Skip to main content

Hesseman, Howard 1940–

HESSEMAN, Howard 1940–

(Howard Hessman, Don Sturdy)


Born February 27, 1940, in Lebanon, OR; son of George Henry and Edna (Forster) Hesseman; married first wife (divorced, 1961); married second wife, 1965 (divorced, 1974); married Caroline Ducrocq, 1989. Education: Attended the University of Oregon.

Addresses: Agent—Stone Manners Talent Agent, 6500 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Los Angeles, CA 90048. Manager—Kass & Stokes Management, 9229 Sunset Blvd., Suite 504, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Career: Actor. The Committee (improvisational theatre group), San Francisco, CA, member of company, 1965–75. Also worked as a radio disc jockey.

Member: Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

Awards, Honors: Emmy Award nominations, outstanding supporting actor in a comedy or variety or music series, 1980, 1981, both for WKRP in Cincinnati.


Film Appearances:

(Uncredited) Petulia, Warner Bros./Seven Arts, 1968.

(As Don Sturdy) A Session with the Committee (also known as The Committee), Planet, 1969.

(Uncredited) Bartender, Some Kind of a Nut, 1969.

One of the last party guests, The Christian Licorice Store, National General, 1971.

(As Don Sturdy) Howard Johnson, drama teacher, Billy Jack, Warner Bros., 1971.

(As Don Sturdy) Recording engineer, Cisco Pike, Columbia, 1972.

Frank, Steelyard Blues (also known as The Final Crash), Warner Bros., 1973.

Confectionery man, Kid Blue (also known as Dime Box), Twentieth Century-Fox, 1973.

(Uncredited) Santa Rosa bartender, Jory, 1973.

Dr. Gopian, Whiffs (also known as C.A.S.H. and W.H.I. F.F.S.), Twentieth Century-Fox, 1975.

Red Dog, Shampoo, Columbia, 1975.

Prisoners (also known as Physical Assault), 1975.

Commercial director, The Sunshine Boys, United Artists, 1975.

Senator McMannus, Tunnelvision (also known as Tunnel Vision), World Wide, 1976.

David, Outside Chance (also known as Jackson County Jail), New World, 1976.

Jack, The Big Bus, Paramount, 1976.

Executive, Silent Movie, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1976.

O'Brien, The Other Side of Midnight, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1977.

Kip Margolis, Americathon, United Artists, 1979.

The Jerk, Universal, 1979.

Ernie Piles, Loose Shoes (also known as Coming Attractions and Quackers), Atlantic, 1980.

Lester Lewis, Private Lessons (also known as Philly), Jensen Farley, 1980.

Snapper, Honky Tonk Freeway, Universal, 1981.

Smooth Walker, Dr. Detroit, Universal, 1983.

Terry Ladd, This Is Spinal Tap (also known as Spinal Tap), Embassy, 1984.

(Uncredited) Chief, Clue (also known as Clue: The Movie), Paramount, 1985.

Peter "Pete" Lassard, Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (also known as Police Academy II), Warner Bros., 1985.

McBride, My Chauffeur, Crown International, 1986.

Dr. Faraday, Flight of the Navigator (also known as The Navigator), Buena Vista, 1986.

Jack, Inside Out, Beckerman, 1986.

Rupert King, "Titan Man," Amazon Women on the Moon (also known as Cheeseburger Film Sandwich), Universal, 1987.

Pinchus Zion, Heat, New Century/Vista, 1987.

Ed Tuttle, Rubin and Ed, IRS Releasing, 1991.

Mr. Cassidy, Hot Chocolate (also known as Amour et chocolat), LIVE Home Video, 1992.

Nick Frost, Little Miss Millions (also known as Home for Christmas and Little Miss Zillions), New Horizons Home Video, 1994.

Voice of Munchie, Munchie Strikes Back, New Horizons Home Video, 1994.

Detective Caldwell, Out of Sync, LIVE Entertainment, 1995.

Narrator, The Life and Times of the Red Dog Saloon (documentary), Red Dog Enterprises, 1996.

Sheba/Mr. Cabot, Boys Night Out, 1996.

Blind man, Gridlock'd (also known as Gridlock and Gridlocked), Gramercy Pictures, 1997.

Yogi Cook, The Sky Is Falling, Showcase Entertainment, 2000.

Mr. Valdemar, The Mesmerist, Seventh Art Releasing, 2002.

Ted Frye, Teddy Bears' Picnic, Magnolia Pictures, 2002.

Larry Hertzel, About Schmidt, New Line Cinema, 2002.

Man About Town, Media 8 Entertainment, 2006.

Television Appearances; Series:

Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, syndicated, 1976–77.

Mr. Franklin, Soap, 1978.

Johnny Caravella/Dr. Johnny Fever, WKRP in Cincinnati, CBS, 1978–82.

