"The Dukes of Hazzard" star John Schneider lost his wife, Alicia Allain Schneider, at 53 on Feb. 21, 2023. "My beautiful Smile is pain free, living in her new body alongside Jesus," he wrote on Facebook in the wake of his grief. (He married the producer, who was also his indie filmmaking partner, "before God" in 2019 before making it legal two months later after his long divorce from his second wife was finalized.)
Six months later, the "Smallville" actor, 63, did his first sit-down interview following his wife's death from breast cancer, telling People magazine in August 2023, "I miss every damn thing [about her], every day."
The new widower, who sat down with the magazine at the Holden, Louisiana, home he once shared with his late wife, explained that he's still mourning and processing the loss of the woman he loved.
"I have to get to the point where I look around and see where she is, not where she's not. And I'm trying to do that, but that's hard," the actor said. "Somehow I love her more every minute, but with that, somehow I miss her more every minute."
The actor and country music singer, who also appeared on Tyler Perry's "The Haves and Have Nots," told People he's sharing his story in hopes of helping others who are grieving the loss of a loved one. He also wants to remind people to tell those they care about how they feel before it's too late. "I could not have told Alicia Allain Schneider I love her any more than I did," he said.
Keep reading for more on their tragic romance…
How they met
John Schneider, who played Bo Duke on "The Dukes of Hazzard" from 1979 to 1985, met Alicia Allain — a producer who was the owner of Maven Entertainment — in October 2014 over lunch to talk about a film project.
But he almost canceled because he grew frustrated when he couldn't find the restaurant, he told People magazine in an August 2023 interview. He eventually made it and they clicked, he said, and had a great conversation about which role he should play in the movie they were discussing.
John — who was separated from his second wife, Elvira "Elly" Castle, at the time (before her, he was married to former Miss America Tawny Elaine Godin from 1983 to 1986) — told the magazine he was drawn to Alicia's can-do attitude and quick wit.
"This meeting that I almost blew off, she never let me forget," he said. "We'd laugh and say, 'What would life have been?' But I knew that I had met my person. I was smitten and it was wonderful. I played the role she wanted me to play. I lost every battle, but I won because I got her."
Their early days as a couple
It wasn't long until John Schneider — seen here in the role that made him famous: Bo Duke on TV's "The Dukes of Hazzard"— and Alicia Allain became inseparable. They lived between homes in Louisiana and Tennessee and worked together producing films.
John told People magazine in an August 2023 interview that Alicia was supportive while he was going through a lengthy divorce with his second wife, Elvira "Elly" Castle, after 21 years of marriage and one daughter together.
According to John, he and Alicia "were kindred spirits from the beginning and made everything look easy."
MORE: Stars we lost in 2023
Why they had a wedding before he was legally divorced
In May 2019, Alicia Allain was diagnosed with breast cancer. The news came after a lesion was discovered during a routine dermatologist appointment.
She began treatment and she and John Schneider made a big decision. "We decided to get married after her diagnosis, not before, which I think speaks a lot to us," John told People magazine in August 2023. "The TTB, the Team to Beat, was like, 'Hell no, cancer. You're not splitting this up. We're going to make it harder for you.'"
However, John's divorce from his second wife was not finalized, so he and Alicia decided to throw a wedding celebration in July 2019 and marry "in the eyes of God," they said. His divorce was finalized a month later and he and Alicia made their union legal in September 2019.
The following year, Alicia's cancer went into remission.
Her cancer returns
In December 2021, Alicia Allain Schneider broke her back in a race car crash. While undergoing scans, doctors discovered that her cancer had returned and metastasized to her bones.
A little more than a year later in February 2023, as her health declined, John Schneider honored his wife's wishes and brought Alicia home from the hospital so she could enter hospice care, which lasted a matter of days.
"I'd lay at the foot of the bed and hold her hand at night, looking at her pulse, everything in me wanting it to keep going, keep beating, and everything in me wanting it to stop because she was in pain," John told People.
Alicia took her last breaths on Feb. 21, 2023.
His last words to his wife
John Schneider admitted he lied to his wife, Alicia Allain Schneider, when he spoke to her for the last time.
"I of course told her it was OK," he told People magazine in August 2023 his first sit-down interview following Alicia's death from breast cancer. "'If you're tired, if you want to go see your grandma, you want to go see your grandpa, if you want to go, then it's OK. You go.' And that was all the truth.
"But then I lied, because I said, 'Don't worry about me; I'll be OK,'" he added. "That was a lie I had to tell, but she knew it. OK is a long way away.
"The last thing I said to her was, 'I love you desperately, and I've got multiple sets of very long-term plans for you,'" he further shared. "And that's true, because eternity's a very long time, and I believe it. I'm counting on it."
How he honors her
In August 2023, People magazine photographed John Schneider at his home in Holden, Louisiana, where he revealed a large mural painted on the side of the home he shared with late wife Alicia Allain Schneider. It shows them walking hand-in-hand.
"Hello, my smile," he told the mural in a broken voice, with tears in his eyes, People reported. (See the mural here.)
John told the magazine that his sprawling property has become "a point of pain" since his wife died in February 2023. "We lived here, but we also survived here," he said. "We chased our dreams and caught them here. This place has been very important to us from the very beginning and still is."
To honor his late wife, People reported, John started writing daily messages to Alicia on Facebook. He calls them "letters to heaven." He also started an AliciaWear clothing line that features things she used to say: "Love That" and "Go Do."
As a tribute to Alicia, the actor, who's also a country music singer, plans to release an album titled "We're Still Us." "The writing helps, but the writing hurts," he told People. "I'm trying to keep some form of inspiration but it's very hard, like a candle with a wick and no flame."