The Dukes of Hazzard is a show which will undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest and best-loved action-comedy shows in history. Running for more than seven series, with a grand total of 147 episodes broadcast on CBS. The audience became hooked and followed the story of the Duke family in their hometown of Hazzard County.
Although the last episode was aired in 1985, over three decades ago, the show is still very fondly remembered today. We thought we’d take a blast from the past by looking at where the characters are now, and reveal some little known facts about one of the best-loved shows on TV.
Luke Duke Then
Tom Wopat played the character of Luke Duke, he was one of the main characters on The Dukes of Hazzard alongside his cousin Bo Duke.He was considered the smarter of the two cousins, despite his run ins with the law.
Tom Wopat Now
Since starring as Luke, Wopat has enjoyed a part-time role in Cybill, as was as appearing in various musicals and has also released some of his own records. In 2014, he was reunited wth his on screen cousin, John Schneider, who then went on to c0-record a Christmas album.
The CBS chairman, William Paley (pictured above) built the network from a radio station to one of the big three TV networks. When the show became a top ten series, Paley reportedly described the show, repeatedly and publicly, as “lousy.”
Bo Duke Then
Bo Duke, played by John Schneider, was Luke’s hot-headed young cousin. Although both cousins often tended to end up on the wrong side of the law, it was normally at the hands of Bo.
John Schneider Now
Schneider went on to play John Kent in Smallville. He has since embarked on a musical career, and has released an impressive total of nine studio albums and 18 singles. Unfortunately, he was affected by the Louisiana floods in August 2016 which tore apart his home and film studio.
When the producers began to search for actors to play the lead roles, Dennis Quaid was very interested in playing the role of Luke Duke. This role eventually went to Wopat, mainly due to Quaid putting into place one condition. He requested that his then-wife, P.J Soles, was cast as the Dukes’ cousin, Daisy. However, as the producers didn’t feel that Soles was the correct fit for the part, Quaid didn’t want to take the part.
Longstreet B. Davenport Then
Ernie Lively played Longstreet B. Davenport. He was drafted in when Ben Jones left the show temporarily over a dispute regarding his character.Davenport played a relative of Cooter’s who filled in for him at his garage, although Cooter’s disappearance was never actually explained in the script.
Ernie Lively Now
Following the success of Dukes, Ernie Lively has bagged numerous roles in TV shows and films. Nowadays however, he is probably best known as the father of actors Blake and Eric Lively. Unfortunately, in 2003, Lively suffered a heart attack and became the first person to ever have a unique cardiac stem cell operation. He is now back to full health.
When it came to auditions, Schneider was only 18-years-old. Unfortunately, the producers were looking to cast someone who was 24-30-years-old. In order to try and get the part, he lied about his age, and pretended to be a redneck, walking in wearing a cowboy hat, drinking a beer and spitting tobacco. This performance was good enough to land him a part on the show.
Ben Jones played Cooter or “Crazy Cooter”, who was often the Duke’s getaway guy when they found themselves in a pickle with the law. Unfortunately, Jones and the producers disagreed regarding how Cooter was to be portrayed, and after leaving the series for a few episodes, he got his way.
Ben Jones Now
Unfortunately, Jones didn’t continue to have a successful acting career, but made up for this in his political career, in which he was very successful. He served four years in the House of Representatives from 1989 to 1993 as a Democrat from Georgia. He also now owns a string of Dukes of Hazzard museums across the U.S.
Once the producers had cast Schneider, they needed to find an actor to work alongside Bo Duke. Tom Wopat was flown in for the initial screen test, and the pair happened to meet in the bathroom. They began to chat about music, after Schneider saw Wopat’s guitar at the bottom of the toilet door. Wopat was hired immediately after this.
Enos Strate Then
This loveable Deputy spent the majority of his time crushing on Daisy Duke, and although the pair did come close to typing the knot, a nervous Strate broke out in hives and the whole thing was called off. The sometimes Sheriff was portrayed by Sonny Shrover.
Sonny Shrover Now
Unfortunately for Shroyer, he didn’t have much popularity in the spin off show Enos. It ran for 18 episodes before it was axed due to it’s poor ratings. Since, Shroyer has had more success and has appeared in various different films and TV shows.
Catherine Bach’s former grade school teacher went on to work in the White House. After sending her former teacher a poster, she was shocked to hear back that the then-First Lady, Nancy Reagan, was a big Daisy fan. Moore wrote in a letter, “Mrs. Reagan saw the picture and fell in love with it.”