Sam Royer, One Day at a Time, CBS, 1982–84.

Seymour Z. Fishko, Likely Stories Vol. 4, 1983.

Charlie Moore, Head of the Class, ABC, 1986–90.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

Jenks, The Amazing Howard Hughes, ABC, 1977.

Steven Smithline, Innocent Victims, ABC, 1996.

Television Appearances; Movies:

The Victim, 1972.

The Blue Knight, 1973.

Dennis Webber, Another April, 1974.

Detective, Hustling, 1975.

Resident, The Blue Knight, CBS, 1975.

AP man, Collision Course: Truman vs. MacArthur (also known as Collision Course), 1976.

Lieutenant Cantwell, "Tail Gunner Joe," The Big Event, NBC, 1977.

Fred, Tarantulas: The Deadly Cargo, CBS, 1977.

Bert Stockwell, The Ghost of Flight 401, NBC, 1978.

Roger Dustleman, The Comedy Company, CBS, 1978.

Avery Salminella, More Than Friends (also known as Love Me and I'll Be Your Best Friend), ABC, 1978.

David, Outside Chance (also known as Jackson County Jail), 1978.

Wilbur C. Henderson, You Can't Take It With You, 1979.

Senor Smooth, Gridlock (also known as The Great American Traffic Jam), NBC, 1980.

Koup Trenton, Skyward (also known as Ron Howard's "Skyward"), NBC, 1980.

Charles Galloway, Victims, NBC, 1982.

Joe Hervey, One Shoe Makes It Murder, CBS, 1982.

Jim Osbourne, The Best Kept Secrets, ABC, 1984.

In Our Hands, 1984.

King, The Princess Who Had Never Laughed, 1984.

Carl Lewis, Silence of the Heart, CBS, 1984.

Joseph "Dutch" Cretzer, Six Against the Rock, NBC, 1987.

Detective John Rawlings, The Diamond Trap, 1988.

John Ross, Call Me Anna, 1990.

District Attorney Paul Maggiotto, Murder in New Hampshire: The Pamela Wojas Smart Story, CBS, 1991.

Congressman Calvin Phillips, Quiet Killer (also known as Black Death and New York, alerte a la peste), 1992.

Taylor Cochran, Lethal Exposure (also known as Declic fatal), NBC, 1993.

Wayne Dreyer, High Stakes (also known as High Stakes: The Melanie Morgan Story), Lifetime, 1997.

David, On the 2nd Day of Christmas, Lifetime, 1997.

Fred Nickells, Crazy for Christmas, Lifetime, 2005.

Also appeared in The Life and Times of Senator Joe McCarthy.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Wilbur C. Henderson, You Can't Take It with You, CBS, 1979.

Battle of the Network Stars VII, ABC, 1979.

Host, Women Who Rate a 10, NBC, 1981.

Supernight of Rock and Roll, 1983.

Johnny Caravella/Dr. Johnny Fever, Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, and Forever (documentary; also known as Motown 25 and Twenty-five Years of Motown), 1983.

Doc, Mr. Roberts, NBC, 1984.

The ABC Fall Preview Special, ABC, 1986.

The 19th Annual NAACP Image Awards, 1987.

The 14th Annual People's Choice Awards, 1988.

Host, Woodstock: Return to the Planet of the '60s, CBS, 1989.

Host, Fox Presents Tommy Performed by the Who (also known as Tommy), Fox, 1989.

(Uncredited) Himself, Saturday Night Live: 15th Anniversary, NBC, 1989.

Voiceover, 500 Nations (documentary; also known as Five Hundred Nations), CBS, 1995.

Judge, The 78th Annual Miss America Pageant, ABC, 1998.

An All Star Party for Aaron Spelling, ABC, 1998.

Himself, Peter Boyle (also known as A&E Biography: Peter Boyle), Arts and Entertainment, 2003.

CBS at 75, CBS, 2005.

Spinal Tap Goes to 20 (documentary), IFC, 2004.

The Third Annual TV Land Awards: A Celebration of Classic TV, TV Land, 2005.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Dennis Webber, the hippie, Another April, CBS, 1974.

Ralph Buckler, the anchor, The TV Show, NBC, 1977.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Hippie on panel, "Public Affairs—Joe and Bill on Talk Show," Dragnet 1967, NBC, 1967.

(As Don Sturdy) Harry, "Sam for Town Council," The Andy Griffith Show, CBS, 1968.

(As Don Sturdy) Counterboy, "Goober Goes to an Auto Show," The Andy Griffith Show, CBS, 1968.

(As Don Sturdy) Jesse Chaplin, "Public Affairs—DR-07," Dragnet 1967, NBC, 1968.

A patient, "The Jobless Corps," The Bob Newhart Show, CBS, 1974.

"The Hottest Place in Town," Firehouse, ABC, 1974.

