John Schneider shows love for LoHud roots, brings ‘Razzle Dazzle’ to Broadway

schneider.jpgIt’s been a busy couple of weeks for Mount Kisco native John Schneider, an actor perhaps best known for his role as Bo Duke on TV’s “The Dukes of Hazzard.”

Five days before selling his model of the “General Lee” — a bright-orange 1969 Dodge Charger made famous on the show — at a Jan. 19 auction for $450,000, Schneider returned to Broadway to begin a stint as slick lawyer Billy Flynn in “Chicago.” His run is expected to last through March 16, according to Playbill.

Yesterday, he appeared on NBC’s “Today” show to talk about his Lower Hudson Valley roots, his career and his Broadway return.

Near the start of the interview, Schneider said he was amazed by “Hazzard’s” lasting impact and explained why he had to lie a little to land his big break in the industry.


I’m from Westchester County, New York. I’m a New Yorker. They wanted a good-old southern boy, 24 to 30 years old, and I’m actually — at that point — I was 18, from Mount Kisco, New York, you know. So, I walked in with a ripped-up T-shirt and a six-pack of beer — no kidding, I had this kind of nerve at 18 years old — six-pack of beer, popped open one of the beers, offered ’em one and said, ‘Hey, y’all want one of these?’


In the process of explaining that he’d been acting since he was 8, he gave many more shout-outs to the Lower Hudson Valley:


I went to the movies all the time in Mount Kisco, saw double-features on Saturday, and loved John Wayne and Robert Redford. I wanted to be in the movies; I wanted to be on television. And I didn’t know it wasn’t possible. So, I started doing theater at 8 years old up at Fox Lane High School, at John Jay High School. And of course a dream was always to wind up one day here on Broadway.


After offering a deafening “Yeee-ha!” to close the segment, he reminded viewers yet again where he honed that skill.


There’s Westchester County for ya!


Check out the full 4-minute, 44 second video of his “Today” appearance here.

Learn more about Schneider’s upcoming morning show appearances and his Broadway background after the break.

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DMX loses $1.5 mil court case, cuts gospel album

It’s been a busy month for Bedford/Mount Kisco homeowner DMX. Since video of him looking coked up and erratic showed up on the Internet right before the holidays, the following has happened:

dmx-damages.jpgOn January 11, a Maryland judge awarded Monique Wayne $1.5 million in damages, as a result of a character defamation suit she filed against DMX. Wayne, who is the mother of the rapper’s son, sued after he said in an interview with Sister 2 Sister Magazine that he was sexually assaulted during a one-night-encounter in 2003. We reported on this back in 2006, after the interview came out. Wayne already won a paternity suit against DMX in 2004, and was suing the deadbeat dad for $6 million this time around. As has been the case with nearly every other court date the man has faced in the past year, he failed to show up at the Maryland court to defend himself. [E! News]

So, given that Sony dropped him from their label, how is he going to manage to pay Wayne? Why, by cutting an album, duh. But not just any old album — a gospel album this time. And a combination hip-hop album, to boot. Call it gospelraphop. The albums, which are to be released by independent label Bodog Music, will be called “Walk With Me Now” and “You’ll Fly With Me Later,” and as DMX explained it to MTV, “The same title is gonna be on both albums, but on one album one part [of the title] is gonna be [highlighted], … the other album, the other name is gonna be [highlighted].” Got it? Also interesting, the gospel album will have no swearing and “No songs about b—-es, no songs about robbing, just straight ‘Give God the glory.’ ” [MTV News]

(AP Photo/Louis Lanzano)

Batemans, Unite!

It seems like just about everyone associated with Juno is getting all kinds of Oscar love (Ellen Page, Jason Reitman, Diablo Cody, to name a few), but one of the names sadly missing is Jason Bateman — one of the most unheralded but outstanding parts in the movie. Then again, in a year with both Javiar Bardem and Hal Holbrook duking it out for Best Supporting Actor, he still wouldn’t have stood much of a chance.

But for all you Bateman fans out there, we have some good news on the Rye native: He’s teamed up with sister Justine to create a WGA strike video. It’s the first time the two have appeared onscreen since “Arrested Development.” The best part, though, is that the clip is all done in Peanuts “waaa-waaa-wa-wa-waaaa” speak. Trust us, it works.

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Oh, and here’s a link to the WGA strike blog, United Hollywood, where I found this.

(via Cinematical)

CNN: Larchmont man says Heath Ledger helped him with flat tire

heath.jpgThe most recognized Larchmont resident to have a connection to actor Heath Ledger is probably director Ang Lee. Both received Academy Award nominations, with Lee winning the award, for work on the 2005 film “Brokeback Mountain.”

But off the set, another man from that village is reportedly offering acclaim for Ledger, who died yesterday at age 28.

About a third of the way down this Web page, CNN prints a quote attributed to Dan Bova of Larchmont:


Once when I was driving in Brooklyn, I got a flat tire. As I was jacking up my car, this deep voice from behind me said, ‘Need a hand?’ It was Heath Ledger. I couldn’t believe it. He helped jack up my car and change the tire. He was really good with tools!


The quote is among many to praise the actor for his kindness in settings ranging from film sets to toddler classes. Feel free to share your own memories of Ledger, in person or on screen, below.

(AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

Stanley Tucci says Daniel Day-Lewis might be ‘best actor in the world’

tucci.jpgWhile schmoozing at Sundance this week, actor/director Stanley Tucci reportedly raved about the Oscar-nominated performance Daniel Day-Lewis turned in for “There Will Be Blood.”

