Do you still remember the ‘The Dukes of Hazzard cast?’ The action-comedy television series debuted on CBS over four decades ago already – on January 26, 1979, to be exact.
Guess we all now miss the two good-old cousins – Bo and Luke Duke – and their never-ending efforts to escape from their nemeses: the corrupt country commissioner Boss Jefferson Davis “J.D.” Hogg and the clumsy Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane. Well, there’s no doubt to that! We’ve been together with the cast for seven seasons – enjoying the show’s car chases and stunts.
And who could ever forget General Lee, the duo’s souped-up 1969 Dodge Charger that has become the star of the show? Its orange paint job, Confederate flag across its roof and horn that plays the first twelve notes of the song “Dixie” is still as iconic as ever.
And remember how ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ brought the CB craze in America? The whim swept the country from the middle of the 1970s up to the early part of the 1980s? Thanks to Luke and Bo, whose CB nicknames go Lost Sheep No. 1 and Lost Sheep No. 2. Besides, there’s also the smoking hot cousin, Daisy Duke, whose sweet and trusting nature led the family into trouble from time to time.
I know you’re feeling the nostalgia right now and wondering what happened to our favorite fictional characters. Keep on reading below to find out.
1. Tom Wopat as Luke Duke
Then: Luke Duke was the older cousin who served as a Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps before the start of the show – so, he is naturally more mature and rational than the younger Duke. He is usually the one who maps out a plan that will get them out from whatever trouble they’ve gotten into. He’s also a strapping young man that is a massive hit with the ladies.
Now: Tom Wopat used to be a stage actor before he first achieved fame as Luke Duke. And after the show, Wopat then embarked on a music career. He recorded eight albums, switching between rock and roll and country music genres.
Wopat also appeared in some Broadway shows. His appearance in A Catered Affair earned him his second Tony nomination.
However, he made headlines in 2017, following his arrest on multiple charges, including indecent assault and battery. The incident allegedly happened on the set of the stage production of 42nd street at the Reagle Theatre in Waltham, Massachusetts, which Wopat was supposed to star in.
The actor has pleaded not guilty. He has expressed “his deepest regrets to friends, family, and his many loyal fans” for the “unfortunate events” in a released statement. He also hoped his “good name would be restored” after his team investigated the allegation.
Wopat’s representative has also said that the actor was struggling with substance abuse.
2. John Schneider as Beauregard “Bo” Duke
Then: The younger Duke was more like the “shoot first, ask questions later” type and is often responsible for getting him and Luke into different dilemmas. He also has his eyes and heart often caught by pretty girls – they just easily distract him. In fact, Bo got a crush on several women in some episodes. His rebel yell, “Yeeeee-haaa,” got extra famous too, which he often yells whenever General Lee is in the air after a jump.
Now: John Schneider is a native of New York and was only eighteen years old when he auditioned for the role of Bo. The problem was that the producers wanted someone around twenty-four to thirty years old. So, Schneider lied about his age and disguised himself as a Southern native. He went beyond wearing a cowboy hat, putting on a great ol’ country accent, toting a beer, spitting tobacco, and even telling the producers could do stunt driving. That performance was good enough for him to land in the show.
After the show, Schneider got pretty busy with a wide array of projects over the decades. He first moved to music and had several country radio hits in the 1980s, including “Country Girls” and “Love, You Ain’t Seen the Last of Me.”
Schneider also appeared in several films and television series. In 2001, he got into another popular television series Smallville and starred in 100 episodes as the main character’s adoptive father. He even directed some episodes of Smallville.
In 2018, Schneider was announced as one of the celebrities who would compete on season 27 of Dancing with the Stars with Emma Slater as his professional partner.
He made some buzz when he married former Miss America Tawny Elaine Godin in 1983, a marriage that would last to only three years. He also went through a lengthy and acrimonious divorce battle with his second wife, who he married in 1993 and split in 2014. It took them five years to come to terms on the divorce settlement. Schneider even spent time in jail at some point after not paying alimony.
