Who is Howard Hesseman?

Howard Hesseman was born on 27 February 1940, in Lebanon, Oregon, USA, and is an actor, probably best known for his role in the sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati” in which he played DJ Dr. Johnny Fever. Other notable roles he’s had include Charlie Moore in “Head of the Class”, and Sam Royer in “One Day at a Time”.

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The Net Worth of Howard Hesseman

How rich is Howard Hesseman? As of late-2019, sources inform us of a net worth that is over $5 million, earned through a successful career in acting.

Howard Hesseman is a true gem… he should be working all the time… note to fellow directors… 🙂

Posted by The Official Fred Olen Ray Page on Monday, March 21, 2016

He’s been in the entertainment industry since 1968 and has also appeared in numerous films throughout his career. As he continues his endeavors, it is expected that his wealth will also continue to increase.

Early Life, Education, and Career Beginnings

Howard grew up in Lebanon, and was raised by his parents until he was five years old, when they divorced, and he was primarily raised by his mother alongside his stepfather, who was a police officer. He attended Silverton High School, and after matriculating in 1958, enrolled at the University of Oregon.

He decided to later forego his college education to fully commit to acting. He moved to San Francisco, and worked as a radio DJ under the alias Don Sturdy. He did so while pursuing acting projects, and he also became a founding member of the improvisational comedy group called The Committee, which is based in the area, creating the group alongside actor David Ogden Stiers. He began to take acting projects under the name Don Sturdy, appearing in an episode of “Dragnet” in which he played the role of a hippie, an editor of an underground newspaper.

Howard Hesseman

Rise to Fame

During the two final episodes of the season of “The Andy Griffith Show”, Howard played a bit part as Harry who is a fisherman who becomes involved in supporting Emmett’s campaign. In the other episode, he played a counter boy who served hot dogs and root beers to Goober. His next project would be on “The Bob Newhart Show”, in which he appeared for several episodes as a member of the group therapy ensemble who was later revealed as gay. During the sixth season, his character became a playwright. In 1969, he worked on several sketches for “The Dick Cavett Show”, and on one occasion worked with soul singer Janis Joplin.

His fame increased significantly when he played Dr. Johnny Fever in the sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati”, a role which he held through the entirety of the show from 1978 to 1982. His experience working as a DJ contributed to his prowess in the role, and he was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award on two occasions. He then reprised his role in “The New WKRP in Cincinnati” many years later, and would even direct a few episodes. He was also a part of the Disney film entitled “Flight of the Navigator”.

Latter Career

In 1986, he played the role of the teacher Charlie Moore in ABC’s “Head of the Class”, and also married Bonnie Franklin’s character in “One Day at a Time”. By the 1990s, he had made two appearances on “Saturday Night Live”, paying a tribute to John Belushi. His next project would be a production of “Quills” at the Geffen Playhouse in California, playing the character Marquis de Sade. In 2001, he had a three-episode role in “That ‘70s Show” before working another three episodes in “Boston Legal”.

Afterwards, he had a guest role in “House”, before playing The Chemist in the HBO television miniseries “John from Cincinnati”. He was then an announcer on “Psych” before appearing during the 2007 season premiere of “ER” in which he played the role of a man who has been affected by magic mushrooms. He also starred in a production of “The Sunshine Boys”, which ran in 2010 at the New Theatre Restaurant in Overland Park, Kansas. The following year, he had a guest role in “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”. One of his latest projects was a series of promotional work done in 2018, mainly for classic television shows on the MeTV network.

Personal Life and Social Media

For his personal life, it is known that Hesseman has married three times – there are almost no details regarding his first marriage, which ended in divorce sometime in 1961. Four years after that, he married Catherine Maison and they stayed together for nine years before divorcing. His third wife is Carol Ducrocq who is known for her contributions to theatre in production and direction. They have been married since 1989. Aside from these three marriages, he also had a well-known friendship Janis Joplin during the late 1960s, which at times turned into romance.

One of the reasons why there is very limited information about him is due to the lack of any strong online presence. He has an account on the website Twitter, which has over 200 followers but he has not been active on it, only posting a few times, with the last being in 2017. He was an icon during the 1960s, and in recent years, people have been wondering about his current endeavors. Others state that he is enjoying his retirement, with rumors stating that he retired sometime in 2016, but he still took acting projects past that year.


Benjy is currently a reporter for BiographyPedia based in Adelaide, Australia. Prior to joining BiographyPedia in July 2019, he was a Bizarre TV reporter and theatre critic at TheSun. Benjy has also written for DailyMail and TMZ. Benjy studied journalism at Goldsmiths University of London, graduating in 2009. You can contact him at [email protected]

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