American actor Howard Hesseman, the pop culture icon as DJ “Dr. Johnny Fever” on WKRP in Cincinnati in the late 70s and 80s, has died. He was 81.

Hesseman was born February 27, 1940 in Lebanon Oregon, USA. He died anuary 29, 2022 in Los Angeles, California at the age of 81. He died from complications of colon surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

He was best known as DJ John Caravello, “Johnny Fever”, on WKRP, and received two Emmy nominations for the role.

Hesseman did dip a toe into sci-fi and fantasy roles, including Bigfoot, Amazon Women on the Moon (1987), and Disney’s Flight of the Navigator(1986).

Other roles included social studies teacher Charlie Moore on The Head of the Class. In Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment he played Captain Pete :assard. In the rock mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap, Hesseman played Terry Ladd. In Munchie Strikes Back (1994), Hesseman took over the role of Munchie, who had been voiced by Dom DeLuise. in the first Munchie movie. Howard Hesseman also played Dr. Berg in The Martian Child, based on the Hugo and Nebula winning novelette by David Gerrold.

He is survived by his third wife Caroline Ducrocq. From 1960 to 1961 Hesseman was married to Karen Saintsure. after their divorce, he remarried Catherine Maison; they were together from 1965 to 1974. He married Caroline Ducrocq in 1989.

His manager Robbie Kass wrote in a statement. “He will be sorely missed and always treasured!”

Yes. Yes he will. Not many people end up becoming a part of our cultural heritiage. We celebrate a life of art and achievement, and we offer our condolenscences to his friends and family.


Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as 26 short stories, mostly fantasy in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress ”, Swords &Sorceries Vols. 1, 2, & 5, “Cat Tails” “Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.