Howard Hesseman (1940—today) is a native of Oregon. He began acting in high school and spent two years at the U of O before fleeing the mildew lifestyle to appear in a number of little theatre productions in San Francisco. In 1965, he joined that city’s famed improvisational troupe, THE COMMITTEE, and has been acting rather strangely ever since. Often billed as Don Sturdy (for reasons he refuses to divulge), he performed in various venues in San Francisco and Los Angeles, as well as touring companies of THE COMMITTEE through 1977.
In addition to starring in three television series, WORP IN CINCINNATI (two Emmy nominations), ONE DAY AT A TIME and HEAD OF THE CLASS, his numerous TV credits include such classics as DRAGNET, THE BOB NEWHART SHOW, THE ROCKFORD FILES, RHODA and BARETTA. He’s been seen in HOUSE, PSYCH, BOSTON LEGAL, LIE TO ME and CSI: LAS VEGAS. Hesseman has hosted SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE three times, and appeared in far too many TV movies, among them THE LIFE AND TIMES OF SENATOR JOE McCARTHY, THE AMAZING HOWARD HUGHES, SECRET SANTA, CBS’s production of YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU, and NBC’s live telecast of MR ROBERTS…the list goes on.
Likewise, Hesseman can be glimpsed in countless feature films, some of which you may have seen: BILLY JACK, THIS IS SPINAL TAP, as Ben Affleck’s father in MAN ABOUT TOWN, with John Cusack in MARTIAN CHILD, opposite Tupac Shakur and Tim Roth in GRIDLOCK’D, THE ROCKER with Rainn Wilson, as Sandra Bullock’s father in ALL ABOUT STEVE, as Kathy Bates’ ex in ABOUT SCHMIDT starring Jack Nicholson, not to mention Rob Zombie’s classic remake of HALLOWEEN II.
Hesseman has also wandered onstage in Jean-Claude Van Italie’s AMERICA HURRAH (The Committee Theatre), Alan Ayckbourn’s MAN OF THE MOMENT (Cleveland Playhouse), Arthur Miller’s BROKEN GLASS (Coconut Grove Playhouse), Neil Simon’s LAUGHTER ON THE 23RD FLOOR (6 month national tour, replacing Nathan Lane), Doug Wright’s QUILLS (Geffen Playhouse) and Neil Simon’s THE SUNSHINE BOYS (Kansas City’s New Theatre).
He’s immensely honored to appear anywhere, and thanks Caroline and myriad others for everything.
WKRP IN CINCINNATI