" Schneider III, a pilot who had served in the U.S. Air Force.[2][3] His family included an older brother Robert, an artist living in southern New York. John's life as an entertainer began at the age of eight, when he put on magic shows for his peers and their families. This once got him into trouble, when he had himself chained up and tossed into a swimming pool with the intention of re-creating Harry Houdini's legendary escape act. When he was 14, he and his mother moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where his love for performing continued. He went to North Springs High School in Sandy Springs GA.


Acting career[edit]

Schneider at the 2005 Superman Festival, Metropolis, IL
Schneider (left) with Smallville co-stars Tom Welling and Brian Peterson

At the age of 17, he won the role of Bo Duke, working alongside another newcomer Tom Wopat and veteran actor James Best. For his audition, he "borrowed a dilapidated pickup truck, put on a big ol’ country accent and funky hat. I hadn’t shaved and went in toting a beer. I don’t know whether they believed it or not, but they liked it."[4] Schneider learned to drive the iconic Dodge Charger in the show, but to the disappointment of many fans, he admitted he never jumped the car due to the dangerous nature of the stunt.[5]

At the height of the series' popularity, he also became a recording artist and a face of merchandise. In 1982, a tangle of legal suits with the producers over the distribution of merchandising royalties sent Schneider and co-star Tom Wopat leaving the show for most of a season. They returned to their roles in February 1983, only after their claims were satisfied. The show was canceled in 1985, after 7 seasons. Schneider directed the series finale, titled Opening Night at the Boar's Nest, airing originally on CBS, February 8, 1985.

In 2001, he portrayed Jonathan Kent, the adoptive father of Clark Kent on Smallville, starring in 100 episodes before his character was killed off. Schneider directed some episodes of Smallville, including "Talisman". Some episodes contain references to Schneider's work in The Dukes of Hazzard, e.g. the season five episode "Exposed" is notable for reuniting Schneider with his former Dukes co-star Tom Wopat. Schneider guest starred for the latter half of season five appearing in the episodes "Void" and "Oracle". Schneider returned for the season 10 premiere of Smallville, reprising his role as Jonathan Kent in a recurring role.[6]

Schneider has appeared in many films and TV series, including five guest spots on Hee Haw and the miniseries 10.5. He had a recurring role on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and made guest appearances on such shows as Diagnosis: Murder, Touched by an Angel, JAG and Walker, Texas Ranger.

In 2009, Schneider made an appearance on CSI in an episode titled "Kill Me If You Can". He appeared in the first season of The Secret Life of the American Teenager, in which his real-life son Chasen Schneider had a recurring role. During the summer of 2008 and early 2009, John portrayed "Marshall Bowman". He declined to continue through the second season and his character was killed off.

In 2010, Schneider appeared in the series Leverage as a corrupt music executive in the season three episode "The Studio Job", and in several episodes of Desperate Housewives as a retired military man and father of Keith Watson (Brian Austin Green), the love interest of Bree Van de Kamp.

In 2011, he starred in the film Doonby, as a drifter who comes into a small town and makes it better. However, a menacing force stalks him. "It's It's a Wonderful Life without the wonderful part," Schneider explains. "'Reach down into the throat of It's a Wonderful Life, pull it inside out and make a movie out of it."[7]

He returned to the role of Bo Duke, alongside Tom Wopat as Luke Duke, in a 2014 commercial for

Filmmaking career

In addition to acting, John Schneider owns and operates the John Schneider Studios (JSS) where he writes and produces independent films in Holden, Louisiana. John Schneider Studios (JSS) has created an innovative infrastructure, designed to give independent filmmakers all the tools they need to create their stories and films in one location. Centered between Baton Rouge and New Orleans airports, JSS sits on 58 acres of lake, swamp, baseball and expansive fields, Olympic size swimming pool, and 5 acres of Southeast Asia-like giant bamboo, nestled against the Tickfaw River, as well as two large houses, built near the turn of the last century, and two 5,000 square ft. sound stages. Additionally, JSS offers filmmakers all the software, editing systems, and legal assistance needed for a complete experience. Throughout his journey, he met Alicia Allain, a producer and owner of Maven Entertainment who would help Schneider continue to make independent films.

