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Howard Hesseman, the actor best known for playing Dr. Johnny Fever on WKRP in Cincinnati, has died. He was 81.

Hesseman’s death was confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter by his wife, actress Caroline Ducrocq, who told the outlet his cause of death was from complications from colon surgery he had in Summer 2021.

Hesseman’s acting career spanned six decades beginning in the late ’60s. He would go on to have recurring roles in Mary Hartman, The Bob Newhart Show, Soap and One Day at a Time.

Hesseman’s breakout role came with the premiere of WKRP in Cincinnati. The sitcom based on a fictional rock radio station spanned four seasons from 1978-1982. Hesseman’s turn as Dr. Johnny Fever was a standout in the series’ ensemble cast. Hesseman would later reprise the classic role of Dr. Johnny Fever in The New WKRP in Cincinnati, which ran for two seasons.

Aside from WKRP in Cincinnati, Hesseman was also known for playing Charlie Moore, a history teacher tasked with an Individualized Honors Program (IHP) class for four seasons on Head of the Class from 1986 to 1990.


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Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice.