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Howard Hesseman, star of 'WKRP in Cincinnati,' dead at 81

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Posted at 7:28 PM, Jan 30, 2022

NEW YORK — Howard Hesseman, who played the radio disc jockey Johnny Fever on the sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati” and the actor-turned-history teacher Charlie Moore on “Head of the Class,” has died. He was 81.

His manager Robbie Kass said Sunday that Hesseman died Saturday in Los Angeles due to complications from colon surgery.

Hesseman, who had himself been a radio DJ in the '60s, earned two Emmy nominations for playing Johnny Fever on CBS’ “WKRP in Cincinnati,” which ran for four seasons from 1978-1982.

The role made Hesseman a counterculture icon at a time when few hippie characters made it onto network television.