Allain has more than 20 years of film and television industry experience, including 13 years in Los Angeles and seven years on location in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, Arkansas, and overseas. Allain met Schneider while working as a film producer for Robert Evans where she worked on the film Hate Crime in the latter part of 2014. It was during this time that Allain would partner with Schneider the two would produce independent films Like Son, Anderson Bench, Inadmissible, and their latest film, 4:GO. Allain has worked as a line producer, handling all aspects of film finance. Additionally, she has experience handling SAG, IATSE, and DGA guidelines and contracts, and has negotiated directly with unions. She also has experience in contract negotiation with agents and attorneys. Outside of producing, Allain is the former president of The Robert Evans Company. In this role, she oversaw the development and production of several independent films and worked on a broad range of projects, which include collaboration with Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee on Foreverman and a romantic comedy based on a popular novel by Darcy Cosper, Wedding Season. Finally, Allain is the founder of the Louisiana Film Fellowship program, designed to cultivate the film industry in Louisiana and provide young filmmakers with training and on-set experience.

In 2016 John Schneider Studios[8] and Maven Entertainment announced the release of CineFlix Fest and CineFlix Digital on Demand. CineFlix Digital on Demand would reportedly redefine independent film distribution by connecting subscribers with films and exclusive behind the scenes content through a premium streaming subscription showcase. In addition, CineFlix Fest provides opportunities to filmmakers, including a distribution contract and participation in a road show throughout the southern states proving their dedication to providing filmmakers an unprecedented opportunity for success.

"My desire with CineFlix is to put the movie film business back in the hands of the filmmaker." – John Schneider

"My role with CineFlix is to advocate for the Hollywood underdog, providing the best environment for the storytellers to share their work." – Alicia Allain

Music career[edit]

Schneider performing in 2008

During Schneider’s Dukes of Hazzard days, he also entered into music. It was in the early 80’s that Schneider would sign with Scotti Brothers Label and release his debut full-length, Now or Never, which peaked at #8 on the US Country Billboard charts. Also from the album came “It’s Now or Never,” a remake of the Elvis Presley hit, which peaked at #4 on the US Country Billboard charts in 1981 and remains the top charting Elvis cover of all time in any genre to date. During the 1980s, Schneider parlayed his success as Bo Duke with a string of country music hits. His biggest hits include: "It's Now or Never" (#8 country and No. 14 pop, 1981; a remake of the Elvis Presley hit); Continuing to release albums year after year, Schneider released Quiet Man and If You Believe and in 1984, signed with MCA Nashville. Through MCA Nashville, Schneider released Too Good to Stop Now which included his first #1 hits, “I’ve Been Around Enough to Know” and “Country Girls,” also peaking at #1 on the CAN Country music charts, cementing his way into the country music world. The following year, Schneider unleashed Tryin’ To Outrun the Wind, followed by A Memory Like You which debuted at #1 on the US Country Billboard charts, a first for Schneider. Off the album A Memory Like You came “What’s a Memory Like You (Doing In A Love Like This)” and “You’re The Last Thing I Needed Tonight,” singles which both peaked at #1 on the US Country Billboard charts and CAN Country. In the late 80’s, Schneider continued releasing albums including his Greatest Hits record. Taking some time off to pursue acting opportunities, Schneider would return with Worth The Wait, John’s Acoustic Christmas, The Promise and his most recent album, Home For Christmas, with The Dukes of Hazzard co-star Tom Wopat in 2014.

In 2017, Schneider made his return to the country music scene with Ruffled Skirts, an album to him that pays homage to Louisiana royalty, including some of the individuals from LeRoux (‘New Orleans Lady’), Jo-El Sonnier, Doug Kershaw, David Hyde who played bass on the album and Randy Carpenter who played drums on the album. It is dedicated to the people who were affected by the flood. In 2016, the community of Southern Louisiana was hit twice by major flooding in a matter of six months. The floods ravaged the John Schneider Studios which sat in nearly 4 feet of water. Sitting in the recording studio with no furniture, Schneider began arranging songs like “How Do You Stop The Water,” “The Cajun Navy, “ and “Every Friday Night” before enlisting songwriters Scott Innis and Phil Redrow to help bring the songs to life. Instead of sitting in songwriting sessions, Schneider and producing partner Alicia Allain sent photos and video to Innis and Redrow of the devastation that Louisiana endured to capture the monstrosity of the flooding through music. The songs came to life when Schneider recorded each track in his bare studio creating a space to take in the right sound. Schneider then enlisted in LeRoux’s keyboardist/vocalist Nelson Blanchard to mix and master the 10-track album. Schneider named the album in reference to the single-wide and double-wide trailers that came through after the flood.

