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Howard Hesseman Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trivia (8) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 27 February 1940Lebanon, Oregon, USA
Birth NameGeorge Howard Hesseman
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Howard Hesseman has been a leading counter-culture figure since the late 1960s. He was a member of the improv group, "the Committee", for ten years in the sixties and seventies. He has been a character actor for many years on different television shows since the 1960s, and took small parts in The Andy Griffith Show (1960), Dragnet 1967 (1967), Soap (1977) and Sanford and Son (1972). The role that brought him to prominence was Howard Johnson in the cult classic Billy Jack (1971). He has been active in movies and TV since.

He was a frequent guest star on The Bob Newhart Show (1972), but the best was yet to come. He will perhaps be forever remembered on the classic series WKRP in Cincinnati (1978), as anti-disco DJ Dr. Johnny Fever. Also in the seventies, Hesseman appeared in a small part in The Sunshine Boys (1975), Tunnel Vision (1976), Silent Movie (1976) and The Big Bus (1976). After the cancellation of WKRP in Cincinnati (1978), he went on to star as the husband of Ann Romano in One Day at a Time (1975). After that series was cancelled, Hesseman starred in more cult classics, such as This Is Spinal Tap (1984), Doctor Detroit (1983), Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (1985), (a role which he refused to play again) Clue (1985) and Flight of the Navigator (1986).

He then got another part in television, this time as a teacher in the high school sitcom Head of the Class (1986). As Mr. Moore, he was insightful, funny and a pleasure to watch. Hesseman left the show in 1990 and has done a steady stream of television guest roles since. In 1987, he was in the star-studded Amazon Women on the Moon (1987), and, in 1991, he starred in the very strange film Rubin and Ed (1991). Since then, he has been in a handful of other films, including Gridlock'd (1997) with Tupac Shakur. His work in recent years concentrates mostly on television, where he takes mostly small guest roles, in shows like That '70s Show (1998), Touched by an Angel (1994), The Practice (1997) and Crossing Jordan (2001). Since his career began, Hesseman has gained a reputation as a quality and versatile character actor.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: msa0510 @ mail.ecu.edu

Spouse (3)

Caroline Ducrocq (22 July 1989 - present)
Catherine Maison (3 May 1965 - 1974) (divorced)
? (? - 1961) (divorced)

Trivia (8)

Attended the University of Oregon.
Member of the improvisational group, The Committee, 1965-1975.
Before he became an actor, he was a real radio D.J. Hence, the WKRP in Cincinnati (1978) role fit him perfectly.
During "The Committee's" appearance on the July 18, 1969 The Dick Cavett Show (1968) Howard called one of his cast members "fellow baby." Nearly a decade later on WKRP in Cincinnati (1978) he would make this phrase one of the most popular sayings of Dr. Johnny Fever, the role that he is most identified with.
As a member of "The Committee", Hesseman appeared weekly on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1967) (1968-1969).
Arrested for selling 1 ounce of marijuana in San Francisco in 1966.
Was a close friend and sometime lover of Janis Joplin in the late 1960s.
He quit the University of Oregon for San Francisco and the stage. There, under the assumed name Don Sturdy (It was kind of a joke); he joined the Committee, an improv group that also included Rob Reiner and Penny Marshall. He appeared in credits as Don Sturdy in a minimum of four productions which include: Dragnet 1967, The Andy Griffith Show, and the movies Cisco Pike and Billy Jack.

Personal Quotes (1)

[on Head of the Class (1986)] We're not doing the show that I was led to believe I'd do, and it's difficult for me to get off that. I don't want to air dirty laundry in public, but I do feel that the educational arena is one that offers a variety of story ideas as a means of investigating our lives -what we mean to one another and what's important. We could do all that with considerable humor, not with jokes, but with genuine humor that comes out of character and situations.

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