Actor and musician John Schneider has more than settled in Louisiana. At this point, having moved to the state in 2011 and weathering more than a few hurricane and storm floods at his Livingston vicarage, he practically qualifies as a local.
Recently, he and his wife, Alicia Allain, have moved to a higher level. Her current home is just off John Schneider Studios in Holden, but her newly built home is safer from the rising waters that have engulfed several of the cottages on his studio property, including her former historic bungalow, which is currently being restored.
The house is modern, southern traditional, with white columns, a tin roof, and a porch large enough for a gathering. Unlike its previous location, it has all the modern conveniences, a well-used designer kitchen and plenty of storage space. The driveway is huge — big enough to fit the couple’s car collection and RV, Allain said.
“It’s a mobile home,” Schneider said dryly, correcting his wife.
“It’s a camper,” Allain said, pushing her heels in and trying not to laugh.
Repartee flies easily between the couple, who were married in 2019, who routinely pretend to argue but are clearly sympathetic.
The house they moved into in 2019 is as personal as it gets. Every corner is filled with family pieces, antiques and story-telling memorabilia. The guitar in the corner of the living room, Schneider’s favorite piece of the house, was a gift from Johnny Cash. Schneider lived with the Cash family for a time. Allain once cut Cash’s hair.
Nearby tables feature glamorous art pieces that once came from Beverly Hills, Allain’s former home, but are now nestled among sentimental family artifacts.
The house is surrounded by open spaces, water features and enough space to expand if you wish. A rear building houses a studio and offices used for television interviews and video conferencing, connecting the couple to the rest of the world but keeping the business side of their lives out of the home.
The interior is a mix of old and new, high quality and functional. Next to the sofa is a stack of vinyl records and a vintage record player. The eat-in kitchen features a rustic farmhouse table and a sleek antique stable with a stained glass door that doubles as a bar. The shelves are stocked with good bourbon and quality tequila.
Across the room are pillow-laden wooden benches, guitars, and an old-fashioned iron wood-burning stove. The curtains were sewn by Allain’s mother herself and the curtain rods were welded by her father.
The dining room’s antiques were purchased from Prince & Pauper in New Orleans long before Allain, a native of Brusly, moved to LA in her 20s to pursue a career in film production. At the head of the table, under two modern-rustic wooden chandeliers, is a European buffet.
Like most ex-New Orleansians, the couple — who also used to have an uptown eatery on Magazine Street — join cocktail hour and are always on the lookout for a good meal. They love to talk about food and can list almost any restaurant they like within driving distance and they go to all of them.
“Yes, we’re foodies,” said Allain, laughing, “and we’re drinkers.”
Schneider remarked that Allain is a great cook and he loves to try his in-laws’ traditional favorites from the Lafourche community, including the smothered squirrel that recently made the menu. The family is so close to the family, Schneider said, that his in-laws moved onto the property and now live a stone’s throw away.
The couple is always away filming and touring, but their home on the Tickfaw River conceals sentimental items from their past lives. Schneider’s original boots from the Dukes of Hazzard series are here, now bronzed. He’s still wearing his original shirt from the show.
On Allain’s father’s coffee table is a harmless crystal ball that once belonged to film producer Robert Evans. The globe first appeared in a spread about Evan’s house in Architectural Digest, but for Allain its value is purely sentimental. She previously worked for the late Oscar winner The Godfather for a decade.
A huge painting of a photograph by Helmut Newton in the bedroom was a gift from Newton to Evans and from Evans to Allain. The three were friends.
Antiques, collectibles, hats, vintage leather books and art. Like many who have lost furniture more than once in the flood, there is now much that is new alongside the sentimental that has been saved.
“When we moved in, we didn’t have much,” says Allain. “Everything we’ve done is very simple.”
The house is both spacious and cosy, with enough space for guests and a living room and outdoor deck big enough for a jam session or a night out with good friends and conversation.
Now a producer, screenwriter, director, and stage and screen actor, Schneider is best known for his role as Bo Duke in the 1970s television series The Dukes of Hazzard. He was cast for the role at 18 straight from Fulton County, Georgia. He played Superman’s father on Smallville and, until the show ended last year, the powerful Judge Jim Cryer on Tyler Perry’s eight-season hit The Haves and the Have Nots.
He has also had a successful decade-long career in country music. His album Odyssey features 54 live recorded songs written by a who’s who of Nashville singer-songwriters and produced by Allain. He has a new acoustic version of his greatest hits and his latest song “Younger Man” was released in January.
After over 40 years in business, Schneider founded his own studio to produce independent films and supports independent filmmakers. The most recent were Stand On It and Poker Run, both homages to the ’70s classic Smokey and the Bandit, available to stream. Allain serves as co-producer and as her husband’s personal and professional manager.
He is currently in pre-production on a film in which he will play a marine protecting Old Glory.
To that end, he builds out his signature waves in anticipation of getting a legal buzz cut for the film. But he still reconnects affectionately with his fans from back then. And this weekend he’s hosting his annual Bo’s Extravaganza, a celebration of music, food, a stunt show and more. The original “General Lee” car will be on display at the festival, and Schneider will jump a souped-up 2016 Dodge Challenger in a stunt show.
“John finally embraced his inner Bo,” Allain said. “After years of being typecast as this forever 18-year-old, we’re going along with it.”
WHAT: John Schneider’s annual festival featuring a crawfish cook-off, car show, stunts, carnival rides and music by Schneider and the Stars N’ Bars Band, Rockin’ Dopsie Jr., Keith Burns, Louisiana’s LeRoux and others.
IF: 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. 23.-24. April. (VIP tickets available for Friday.)
TICKETS: $30; Children under 10 years free.
THE INFORMATION: Seek Bo’s Extravagance: The Last Rally