In order to land the part of Bo Duke in the TV series The Dukes of Hazzard, John Schneider adopted a Cracker dialect and shambling good-ole-boy manner, claiming that he hailed from the tiny -- and fictional -- community of Snailville, Georgia. In fact, Schneider was born in Upstate New York, and was raised in Atlanta by his mom. During his teen years, Schneider picked up spending money by working as an entertainer at parties and public events, playing the guitar, telling jokes and performing a magic trick or two. He briefly attended the Georgia School of High Performance, hoping to become a race-car driver. His prowess behind the wheel enabled him to land his Dukes of Hazzard job, which he held down from 1979 to 1985, save for a brief 1982 walkout due to contract dispute. Schneider's Hazzard success allowed him to have both a recording career as a country music artist, and an ongoing presence on the small screen. In addition to numerous made-for-TV movies, he had a recurring role on the popular program Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. Schneider gained a whole new legion of fans as the Earth father of Superman when he began playing Jonathan Kent on the teen-oriented superhero series Smallville in 2001. He returned to the big screen with a starring role in 2006's Collier & Co., which he also directed. He would also appear in movies like Super Shark and on the TV series Hero Factory. In 2013, he took a starring role in The Haves and Have Nots, a sopa opera created by Tyler Perry.
Biography by Hal Erickson
- Once aspired to be a race-car driver and briefly attended racing school in Georgia.
- At age 18, adopted a southern accent and lied to producers about being a 24-year-old from Snailville, GA, to land the breakthrough role of Bo Duke on Dukes of Hazzard.
- Released his first album, Now or Never, in 1981.
- Co-founded the Children's Miracle Network with Marie Osmond in 1982.
- Received a phony bid of nearly $10 million on eBay for his version of the General Lee from 2000's Dukes of Hazzard: Hazzard in Hollywood; a second attempt to sell the car on eBay was also unsuccessful.