The cast of “The Dukes of Hazzard” was always a close-knit group. Working together for seven seasons on the air, they formed closed bonds with each other. That was particularly true of series lead John Schneider and Denver Pyle.
Schneider, of course, entertained as the young and reckless Bo Duke. It was a part he managed to land despite being a native New Yorker and about as far away from his character as possible. Meanwhile, Denver Pyle made a name for himself starring in a number of westerns. He starred as Uncle Jesse on the show.
Schneider reflected on his late co-star and the good times that they shared together. The actor enjoyed sitting and listening to stories from Pyle about John Wayne, the real life Duke.
“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. He was, in every regard, like a real uncle to me. We were thick as thieves for all the years I did ‘Dukes.’”
Remembering His ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ Co-Star
While Denver Pyle had a successful career in westerns, he found a second wind when he starred as Uncle Jesse on “Dukes of Hazzard.” It’s a role that ended up defining his career, especially his later days. On the show, Uncle Jesse often acted as the voice of reason to the younger, rebellious cousins.
It’s a role that Pyle continued to reprise until his death. The actor would appear as his “Dukes of Hazzard” character for local charities. Pyle died in 1997 following a battle with lung cancer. He was 77-years-old at the time of his death. Before his death, Pyle had a significant honor when he landed a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Schneider often reflects back on his co-star and their time together on the show. “Dukes of Hazzard” ended up being a special time in their careers.
“We became and remain part of people’s extended family,” Schneider explained. “For a lot of folks, it’s [more than] just a television show. It’s the lessons they learned from it or the time they spent watching episodes with their grandparents who have now passed on. We’re people they spent time with during a very important time in their lives. It’s a special show and I’m honored to be a part of that.”