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‘WKRP in Cincinnati’ and “Head of the Class’ star Howard Hesseman dies at age 81

‘WKRP in Cincinnati’ and ‘Head of the Class’ actor Howard Hesseman has died at the age of 81. Hesseman’s wife Caroline Ducrocq and manager Robbie Kass confirmed the news on Sunday, stating that the actor died Saturday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Los Angeles due to complications from colon surgery he underwent last summer.

The two-time Emmy nominee played radio disc jockey Dr. Johnny Fever on WKRP in Cincinnati from 1978-1982, and portrayed teacher Charlie Moore on Head of the Class from 1986-1990.  He also hosted NBC’s Saturday Night Live three times.

Some of Hesseman’s other credits include One Day at a Time, Petulia, Dragnet, The Bob Newhart Show, Doctor Detroit, Soap, The Sunshine Boys, Shampoo, Silent Movie, This Is Spinal Tap, Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment, Heat, About Schmidt, Boston Legal and Fresh Off the Boat.

Hesseman is survived by his wife Caroline Ducrocq, and their godchildren Grace, Hamish and Chet.

Editorial credit: Kathy Hutchins /

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