Personal life[edit]

Schneider in 2010

Schneider became a born-again Christian while living with Johnny and June Carter Cash for a short time in 1998 and speaking with Johnny about Christianity.[9] In 1982, he co-founded, with Marie Osmond, the Children's Miracle Network to help suffering children. In 1995, he founded FaithWorks Productions in order to produce family-oriented videos and recordings.

Schneider has become involved in animal advocacy. He loves underwater sports and have been always defending underwater life. He read from Karen Dawn's book Thanking the Monkey: Rethinking The Way We Treat Animals at its New York book launch. In a Washington Post article he discussed the effects of the book and the people he met through the event on his life.[10] He was moved to record a personal video, which is available on YouTube and on the book's website, in which he talks of his shock upon learning about the way animals are treated by human society, and mentions the award winning documentary Earthlings, which is about the human dependence on animals for a variety of resources.[11]

Schneider was married to former Miss America Tawny Elaine Godin from 1983 to 1986. He married his second wife, Elvira Castle, on July 11, 1993. On December 12, 2014, reported that Castle had filed for divorce.,[12] which, on May 15, 2017, is still pending.[13] They have three children, Leah and Chasen (born 1991), both of whom are Castle's children from her first marriage,[14] and their daughter Karis.[15] Since April 2015 Schneider is in a relationship with Alicia Allain, his producing partner and owner of Maven Entertainment.

Schneider was good friends with James Best, who played Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane in The Dukes of Hazzard, until his death on April 6, 2015, of pneumonia at age 88.[16]



Year Title Role Notes
The Dukes of Hazzard Bo Duke 127 episodes
1981 Dream House Charley Cross Movie
1981 The Midnight Special Guest host Season 9, episode 23, March 13
1983 The Raccoons and the Lost Star Dan the Forest Ranger (voice) Movie
1983 Happy Endings Nick Callohan Movie
1983 The Dukes Bo Duke (voice) 7 episodes in season 2
1985 Gus Brown and Midnight Brewster Gus Brown Movie
1986 Stagecoach Buck Movie
1987 Christmas Comes to Willow Creek Ray Movie
1988 Outback Bound Jim Tully Movie
1989 Wild Jack Jack McCall Miniseries
1989 Guns of Paradise Sheriff Pat Garrett Episode: "A Gathering of Guns"
1990 Grand Slam Dennis 'Hardball' Bakelenekoff 8 episodes
1992 Highway Heartbreaker Mickey Movie
1992 Delta Jimmy Word Episode: "The Bad Word"
1993 Sisters McGreevy/McGrady/McGruder Episode: "Moving Pictures"
1993 Desperate Journey: The Allison Wilcox Story Eddie Movie
1993 Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman Red McCall Episode: "A Cowboy's Lullaby"
1994 Texas Davy Crockett Movie
1994 Bandit: Bandit Bandit Sheriff Enright Movie
1994 Heaven Help Us Doug Monroe All 13 episodes
1994 Second Chances Richard McGill Episodes 8–10
1994 Burke's Law Brett Scanlon Episode: "Who Killed the Soap Star?"
1994 Christy Theodore Harland Episode: "Amazing Grace"
Touched by an Angel Satan / Joshua Winslow "In the Name of God"
"Shallow Water" (Parts 1 & 2)
1996 Kung Fu: The Legend Continues Latrodect Episode: "Black Widow" (season 4)
Diagnosis: Murder Brett Hayward / Eddie Dagabosian / Michael Dern "X Marks the Murder" (Parts 1 & 2)
2 episodes in season 7
1996 Night of the Twisters Jack Hatch Movie
1997–1998 Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman Daniel Simon Recurring role
1997 The Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion! Bo Duke Movie
1998 JAG Sgt. Clyde Morrison Episode: "Mr. Rabb Goes to Washington"
1998 Walker, Texas Ranger Jacob Crossland Episode: "Jacob's Ladder"
1999 Michael Landon, the Father I Knew Michael Landon Movie
1999 Sam Churchill: Search for a Homeless Man Sam Churchill Movie
1999–2000 Veronica's Closet Tom 3 episodes in season 3
2000 The Dukes of Hazzard: Hazzard in Hollywood Bo Duke Movie
2000 Twice in a Lifetime Captain Luke Sellars / Willie Episode: "Final Flight"
2000, 2001 Relic Hunter Dallas Carter 2 episodes
2010, 2011
Smallville Jonathan Kent Series regular (103 episodes), seasons 1–5
2001–2003 The Mummy: The Animated Series Rick O'Connell (voice) Series regular (25 episodes)
2001 Lightning: Fire from the Sky Tom Dobbs Movie
2002 Mary Christmas Joel Wallace Movie
2003 The Nick at Nite Holiday Special Mr. Schneider, The Ski Instructor
2004 10.5 Clark Williams Miniseries
2005 Felicity: An American Girl Adventure Mr. Merriman Movie
2005 Living with Fran Tom Martin Episode: "Riley's Parents"
2006 King of the Hill The Ace (voice) Episode: "You Gotta Believe (In Moderation)"
2006 Model Family John Short film
2006 Hi-Jinks Himself Guest host
2006 Shorty McShorts' Shorts Hunky-D Short animation on Disney Channel
2007 Lake Placid 2 Sheriff James Riley Movie
2007 You've Got a Friend Jim Klecan Movie
2007 Nip/Tuck Ram Peters 5 episodes
2007 Journeyman Dennis Armstrong Episode: "Winterland"
2008 Come Dance at My Wedding Tanner Gray Movie
2008 Ogre Henry Bartlett Movie
2008 Shark Swarm Daniel Wilder Movie
2008 CSI: Miami Charles Brighton Episode: "Tunnel Vision"
2008–2009 The Secret Life of the American Teenager Marshall Bowman Season 1 regular (18 episodes)
2009 Dirty Sexy Money Congressman Skip Whatley 3 episodes in season 2
2009 Twentysixmiles Jack Kinkaid All 6 episodes
2009 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Mickey Ross Episode: "Kill Me If You Can"
2009 Curb Your Enthusiasm Dennis Episode: "Officer Krupke"
2009–2010 90210 Jeffrey Sarkossian Recurring role
2010 Phineas and Ferb Wilkins Brother No. 1 (voice) Episode: "Just Passing Through/Candace's Big Day"
2010 Leverage Mitchell Kirkwood Episode: "The Studio Job"
2010 Desperate Housewives Richard Watson 4 episodes in season 7
2010 Hot in Cleveland Henry 'Hank' Szymborska Episodes: "Pilot", "Bad Bromance"
2010–2013 Hero Factory Preston Stormer (voice) Animated series
2011 Working Class Glen Episode: "Sugar Mama"
2011 Trick My What? Host
2011 Glee Dwight Evans Episode: "Hold on to Sixteen"
2012 Whiskey Business Sheriff Gilly Movie
2012 Happily Divorced Adam Episode: "Adventure Man"
2013 Mistresses Thomas Grey Episodes "Pilot", "Breaking and Entering"
2013–present The Haves and the Have Nots Jim Cryer Main role
2014 10,000 Days William Beck
2016 Sandra Brown's 'White Hot' Huff Hoyle


