Howard Hesseman was born on February 27, 1940 in Lebanon, Oregon. He was a founding member of the San Francisco-based improv troupe The Committee, for ten years in the sixties and seventies. He started out as a character actor in shows since the 1960s, and had small parts in "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Sanford and Son". His early credits have sometimes been hard to trace, mainly because he often billed himself as "Don Sturdy." He has never said why he's chosen that alias.
He was a frequent guest star on the Bob Newhart Show, but Hesseman is best remembered as anti-disco disc jockey Dr. Johnny Fever (aka John Caravella) on WKRP in Cincinnati. After WKRP was canceled, he spent two seasons playing Ann Romano's third husband Sam Royer on the weekly "One Day at a Time". After that series was cancelled Hesseman appeared in more cult cs, such as This Is Spinal Tap, Clue, Flight of the Navigator, and child star Patty Duke's manipulative manager/guardian John Ross in the TV's Call Me Anna. He also can be seen on Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment. His role as "Capt. Peter 'Pete' Lassard" in Police Academy 2, he refused to ever do again.
From 1986 to 1990, he starred as urbane high school teacher Charlie Moore in TV's Head of the Class. As Mr. Moore, he was insightful, funny and a pleasure to watch. Hesseman left the show in 1990 and he subsequently has not been active in many films or TV shows since. His work in recent years concentrates mostly on television, where he takes mostly small guest roles, in shows like "That '70s Show", "The Practice", and "Touched by an Angel".