Craig Plager, "Battle of the Groups," The Bob Newhart Show, CBS, 1974.

Kirk Stevens, "I'll Be Loving, You, Sometimes," Rhoda, CBS, 1974.

Ray Bennett, "A Ransom for Yesterday," Mannix, CBS, 1975.

Craig Plager, "Emily Hits the Ceiling," The Bob Newhart Show, CBS, 1975.

Craig Plager, "Carol's Wedding," The Bob Newhart Show, CBS, 1975.

Senator Lawler, "Tender Killing Care," Harry O, ABC, 1975.

Professor Stoneham, "The Family Man," Sanford and Son, 1975.

Salina's health-food cafe boss, "A Special Kind of Loving," Family, ABC, 1976.

M. W., "The Pirates of Tin Pan Alley," Switch, CBS, 1976.

Walker, "Street Edition," Baretta, ABC, 1976.

"Still Crazy after All These Years," The Bob Newhart Show, CBS, 1976.

Dr. Grayson, "Christmas Eve at the Booby Hatch," Laverne and Shirley, ABC, 1976.

Buz Canfield, "The Witch of Four West," Westside Medical, ABC, 1977.

Blansky's Beauties, ABC, 1977.

Assistant District Attorney Jerry Douglas, "A Dead Man's Truth," Quincy, M.E. (also known as Quincy), NBC, 1977.

Al Steever, "The House on Willis Avenue, Parts 1 and 2," The Rockford Files, NBC, 1978.

"Group on a Hot Tin Roof," The Bob Newhart Show, CBS, 1978.

Assistant district attorney, Soap, ABC, 1978.

Husbands, Wives and Lovers, CBS, 1978.

"Home Is Where the Heart Is," 9 to 5, ABC, 1982.

Host, Saturday Night Love, NBC, 1979, 1982, 1983.

"The Shrink," Love, Sidney, NBC, 1983.

Sheldon Greenberg, "Widow, Weep for Me," Murder, She Wrote, CBS, 1985.

Himself, "The Honeybunnies," George Burns Comedy Week, CBS, 1985.

The king, "The Princess Who Never Laughed," Faerie Tale Theater, Showtime, 1986.

"Downwind from Gettysburg," The Ray Bradbury Theatre, USA Network, 1992.

Johnny Caravella/Dr. Johnny Fever, "Fever in the Morning," The New WKRP in Cincinnati, syndicated, 1993.

"Who Killed the World's Greatest Chef?," Burke's Law, 1995.

Dr. Emory Taylor, "Music of the Spheres," The Outer Limits, 1997.

Mr. Bergin, "Two Guys, a Girl, and a Dad," Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place, ABC, 1998.

Judge Williams, "A Day in the Life," The Practice, ABC, 1999.

Howard Thomas/Randall, "The Fourth Trimester," Family Law, 1999.

Todd, "Drugs," Tracey Takes On …, HBO, 1999.

Landlord, "Extreme," The Pretender, NBC, 1999.

Flynn, "Monica's Bad Day," Touched by an Angel, CBS, 2000.

General Richard Scheffer, "Wetware," Level 9, UPN, 2001.

Jerry Keats, "The In-Laws," Three Sisters, NBC, 2001.

Max, "Radio Daze," That '70s Show, Fox, 2001.

Max, "Backstage Pass," That '70s Show, Fox, 2001.

Max, "Hyde Gets the Girl," That '70s Show, Fox, 2001.

Hal Bloomberg, "Jack's Back," Thieves, ABC, 2001.

Barney Reynolds, "Sight Unseen," Crossing Jordan, NBC, 2001.

Mr. Finn, "The Crazy-Girl Episode," Maybe It's Me, The WB, 2002.

Monty, "Road Trippin'," It's All Relative, ABC, 2003.

Mel Castle, "The Big Picture," Boomtown, NBC, 2003.

(Archive footage) Himself, Celebrities Uncenscored, E! Entertainment Television, 2004.

Himself, "Holiday Moments," TV Land's Top Ten, TV Land, 2005.

Television Work; Episodic:

Directed episodes of WKRP in Cincinnati, CBS; The New WKRP in Cincinnati, syndicated.

Stage Appearances:

Max, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre/James A. Doolittle Theatre, Los Angeles, 1994–95.


Television Episodes:

WKRP in Cincinnati, CBS, between 1978 and 1982.



Entertainment Weekly, March 26, 1993, p. 69; October 13, 1995, p. 84.

Los Angeles Magazine, June, 1995, p. 109.

People Weekly, March 29, 1993, p. 11.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Hesseman, Howard 1940–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . 17 Feb. 2019 <>.

"Hesseman, Howard 1940–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . (February 17, 2019).

"Hesseman, Howard 1940–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Retrieved February 17, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.