Year Title Role Notes
1983 Eddie Macon's Run Eddie Macon
1985 Cocaine Wars DEA Agent Cliff Adams
1987 The Curse Carl Willis
1989 Speed Zone Donato
1989 Ministry of Vengeance David Miller
1993 Come the Morning
1994 Exit to Eden Prof. Collins
1995 The Little CHP Jack Sr.
1996 The Legend of the Ruby Silver Tommy Towne
1997 True Women Sam Houston
2000 Snow Day Chad Symmonz
2006 Hidden Secrets Gary Zimmerman
2007 John Schneider's Collier & Co. – Hot Pursuit J.R. Collier Limited theatrical release
2007 Sydney White Paul White
2008 Conjurer Frank Higgins
2009 The Rebound Trevor
2009 Holyman Undercover Satan
2009 Set Apart Pastor John Gunn
2009 The Gods of Circumstance Mick Jeremiah
2010 What Would Jesus Do? The Drifter
2010 Wild Things: Foursome Detective Frank Walker
2011 Doonby Doonby
2011 Flag of my Father Daniel
2011 Super Shark Wade
2011 Snow Beast Jim Harwood
2012 October Baby[17] Jacob Lawson
2012 Hardflip Jack Sanders
2012 Lukewarm Bill Rogers
2013 Road to the Open Rob Gollant
2013 Not Today Luke
2013 Season of Miracles Coach
2014 Let the Lion Roar Hilary Bishop of Poitiers Documentary
2014 Smothered Player Also director and writer
2014 Runaway Hearts Chief Tate
2015 American Justice Sheriff Payden
2017 A Gift Of The Heart Indiegogo campaign[18]
2017 4: Go Game Warden Also director and writer
2018 Alien Intrusion[19] Narrator Expected Jan 2018