Schneider then married his longtime girlfriend in 2019.
3. Catherine Bach – Daisy Duke
Then: Daisy duke is the gorgeous, honest, and kind cousin of Luke and Bo Dukes. However, she’s a bit over-trusting, which often led the Duke family into trouble. Her pervasive jean shorts became a massive hit, too, that any kind of cutoffs quickly associated with her character.
Now: After the series, Catherine Bach had roles in several low-profile films and television series. The latest one was in 2012, joining the cast of CBS daytime soap opera, The Young and the Restless. The actress had also launched her line of diamond jewelry at Debenhams in 2002.
Did you know Bach insured her legs for $1,000,000 when she starred on The Dukes of Hazzard? Pretty interesting, isn’t it?
4. Denver Pyle as “Uncle” Jesse Duke
Then: Uncle Jesse headed the Duke clan and acted as a father to all of the Dukes who stayed with him.
Now: Denver Pyle already had a long and very distinguished career even before he landed Uncle Jesse’s role and continued to do so after the series ended. He is often portrayed as an authority figure or demanding father figure that never failed to give comic relief. Sadly, Pyle died on Christmas 1997 after battling lung cancer.
5. James Best as Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane
Then: Sheriff Rosco is the clumsy and corrupt sheriff of Hazzard County. He frequently starts the car chases with the Duke boys, but the duo regularly escapes Rosco by tricking him.
Now: James Best moved to Florida after the show ended and spent his time teaching at the University of Central Florida. In 2009, Best completed his autobiography Best in Hollywood: The Good, The Bad, and The Beautiful.
After semi-retiring, he occasionally accepted acting roles until 2013. Unfortunately, the actor died in 2015 due to pneumonia.
6. Sorrell Booke as Boss Jefferson Davis “J.D.” Hogg
Then: Boss Hog is the fat, crooked county commissioner and is the wealthiest man in Hazzard County. He owns most of the property and businesses in the area.
Now: Brooke had stopped appearing physically in acting roles, but he went on performing voice work on several television shows and movies up until 1994 when he died of colorectal cancer in Sherman Oaks, California.
7. Ben Jones as Cooter Davenport
Then: He’s the Hazzard County mechanic referred to as the “Crazy Cooter,” yet he often helped the Dukes in resisting Boss Hogg and Sheriff Rosco’s countless schemes against the family.
Now: Ben Jones had the most interesting career after the show. He joined the political arena as a Democrat and served four years in the United States House of Representatives.
8. Sonny Shroyer as Deputy Enos Strate
Then: Enos is a friend of the Dukes. However, since he’s working for Boss Hogg and Sheriff Rosco, Enos is often forced to pursue the Dukes and even sometimes arrest them on trumped-up charges.
Now: Sonny Shroyer remains active as a character actor up to this date. In 1980, Shoyer also starred in the short-lived spin-off series Enos. The action-comedy television series was based around his famous character in Dukes of Hazzard.
9. Christopher Mayer as Vance Duke
Then: During the fifth season of the television series, Vance Duke temporarily replaced Luke Duke. Like Duke, he’s more mature, acting like the thinker and the planner.
Now: Mayer continued his work in television and movies into the early 1990s, including a role in the 1997 film Liar Liar alongside Jim Carrey. However, Mayer was found dead in his home in 2011. His death was said to be due to natural causes.
10. Byron Cherry as Coy Duke
Then: Coy Duke is another Duke cousin who also temporarily replaced Bo Duke. His character is very similar to Bo as he’s a bit wilder, often chases women, and drives General Lee around.
Now: Byron Cherry continued appearing on several television shows. His latest film was in 2018.
In the end, it wasn’t the law that got the Duke Boys. It was TV Land, which pulled reruns of The Dukes of Hazzard. We’re pretty sure you all miss the Dukes of Hazzard cast.