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Apr 27

John Schneider

John Schneider’s heart goes out to his Children’s Miracle Network cofounder Marie Osmond on the loss of her son – perhaps even more than she’s been aware.   He has a heartbreak of his own. His nephew was killed two years ago, something he hasn’t talked about until now.

Although their contact has been limited to emails in the wake of the suicide of her 18-year-old son, Michael Blosil, in late February, Schneider says he did bump into her ex-husband, Bryan Blosil, Michael’s father.

“Being a dad myself, my first thought was ‘Oh, my God.  How is he taking it?’  Not just the loss of a child, but a loss in that way – such a tragic, tragic thing.

“This seems to be happening so much these days.  How many kids, teenaged people, have we lost through suicides in the last 356 days – in the spotlight and not in the spotlight?  Obviously it tells us how much kids are going through now,” notes Schneider, whose CMN has reportedly provided more than $3.2 billion in funding for children’s hospitals, medical research and community awareness of children’s health issues since its inception in 1983.

“With teenagers, there’s always something going on and it’s good to remember, don’t take it lightly.  I tell my kids now, ‘Look, if you get yourself into a place, for whatever reason, that you don’t think you have anyone to talk to, you can always talk to me.  Sex, drugs, guns — anything.  You will not shock me.  I am here for you no matter what.’”

Schneider has three children — daughters Leah and Karis, and son Chasen and he and his wife Elly brought their teenaged nephew Andre into their home and family around six years ago.  He told us at the time that Andre “had been raised in several difficult situations, and we wanted to give him a better opportunity.  He was not unloved, he was just untethered, so we stepped in, and we’ve got him now.”

When asked how Andre is doing, Schneider is suddenly quiet.  When he speaks again, he is clearly emotional.

“He went back to Tucson and got in with a bad crowd.  He was a good kid, but got with the wrong people, and he died at 21.  It was — an incredible waste.”

Asked about the circumstances, he replies, “His life was taken on purpose.  It was two years ago.”  And he adds, “My daughter still wears his ring around her neck.”

Schneider hasn’t spoken about Andre’s passing until now, but feels it’s just as well that it comes out at this point.

He stresses that he aims to stay close to his kids – all of whom are involved in show business.  Chase is familiar to fans of “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” on which Schneider used to costar, as Joe, that opportunistic whiz kid who sells schoolwork.

“I texted my son this morning,” notes Schneider.  “He had a big test today.  ‘Hey buddy — ace that thing.’”

Chase’s success is all the more noteworthy as he’s dealt with challenges related to Aspberger syndrome.

His daughters are also doing well.  “They’re all big now.  They’re a terrific bunch,” he says.

Schneider has been extra busy with his professional life of late.  The Spike TV special he executive produced, “Crash Test: Real Wrecks, Real Stakes” – showing how expert stunt drivers re-enact spectacular car crashes for court cases – is airing tonight  (4/27) and he has appearances coming up on “Leverage,” TV Land’s New “Hot in Cleveland” (with Betty White), his ongoing “90210” character and possible new Spike comedy series, “The Back 9.”

No matter how busy he gets, however, “I want my kids to know I’m there for them, waiting to catch them if they screw up, need an arm to hit or just be there to talk.”

11 Responses to “John Schneider’s Heartbreak”

  1. Patricia Says:

    I met John in Nashville at Fan Fare …..I was waiting in line when his crew starting talking about shutting down his autograph line. Behind me in line were two small boys who were afraid the line would be closed before they got to meet Bo Duke…I told them not to worry John would not let that happen. I was right….the line was closed behind the two small boys. I had the pleasure of having my picture made with John and watching these two boys filled with excitement when they too got to meet their hero and get his autograph. What a wonderful day that was. Only to be Improved when I got to hear John sing for the very first time. He had no band, no guitar, no pitch harp….just his awesome voice. I became a fan for life….he is a great actor, producer, singer, a great human being and I suspect a wonderful husband and father. I am privileged to have been able to meet such a man. I wish him the best in life and am very sorry for his loss.

  2. Strwrsgrl Says:

    I have always been impressed with what I have seen of John Schneider and his work. His fans all have great things to say about him. I will be getting my chance to see him soon the end of March 2011 and I can’t wait!

  3. Martha Ramirez Says:

    John Schneider is the most awesome person… i love his show the Dukes of Hazard! I saw him at LAX airport many years ago and he was very sweet God will compinsate him for being such and awesome human being love ya! John Schneider♥

  4. Patricia Says:

    Dear John
    I watched The Duckes of Hazzards all the time I felt like I was part of the show I watched it so much I even have one of your records do you still sing you are one of my all time favorite actors. I hope you never stop acting on tv. I would love to you on TV again. I will miss you if you stop acting. your friend al ways

    Patricia

  5. seth Says:

    I was just poking around to find the chords to the theme song to The Dukes of Hazzard, when I linked to this. It was 1978 when I first saw the show, and have always enjoyed it, including all the movies. The reality of true life, apart from the show, hit home to me, with waves of tears. I work with children, one of which has autism (related to aspergers). I could only imagine having to raise a child with extra special care. John, you were cool to me when I was a mere lad, and now I have total respect for you in my adult years. When we get to Heaven, I want to give you a great big handshake and hug, and you will be welcome in my eternal home any ol’ time.

    Seth

  6. jennifer Says:

    hello john i think it is great what you are doing for the childerns net work,and i am really proud and agree with you on what you have said bout your children i to have told my kids that there is nothing they couldnt ever tell me i will help them nomatter what,my kids are my world one of them fights a mental challenge every day and he is just so caught up in the dukes of hazzard you are his favorite lol he has been going online on every web site he can trying to find things he may can get that has the dukes of hazzard logos on it so could you please give me info as to where we may can find it thats not to expensive please i hope you contune to do the good deeds you are doing and look fwd to hearing from you very soon ..

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  8. Sheila Oldham Says:

    I just wanted to tell you that your image as an actor has always been above reproach, in my families opinion. You have played many parts that had heart, which touched our family, such as in: Touched by an Angel. It disturbs our christian family when our confidence in a celebrity is clouded. For this reason, I’m writing to you, because I saw you in the recent movie pre-views which doesn’t seem very wholesome, to say the least. I hope, when I actually see the movie, you will not be the character portrayed. Many of you “good guys” distort that image, which I sincerely hope you have not done. Keep doing the good stuff. Hollywood needs to give what families want, not what the lunatics want.
    Thanks,
    Sheila Oldham

  9. Sheila Says:

    I just want you to know that you are an awesome person, and our family appreciates all that you have done for families.
    Thanks,
    Sheila

  10. david hall Says:

    thank you for all you have done
    your friend david

  11. Mary Lou Tringali, PhD Says:

    I am a rather “new” fan of John Schneider’s. I had never seen Dukes of Hazzard or Smallville, nor heard his many records. I happened to find out about John’s good works in Childrens Miracle Network Hospitals and many other charities, and found out later he was indeed a hard-working actor, singer, director, producer, magician, composer, and writer. Have I misssed any other artistic talent? I found this article to be a tribute to a man who has many ambitions and talents in a plethora of directions, but one thing that remains constant: his love for his fellow man. Whether it’s patience with long lines of fans waiting for an autograph, or fixing a tire for a person in need, John’s heart comes through as good, honest, person untouched by his own celebrity. He is a good family man and his love shines through everyday in all his does. Bless him and his family and may they always find happiness.

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