Year Album Chart positions Label
US Country US US Jazz
1981 It's Now or Never 8 37 Scotti Brothers
White Christmas 39 155
1982 Quiet Man
1983 If You Believe
1984 Too Good to Stop Now 4 133 MCA
1985 Tryin' to Outrun the Wind 15
A Memory Like You 1
1986 Take the Long Way Home 17
1987 You Ain't Seen the Last of Me 41
Greatest Hits 22
1996 Worth the Wait FaithWorks
2009 John's Acoustic Christmas self-released
2014 Home for Christmas (with Tom Wopat) 8
2016 Ruffled Skirts Maven Music
2018 ODYSSEY (A 52 Song Collection)


Year Single Peak positions Album
US Country
1981 "It's Now or Never" 4 14 5 7 5 Now or Never
"Them Good Ol' Boys Are Bad" 13 12
"Still" 69 32
1982 "Dreamin'" 32 45 21 28 19 Quiet Man
"In the Driver's Seat" 56 72 36
1983 "Are You Lonesome Tonight" (with Jill Michaels) 57 If You Believe
"If You Believe" 81
1984 "I've Been Around Enough to Know" 1 1 Too Good to Stop Now
1985 "Country Girls" 1 1
"It's a Short Walk from Heaven to Hell" 10 6 Tryin' to Outrun the Wind
"I'm Gonna Leave You Tomorrow" 10 7
"What's a Memory Like You (Doing in a Love Like This)" 1 1 A Memory Like You
1986 "You're the Last Thing I Needed Tonight" 1 1
"At the Sound of the Tone" 5 16 Take the Long Way Home
"Take the Long Way Home" 10 7
1987 "Love, You Ain't Seen the Last of Me" 6 4 You Ain't Seen the Last of Me
"When the Right One Comes Along" 32 35
"If It Was Anyone But You" 59
2009 "The Promise" N/A
2018 "I'll Still Be Loving You" ODYSSEY
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director
1985 "I'm Gonna Leave You Tomorrow" John R. Schneider
2006 "Good Ole Boys (with Tom Wopat & Catherine Bach)"
2009 "The Promise"
2018 "Good Ole Boys (with Various Artists)" Scott Innis & John R. Schneider
"Wherever She Is" John R. Schneider
"Heaven Help Me"
"Crazy Women"
"They Lived It Up"
"We All Give God The Blues"
"I Wouldn't Be Me Without You"
"Like A River"


  1. ^ a b c "John Schneider". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ "John Schneider". Retrieved 2016-08-17. 
  3. ^ "Obituary for John Schneider III – MILLBROOK, NY". Retrieved 2016-08-17. 
  4. ^ "His Dukes Days Over Ex Hayseed John Schneider Moves Out of Hazzard County into Country Music". October 21, 1985. Retrieved August 7, 2017. 
  5. ^ "John Schneider lied about Southern roots, driving skills to land role of Bo Duke". May 29, 2014. Retrieved August 7, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Smallville: An Original Cast Member Returns" by Eric Goldman,, June 30, 2010; accessed February 26, 2014.
  7. ^ Hold the saccharine: The Christians behind Doonby hope it will be a different kind of 'faith-based film', Rebecca Cusey, World Magazine Issue: Broken beyond repair? September 25, 2010.
  8. ^ "John Schneider Studios". May 29, 2015. Retrieved August 15, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Taking the Lead – Today's Christian". Archived from the original on April 10, 2008. Retrieved April 28, 2015. 
  10. ^ Kelly, Liz (May 2008). "Catching up With John Schneider". Archived from the original on July 29, 2012. Retrieved April 28, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Thanking the Monkey – Photos and Video from the May 2008 New York launch of Thanking the Monkey". Retrieved April 28, 2015. 
  12. ^ "John Schneider – Marriage is a Hazzard ... Wife Files for Divorce". Retrieved April 28, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Elly Pepe Schneider". Retrieved 2017-05-16. 
  14. ^ (archived from the original), writing "James Denton ... applauded hosts of the organization's autism awareness public service announcements, including celebrity parents of children with autism, Ed Asner, Gary Cole, Joe Mantegna and John Schneider."
  15. ^ Morgan, John (April 15, 2003). "John Schneider promotes Asperger's Syndrome awareness". USA Today. 
  16. ^ "Actor John Schneider is living the dream". Digital Journal. January 7, 2016. Retrieved February 25, 2016. 
  17. ^ "October Baby". The New York Times. March 23, 2012. Retrieved February 26, 2014. 
  18. ^ Austin St John & John Scheinder indiegogo campaign from the movie A Gift Of Heart on
  19. ^
  20. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. pp. 370–371. ISBN 0-89820-177-2. 

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