• Howard Hesseman is an actor best known for his role in the sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati” and his net worth is estimated to be over $5 million.
• He was raised by his mother and stepfather and attended Silverton High School and University of Oregon before pursuing acting.
• He was part of the improvisational comedy group The Committee and was a founding member.
• His fame increased significantly when he played Dr. Johnny Fever in the sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati” and he was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award.
• He has been married three times and has a well-known friendship with Janis Joplin.

Known for movies

Short Info

SpouseCaroline Ducrocq, Catherine Maison
FactAs a member of The Committee he appeared weekly on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1967) (1968-69).

Who is Howard Hesseman?

Howard Hesseman was born on 27 February 1940, in Lebanon, Oregon, USA, and was 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 had included as Charlie Moore in “Head of the Class”, and as Sam Royer in “One Day at a Time”.

The Net Worth of Howard Hesseman

How rich was Howard Hesseman at the time of his deayth? Sources  estimate that he had a net worth of over $5 million, earned through a successful acting.career.

He was in the entertainment industry from 1968, and overall appeared in almost 60 films, and over 80 TV shows in his career spanning well over 50 years.

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 also pursuing acting projects, and he also became a founding member of the improvisational comedy group called The Committee 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 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 in “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” some 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’d made two appearances in “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 in “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 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 in 1074. His third wife was Carol Ducrocq who is known for her contributions to theatre in production and direction. They married in 1989, and were together until his death in 2022. Aside from these three marriages, he also had a well-known friendship with singer Janis Joplin during the late 1960s, which apparently 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 had an account on the website Twitter, but wasn’t very active on it, only posting a few times, with the last being in 2017. He was an icon during the 1960s, and in more recent years, people  wondered about his endeavors. Others stated that he was enjoying his retirement, with rumors stating that he’d retired sometime in 2016, but he still took acting projects past that year.

Howard passed away on 29 January 2022, identified as being from ‘complications of colorectal surgery‘, in Los Angeles, California, survived by his third wife, Caroline Ducrocq; he never had children.

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General Info

Full NameHoward Hesseman
Height1.82 m
ProfessionComedian, Actor, Radio personality
EducationUniversity of Oregon


SpouseCaroline Ducrocq, Catherine Maison
ParentsGeorge Henry Hesseman, Edna Forster


NominationsPrimetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, TV Land Teacher of the Year Award, TV Land Broadcaster(s) of the Year Award
MoviesFlight of the Navigator, About Schmidt, Private Lessons, Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment, All About Steve, Gridlock'd, Doctor Detroit, This Is Spinal Tap, Halloween II, Wild Oats, Rubin and Ed, The Sunshine Boys, Billy Jack, Silent Movie, The Rocker, The Big Bus, Americathon, Teddy Bears' P...
TV ShowsHead of the Class, One Day at a Time, WKRP in Cincinnati

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Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

As a Freelance Writer at Biography Pedia, I oversee the full writing process, from in-depth research to the development of compelling narratives, ensuring accuracy and excellence in our output. Our goal is to produce insightful profiles that deeply explore the lives of prominent figures in business, entertainment, and other fields. Through meticulous research and engaging storytelling, we spotlight the significant journeys and achievements of individuals who captivate and inspire our readers.

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