‘Dukes of Hazzard’: Boss Hogg Actor Sorrell Booke Worked as a Counter-Intelligence Officer During the Korean War

by Joe Rutland

Fans of the CBS comedy “Dukes of Hazzard” remember Sorrell Booke for playing Boss Hogg. Well, Booke had a serious role in the Korean War.

According to an IMDb biography, Booke was a graduate of Yale and Columbia University. He spoke five languages quite well. So, Booke used that knowledge and skill in his role as a counter-intelligence officer. Yes, he filled that role during the Korean War.

While “Dukes of Hazzard” made him a household name for TV viewers, that show wasn’t the first time Booke was on the small screen. Hardly. The talented actor totaled 133 TV and film credits in his career. Outsiders, take note of these: “Alice,” “The Love Boat,” “All in the Family,” “Columbo,” “Kung Fu,” “Gunsmoke,” and “M*A*S*H.” That’s just TV roles.

Films included “Fail Safe,” “A Fine Madness,” and “Black Like Me.”

Booke, sadly, died of cancer on Feb. 11, 1994, at 64 years old. But his role as Jefferson Davis “Boss” Hogg on “Dukes of Hazzard” remains beloved by that show’s fans.

‘Dukes of Hazzard’ Star Had An Interesting Clause In His Contract For Show

Boss Hogg always had something up his sleeve and a real bad attitude toward Bo and Luke Duke on “Dukes of Hazzard.”

While all these shenanigans took place, Booke went along and played the character up to the hilt.

But he knew that there had to be a semblance of a redeeming quality to Hogg.

The actor asked for a specific stipulation to be put into his contract for the CBS show.

Booke was OK with writers letting viewers know he was crooked, wealthy, and corrupt.

But he wanted his contract to state that Boss Hogg would never deal drugs or kill anyone on the show.

The show’s writers were able to abide by that stipulation while showing Hogg’s nastier side. Including his constant pestering of the Luke brothers, played by Tom Wopat and John Schneider.

Booke Directed A Number of Show’s Episodes As Did Rosco P. Coltrane Actor

In another way for the actor to stretch out his creativity, Booke got behind the camera four times. Yes, he directed four episodes of “Dukes of Hazzard.” Now he’s not the only person from his side of fighting crime to direct the show. James Best, who played Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane, directed three episodes, too.

Talk about your intersection of classic TV shows colliding (no pun intended for “General Lee” car fans out there). It turns out there is a “Dukes of Hazzard” and “The Waltons” connection.

Judy Norton talked about it during one of her “Behind the Scenes with The Waltons” YouTube shows.

She recalled actually working with Best on the ABC show “The Felony Squad.” In an episode, Best played her father.