John Richard Schneider
John Richard Schneider (actor, singer, director, producer, writer) was born on April 8, 1960, in Mt. Kisco, New York. As a child John enjoyed going to the theater watching John Wayne in the westerns. John Wayne soon became his hero as he set his dreams on becoming a star on the big screen some day. John began acting in plays at school and in the community. He performed as a magician at children's parties and people were amazed at the card tricks this young boy could perform.
At the age of fourteen John's mother Shirley's job was transferred to Atlanta, Georgia, so the two of them packed up and moved. John immediately began performing in plays with the North Springs High School drama club. He was Tevye in "Fiddler on the Roof," the lead in "Pajama Game" after losing weight over the summer break, and Frank Butler in "Annie Get Your Gun." He recorded "The Auctioneer" for the album "Small One" when he was fifteen years old. He sang in a barbershop quartet at Six Flags Over Georgia and was in the Georgia State Chorus three years while in high school. He graduated high school in three years as he was anxious for his career to begin.
That career began in 1978 when John auditioned for the role of a "good ol' boy." They were looking for someone 24-30 years of age born in the south. John went in with a six pack of beer and a torn t-shirt telling them he was 24 from Snellville, Georgia when he was actually 18. He got the role of Bo Duke in the new CBS television series "The Dukes of Hazzard" and his career had begun. While working on "The Dukes of Hazzard" John starred in two made-for-TV movies, "Dream House" and "Happy Endings." He recorded four albums for Scotti Brothers Records, "Now or Never," "White Christmas," "Quiet Man," and "If You Believe." He co-starred in the movie "Eddie Macon's Run" and filmed two TV specials, "John Schneider Back Home" and "John Schneider's White Christmas." John's career expanded when he wrote and directed the last episode of "The Dukes of Hazzard" entitled "Opening Night at the Boar's Nest." In 1983 John Schneider and Marie Osmond co-founded the Children's Miracle Network, a charity which would raise billions of dollars for children's hospitals throughout the US and Canada.
After "The Dukes of Hazzard" was canceled in 1985 John continued acting and singing. He recorded for MCA Records. His albums included "Too Good to Stop Now," "Tryin' to Outrun the Wind," "A Memory Like You," "Take the Long Way Home," and "You Ain't Seen the Last of Me," along with a "Greatest Hits" album. He had four singles, "I've Been Around Enough to Know," "Country Girls," "What's a Memory Like You," "You're the Last Thing I Needed Tonight," along with his "A Memory Like You" album all hit #1 on the US Country charts. In 1986 he won the Star of Tomorrow Award at the 20th Annual Music City News Country Awards. He toured with his music but still found time to film several movies including "Gus Brown and Midnight Brewster," "Cocaine Wars," "Stagecoach," "The Curse," "Christmas Comes to Willow Creek," "Outback Bound," and "Ministry of Vengeance" along with starring in the TV mini-series "Wild Jack."
During the 1990s John's career alternated between TV/movies and musicals. He co-starred as Hardball in the TV series "Grand Slam" in 1990. From there he went to Broadway where his talents were once again displayed on the stage. In 1991 he portrayed Felix Von Gaigern in the musical "Grand Hotel." This was followed in 1992 by his performance in the off-Broadway musical "Brigadoon." Also in 1992 John starred in the TV movie "Highway Heartbreaker" along with guest-starring in a few TV series. During the rest of the 1990s John appeared in many roles on TV including "Desperate Journey: The Allison Wilcox Story" (1993), "Second Chances" (1994), "Burke's Law" (1994), "Bandit: Bandit Bandit" (1994), "Christy" (1994), "Texas" (1994), "Heaven Help Us" (1994), "The Little CHP" (1995), "The Legend of the Ruby Silver" (1996), "Night of the Twisters" (1996), "Kung Fu: The Legend Continues" (1996), "The Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion!" (1997), "True Women" (1997), "Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman" (1997-1998), "JAG" (1998), "Walker, Texas Ranger" (1999), "Michael Landon, the Father I Knew" (1999), and "Sam Churchill: Search for a Homeless Man" (1999). During this time period he also performed in the off-Broadway musicals "The Will Rogers Follies" (1995) and "The Music Man" (1996). John appeared in "Relic Hunter" in 2000-2001 and in "Veronica's Closet" in 1999-2000. He also appeared in episodes of "Diagnosis Murder" in 1996-2000. John released a new album "Worth the Wait" in 1996 on the Faith Works label.
In the year 2000 we saw John once again as Bo Duke in the TV movie "The Dukes of Hazzard: Hazzard in Hollywood." That year he also appeared in the movie "Snow Day." Again he was on the road with the off-Broadway musical "The Civil War." In 2001 he guest-starred in "Touched By An Angel" and starred in "Lightning: Fire From the Sky."
