‘Dukes of Hazzard’: Dennis Quaid Nearly Played Luke Duke, But Didn’t for One Reason

by Joe Rutland
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For the “Dukes of Hazzard” fans out there, you almost had actor Dennis Quaid on board as Luke Duke. It didn’t happen, though.

Why? Here’s the inside scoop. Back in 1978 when producers starting their search for cast members, they looked far and wide for their two leading actors.

Quaid, who would just a year later star as a cyclist in the movie “Breaking Away,” expressed interest in playing Luke, according to an article from Mental Floss.

But the actor had one condition. Quaid wanted producers to cast P.J. Soles, who was his wife at the time, as Daisy Duke. If they did that, then he would play in the “Dukes of Hazzard.”

‘Dukes of Hazzard’ Producers Didn’t See Quaid’s Wife As Good Fit For Daisy Role

Show producers didn’t see Soles as a fit for the role. That upset Quaid and he bowed out. Obviously, Tom Wopat won the role of Luke. Catherine Bach was cast as Daisy Duke. John Schneider got the part of Bo Duke and the CBS show was set to roll.

Rounding out the cast would be Denver Pyle as Uncle Jesse, Sorrell Booke as Boss Hogg, and James Best as Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane. Of course, we can’t leave out country music legend Waylon Jennings who provided his voice as the show’s narrator.

Best has a couple of other classic TV roles to his credit. He played guitarist Jim Lindsey on “The Andy Griffith Show” and also had a guest-starring role on ABC’s “The Felony Squad.” Best, in that show, played the father to Judy Norton, whom most connect with “The Waltons.”

The “Dukes of Hazzard” was on CBS for seven seasons. It proved to be a valuable lead-in show on Friday nights for “Dallas,” which was scoring big ratings numbers.

Schneider fondly holds close the time he spent with Pyle on the set.

‘Uncle Jesse’ Actor Had Profound Effect On Schneider’s Life On, Off Set

“All of my favorite memories from ‘Dukes’ are sitting with Denver Pyle,” Schneider recently told Closer Weekly. “We’d talk about ‘The Doris Day Show’ [which he co-starred on] and what it was like for him to work with John Ford and John Wayne. We talked a lot about life in general,” Schneider said.

On the “Dukes Of Hazzard,” when things went awry for the Duke boys or even Daisy, it would be Uncle Jesse providing words of wisdom.

He calmed events down just enough to get Bo and Luke to understand what he was trying to say. If ever a couple of bootleggers on probation needed some wise counsel, then it was Bo and Luke.

Pyle died of lung cancer in 1997 at 77 years old.

Outsider.com