The Press Association (UK) posts the quote from Tucci, who’s lived in North Salem:


When somebody says ‘Who’s the best actor in the world?’ there’s no such thing really, it’s silly. But I did see ‘There Will Be Blood’ and Daniel Day-Lewis, as far as I’m concerned, if there were a best actor in the world it may well be him. He’s so extraordinary. I never tire of watching him.


For me, I never tire of watching Sneden’s Landing resident Bill Murray. But from what I hear among critics and friends, Day-Lewis — who already won an Academy Award for “My Left Foot” — is practically a lock for the golden statue this year.

(AP Photo/Louis Lanzano)

Suburbarazzi Week in Review on RNN: ‘General Lee’ payday, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs’ mayday and Aidan Quinn’s heyday


At the end of the video and after the break is the answer to this week’s quiz: Didi Conn, who played Frenchie in the movie version of “Grease,â€? once visited visited Nyack Middle School to see its production of that musical. In that show, the role of Danny Zuko was played by what actor who would go on to star in “Freaks and Geeksâ€??

A. John Francis Daley
B. James Franco
C. Seth Rogen

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Heath Ledger, 28, found dead

ledger.jpgHeath Ledger was found dead in a New York City apartment this afternoon. He was 28.

Ledger was nominated three years ago for an Academy Award for his performance as a gay cowboy in “Brokeback Mountain,” directed by Larchmont resident Ang Lee. Ledger also appeared recently in “I’m Not There,” for which castmate Cate Blanchett received an Oscar nomination this morning.

His death casts an even darker shadow on “The Dark Knight,” for which he plays The Joker in the latest installment of the Batman movie franchise. The film is in post-production, according to Internet Movie Database.

A versatile and nuanced actor who could carry sweeping dramas like “Brokeback” and popcorn flicks like “A Knight’s Tale,” Ledger will be missed.

(AP Photo/Michael Caulfield)

Hayden Panettiere refuses to save the cheerleader for ‘Heroes’

hayden-panettiere.jpgFamous for cheering it up in “Heroes” and one of those ridiculous “Bring It On” sequels, Palisades native Hayden Panettiere could be putting her pompoms to use in yet another role, according to Reuters.

The “Heroes” actress is negotiating with Fox Atomic to star in “I Love You, Beth Cooper,” based on a novel by former “Simpsons” scribe Larry Doyle. Filming is slated to start this spring.

If Panettiere accepted the title role, Reuters says she’d play the “school’s hottest cheerleader who shows nerdy valedictorian Denis Cooverman the best night of his life after he proclaims his love for her during his graduation speech.” Because that totally happens all the time.

And now let us praise Best Supporting Actress/Actor nominees


The list of 2008 Oscar nominees was announced this morning and, at first, I was fearing the worst: A giant goose egg for the Lower Hudson Valley. Scarsdale’s Aaron Sorkin was shut out of the Best Adapted Screenplay category, Larchmont resident Ang Lee and his film “Lust Caution” didn’t make the Best Foreign Language film crop, and Mount Vernon hometown hero Denzel Washington wasn’t there in any way, shape, or form.

But then a ray of sunshine. Two, in fact.

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Hillary Clinton’s campaign to open office in White Plains

hillary.jpgChappaqua resident Hillary Clinton won’t have to drive far to get to a new regional campaign office when it opens this week in White Plains.

Shortly after 1 p.m. today, her campaign committee announced via e-mail that the state senator is opening an office in Suite 210 at 170 E. Post Road. It’s one of nine regional offices throughout the state to open this week, with others expected to open in Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Farmingville, Garden City, Poughkeepsie, Rochester and Syracuse.

While some of Clinton’s staff will set up shop in Westchester County, other Hillary fans, according to the e-mail, have been happy to leave the county to promote her campaign.


Over 1,000 New Yorkers headed to New Hampshire for the final five days of the primary on buses from Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, Westchester, Long Island and New York City and in carpools.


(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Aidan Quinn-Didi Conn chat draws 150 in Palisades

quinn.jpegAbout 150 people turned out yesterday to see actor Aidan Quinn speak at the Esplanade at Palisades.

Quinn spoke about his career with fellow Palisades resident and actor Didi Conn.

Getting the scoop for The Journal News was Amisha Padnani, who reported that Quinn finds particular fulfillment whenever he acts in inspiring dramatic, inspirational works. As an example, Quinn cited the 1985 TV movie “An Early Frost,” about a lawyer dying of AIDS.


People would come up to me and say: ‘Thank you for doing that.’ When you are able to wed something — and it’s a good, dramatic piece — with your work, that’s the most gratifying.


Quinn recently received critical acclaim for his turn as Henry Dawes in HBO’s “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee,” but I especially appreciate his performance as Felipe Mendoza in the brilliant/überdepressing 1986 feature film “The Mission.”

(Photo by Peter Carr/The Journal News)

Diddy searches for favorable witnesses, personal assistant

Mount Vernon-raised Sean “Diddy” Combs can’t stop (won’t stop) making headlines.

diddy2.jpgFour witnesses have stepped up and bolstered lawsuit claims that Diddy assaulted a man at an Oscar party last year. Or as the Daily News puts it, the four say “Diddy did it.”

In addition, the “Making the Band” boss has another reality TV show in the works to find his next great… personal assistant?! It appears 20 finalists will be selected to compete on Vh1 to land what’s being called the “job of a lifetimeâ€? on

Classic case of life imitating art. Anyone else remember the “Chappelle’s Show” spoof of “Making the Band,” when Dave Chappelle, as Diddy, sends out the hip-hoppers to return with a sugar cookie? The Vh1 show will probably be like that, except unintentionally hilarious.

(AP Photo/Dima Gavrysh)