John Richard Schneider III (born April 8, 1960) is an American actor and singer. He is best known for his portrayal of Bo Duke in the 1970s–1980s American television series The Dukes of Hazzard, and of Jonathan Kent in the 2001–11 TV series Smallville (an adaptation of Superman).
Alongside his acting career, Schneider performed as a country music singer in the 1980s, releasing nine studio albums and a greatest hits package, as well as eighteen singles. This total includes “I’ve Been Around Enough to Know”, “Country Girls”, “What’s a Memory Like You (Doing in a Love Like This)” and “You’re the Last Thing I Needed Tonight”, all of which reached the top of the Billboard country singles charts.
Schneider was born April 8, 1960,in Mount Kisco, New York. His family included an older brother Robert, an artist living in up-state New York. John’s life as an entertainer began at the age of eight, when he put on magic shows for his peers and their families. This once got him into trouble, when he had himself chained up and tossed into a swimming pool with the intention of re-creating Harry Houdini’s legendary escape act. When he was 14, he and his mother moved to Georgia, where his love for performing continued. John graduated from North Springs High School in 1977, about a year earlier than his classmates because he wanted to focus on his career.
Schneider became a born-again Christian while living with Johnny and June Carter Cash for a short time and speaking with Johnny about Christianity. In 1982, he co-founded, with Marie Osmond, the Children’s Miracle Network to help suffering children. In 1995, he founded FaithWorks Productions in order to produce family-oriented videos and recordings.
Schneider has recently become involved in animal advocacy. He read from Karen Dawn’s book Thanking the Monkey: Rethinking The Way We Treat Animals at its New York book launch. In a Washington Post article he discussed the effects of the book and the people he met through the event on his life. He was moved to record a personal video, which is available on YouTube and on the book’s website, in which he talks of his shock upon learning about the way animals are treated by human society, and mentions the award winning documentary Earthlings, which is about the human dependence on animals for a variety of resources.
John was married to former Miss America Tawny Elaine Godin from 1983 to 1986. John married his second wife, Elly Castle, on July 11, 1993. They have three children: daughter Leah, and son Chasen who has been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome (Elly’s children from a previous marriage) and a daughter Karis born in 1996.
In March 2008, Schneider auctioned off his “General Lee” Dodge Charger with the winning bidder being a car dealer and collector living in Hardy County, West Virginia.