bio courtesy of Jackie Clouse
John Richard Schneider was born on April 8th, 1960, in Mt. Kisco, N.Y. When he was two, his parents divorced and he and his mother moved to Atlanta. John’s first taste of acting was in grammar school, when he performed in “The Mikado.” After that, he had a love for both acting and singing, and performed in every musical and play that he could. He also taught himself to do his own stage makeup, and soon became clever with a number of disguises.(It’s been said that John wore sideburns to school long before he could actually grow them!) During and after high school, he became active in summer stock and did bit parts in movies and television.
Of course, John got his big break in 1977, when CBS was casting for a new show entitled “The Dukes Of Hazzard.” John heard they were looking for a southern person, but someone older than him. He donned a grease-smeared baseball hat, bought a six pack of beer, borrowed a pickup truck, and went to the interview. During the interview, he told the producer of The Dukes that he was from “Snailville, Georgia,” and that he was 22 years old. John got the part, and the studio didn’t learn that he was actually eighteen years old until the show started to become popular. By then, it was too late to do anything about it. The Dukes ran from 1979-1985, and John directed and wrote the final episode, “Opening Night At The Boar’s Nest.”
After The Dukes, John starred in several tv movies, two miniseries, and one soap opera. In 1986, he was voted “Star Of Tomorrow” by The People’s Choice Awards. His fan club, The John R. Schneider #1 Fan Club, is over one thousand strong, and since The Dukes came back into syndication on TNN, new members are joining everyday. John cares deeply about people, but especially children. As a child, John had asthma, and never forgot what it was like to be ill then. So in 1982, he teamed up with Marie Osmond to create what is now the largest children’s telethon for kid’s hospitals worldwide: “The Children’s Miracle Network Telethon.” The telethon is televised from Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, every June, and raises thousands of dollars for sick children in America. Currently, John lives in California with his wife Elly and their three children.