Coy Duke Then
This character joined the Dukes cast for seasons five, playing Coy Duke – another cousin of the family. Coy was a womaniser who loved flirting with the females of the show.. Byron Cherry’s appearance in the show was brief, as he only starred in 19 episodes during seasons five.
Byron Cherry Now
Cherry went on to act in various shows after Dukes, which include Murder She Wrote and In the Heat of the Night. He also tours the world with General Lee, showing off the car at events.
In 1982, Wopat and Schneider famously walked off the series. This was due after demanding a cut of the show’s huge merchandising revenue. The two leads eventually returned, however this wasn’t the only time the producers had to deal with demanding actors. James Best, who played sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane, refused to film five episodes as he had no private dressing room.
Cletus Hogg Then
Rick Hurst Now
After Dukes, Hurst ended up doing more TV work and made-for-TV movies. The final appearance he made in a film was in the panned Return of the Killer Shrews in 2012. He also often pops into various Hazzard fan conventions.
The show wrecked dozens of Dodge Chargers for years by jumping, crashing and generally abusing them, which of course created great footage. However, for the seventh and final season in 1985, the show created a miniature version of the car to try and save on production costs and not wreck any more cars.
Sheriff Little Then
The Chickasaw County trigger-happy law enforcer, Sheriff Little, played by Don Colley was the only main black cast member in Dukes. He was introduced into the show in season three, he had a clear dislike of the hapless Rosco from the beginning.
Since Dukes was filmed, the famous slide over the hood has been used in action films everywhere. However, the hood slide was originally made popular by Tom Wopat, while Wopat said it was unintentional and the first time he tried doing it, he car’s antenna actually injured him.
Don Colley Now
Colley was already known prior to taking the part in The Dukes of Hazzard, due to his portrayal of SRT in George Lucas’ debut film. Prior to starring in the show he had unsuccessfully tried for the 1960 Summer Olympics, and then went on to enrol in an architecture course.
Hughie Hogg Then
Hughie Hogg, a nephew of the crooked Boss Hogg and the go-to guy for intricate plans to capture the Dukes was portrayed by Jeff Altman. Unfortunately for Hogg, the Dukes always outwitted him, with each scheme ending in him being banished from Hazzard.
The show went on to be developed into a phenomenally popular animated series. The Dukes was aired in 1982, and only lasted 20 episodes, perhaps due to the live-action series being so popular.
Jeff Altman Now
Jeff Altman has appeared on Late Show with David Letterman a record 41 times. As well as this, he has also enjoyed acting in various roles for different movies and TV shows, plus he has even directed several shows and had a successful stand-up comedy act.
The General Lee Then
The General Lee, the orange 1969 Dodge Charger was arguably one of the stars of the show. It’s signature horn and police jumps are iconic.
The General Lee Now
American Golfer Bubba Watson is the current owner of the car LEE 1, in 2015 after the Charleston shootings he vowed to paint over the controversial Confederate flag on the car roof. He was approached by owner of Volo Auto Museum who wanted to stop Watson by buying the car off him. The golfer declined the offer and it is unknown as to whether Watson went ahead with his plan.
It seemed that the 1969 Dodge Charger – General Lee – was the true attraction of the show. The car trafficked brothers Bo and Luke Duke from one scene to another, and became so popular that it received around 35,000 fan letters per month in 1981, asking for more information or pictures of the car.
The jean shorts which Daisy wore throughout the show quickly became known as “Daisy Dukes,” after her character. However, they were so skimpy that the network was concerned about censoring issues. It was eventually decided that she would wear some sheer tights underneath them, to avoid any wardrobe malfunctions on-screen.
Daisy Duke Then
Those tiny denim shorts made quite the impact and still live on today, Daisy Duke, who was played by Catherine Bach was a cousin of Bo and Luke. She was often found alongside the pair, however, she was more than capable of holding her own in her well known, sassy denim shorts!
Catherine Bach Now
Following the show, Bach’s career sidled off a little, she can however still be seen in the hit TV soap The Young and the Restless. Unfortunately, the Daisy Duke trend-setter has had a troubled personal life, when in 2010, her husband and father of her two daughters took his own life.
When the series was originally aired, no one seemed to notice the fact that the General Lee had a Confederate flag on its hood. However, in 2015, after a South Carolina Governor spoke about the depiction of the flag in popular culture, Warner Bros decided to stop creating products with the original roof.