'Dukes of Hazzard' Star Christopher 'Chip' Mayer Dies at 57

Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection
Christopher "Chip" Mayer

Stars’ contract dispute led to his brief stint on CBS hit in ’80s.

Christopher “Chip” Mayer, a replacement player during an actors’ contract dispute on top-rated CBS series The Dukes of Hazzard in the 1980s, died July 23 in Sherman Oaks. He was 57.

Mayer and Byron Cherry stepped to sub for Tom Wopat and John Schneider at the start of the 1982-83 season when the stars held out for more money and merchandising royalties. (The story line had Wopat and Schneider leaving town to join the NASCAR circuit.)

However, after Hazzard suffered a drop in ratings, Warner Bros. renegotiated with Wopat and Schneider, and they returned with four episodes left in the season. Mayer and Cherry’s characters were written out of the show after 19 episodes.

A native of New York who was raised in Ridgewood, N.J., the dark-haired Mayer went on to reprise his Vance Duke character in a cartoon series called The Dukes.

He also appeared in such series as Glitter, Weird Science, Silk Stalkings and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine; the daytime soap opera Santa Barbara; and the 1997 Jim Carrey film Liar Liar.

Survivors include daughters Ashley (from his marriage to actress Teri Copley), Alexandra and Angelica (both from his marriage to actress Shauna Sullivan) and two granddaughters.