'Dukes of Hazzard' Actor Dies Unexpectedly THR, Variety
An actor who appeared in “The Dukes of Hazzard” and had a number of other television roles has died unexpectedly, according to media reports.
Christopher "Chip" Mayer, who replaced one of the show’s lead actors during a contract dispute in the 1980s, was 57, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He reportedly died of natural causes.
Mayer began a run as Vance Duke at the start of the 1982-83 season, when series stars Tom Wopat and John Schneider held out, according to Daily Variety. On the show, their characters were said to be off pursuing a career in NASCAR, and the focus shifted to other members of the Duke family.
Along with Byron Cherry, who played Coy Duke, Mayer was contracted to appear in 10 episodes but was featured in at least 17. The show’s ratings declined, and eventually a deal was reached that enabled Wopat and Schneider to return.
Mayer also appeared in series such as "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" and the daytime soap "Santa Barbara," The Reporter notes.
Christopher “Chip” Mayer