John Richard Schneider was born in Mt. Kisco, New York, to Shirley and John Schneider II, a pilot and U.S. Air Force veteran. His parents divorced when he was two. John began acting in New York at the age of eight. He and his mother moved to Atlanta, Georgia, when he was fourteen and he got involved in the local theater there. His big break came when he won the role of Bo Duke on The Dukes of Hazzard. He later became a successful country singer and had several hit songs.