It was in 2001 in which his fans saw him star as a fantastic father in the TV series "Smallville." The Jonathan Kent character died during the fifth season of that series but John guest-starred several times until the series ended in 2011. He also directed a couple of the episodes. During these busy years John still found time to do other work. "Mary Christmas" was in 2002, "The Nick at Nite Holiday Special" in 2003, "10.5" in 2004, "Felicity: An American Girl Adventure" in 2005, and "Hidden Secrets" in 2006.
The year 2006 was a special year for John as he filmed a movie for his fans. He had written the script back when he was starring in "The Dukes of Hazzard" and finally had enough time to turn it into a movie. John not only wrote the script but he also starred in, produced, directed, and edited what would become "his baby" -- "Collier & Co.: Hot Pursuit." Most of his family and many of his friends appeared in this movie. John went on tour appearing in the theaters with the screenings of the movie during 2006-2007.
During 2007 John also starred in two TV movies, "Lake Placid 2," and "You've Got a Friend" and one motion picture "Sydney White." John continued in 2008 appearing in the movies "Ogre," "Shark Swarm," and "Conjurer." He also portrayed a villain in "CSI: Miami." This was a different type role for John, one which his fans were not accustomed to seeing. John also went back to Broadway for a time in 2008. He portrayed Billy Flynn in "Chicago" and incorporated some of his magic tricks into the musical.
In 2008-2009 he appeared in "The Secret Life of the American Teenager." His real-life son Chasen had a recurring role in that series as well. John had a recurring role in "Nip/Tuck" in 2007-2009. In 2009 he filmed the movies "Set Apart," "H2O Extreme," "Come Dance at My Wedding," and "The Rebound." He also self-released a new album "John's Acoustic Christmas" in 2009.
John had another busy year in 2010. He co-starred in "Twenty Six Miles" (a series in which he also did some singing), "10,000 Days," "What Would Jesus Do?," "Holyman Undercover," and "Wild Things: Foursome." He guest-starred in "Leverage," "90210," and "Desperate Housewives." His new single "The Promise" was self-released in 2010 as well.
More movies were filmed in 2011. John co-starred in "Flag of My Father," "Snow Beast," "Your Love Never Fails," "Super Shark," and "October Baby," a movie which received rave reviews. During that year he also guest-starred in "Hot in Cleveland," "Working Class," and "Glee." He was the host for "Trick My What?" which was a weekly series.
The year 2012 was another busy year for John. His work included co-starring in "Doonby," "Return of the Killer Shrews," "Lukewarm," "Whiskey Business," "Hardflip," and "I Am Gabriel." He also guest-starred in "Happily Divorced," "My Guy Cary Grant," and "Hero Factory."
The year 2013 was an extremely busy year. John's work included "Not Today," "Season of Miracles," "Runaway Hearts," "Road to the Open," and "Let the Lion Roar." He guest-starred in "Mistresses." He began co-starring in a new hit series "The Haves and The Have Nots" in which he portrays Judge Jim Cryer, a character unlike any previously portrayed by John. John also performed in concert with Marie Osmond both in Las Vegas and in Atlantic City. These concerts brought back memories of the Children's Miracle Network telethons which they hosted for so many years. John founded a production company in 2013, Fairlight Films. The first movie, "Smothered," is a horror- comedy which John wrote and directed in Louisiana. This movie would change John's life.
After filming "Smothered" in Louisiana John realized that the 58 acres of land would make a wonderful studio for independent filmmakers. He purchased the land and that's exactly what he did with it. It is now John Schneider Studios, a place where John is working hard in order to achieve his dream of being a storyteller. He also rents the studio to other independent filmmakers so they can achieve their dreams as well.
John and Tom Wopat combined to produce a "Home for Christmas" CD in 2014 which led to them performing in concert at various locations including John Schneider Studios which by this time had become known as JSS. Several events took place at JSS during 2015 including Shakespeare in the Swamp - "A Midsummer Night's Dream" - in which John's son Chasen co-starred, a JSS Christmas Festival, and another concert by John and Tom Wopat.
Of course during 2014-2016 John co-starred in other movies besides the ones he was making at his own studio. These included "10,000 Days," "Love by the Book," "American Justice," "WWJD The Journey Continues," "A Gift Horse," "Adrenaline," "My Father, Die," "Exit 14," "White Hot," "Penance Lane," "Hate Crime," "You're Gonna Miss Me," "Grace Wins," and "Riding Faith." Some of these were filmed at JSS by other filmmakers. He is still Judge Jim Cryer on the popular OWN series "The Haves and The Have Nots" as well.
John began working with producer Alicia Allain and Maven Entertainment in order to successfully achieve his dream of storytelling. Some movies have already been filmed while other scripts written by John are waiting to be filmed. These will include "Anderson Bench," "Like Son," "Inadmissible," "One Month Out," "Painless," "Useful People," "One for the Money," "Suffered," and "Striper." As fans we can only wait and anticipate the great movies we are going to see in the future as writer/director/actor John Schneider and producer Alicia Allain work their magic at JSS.
Biography written by Phyllis Hinkle