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