This is a sad loss for the acting community. The actor Frank Bonner, who brought to life "WKRP in Cincinnati's" charmingly slimy Herb Tarlek on TV was reported by his daughter and co-star Gary Sandy as dying Wednesday, June 16th according to reports posted on Facebook.
Bonner was 79, and reportedly died "due to an illness."
His daughter posted in a "WKRP in Cincinnati" Facebook group late Wednesday, "I’m deeply saddened to let you know that our beloved Frank Bonner passed away today at age 79. He loved his fans and was still signing autograph requests up until the last few weeks of his illness. Thank you to all who followed his career. He will be forever missed."
David Letterman, who famously hosted "Late Night" on NBC for decades and also starred in the film “The Late Shift” about his competition with Jay Leno to succeed Johnny Carson as host of The Tonight Show, has been out of work since 2015.
As Herb on WKRP in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Bonner was a quintessential salesman. He wore gaudy plaid suits with white loafers while always struggling to reel in big accounts as he worked for a radio station sales manager who did not have much luck.
The show's resident "plaid boy," Bonner played fictional radio station WKRP's fast-talking, gleefully tacky ad sales manager Herb Tarlek from 1978-1982, appearing on all but two of the show's 90 episodes. Even in an office full of miscreants and eccentrics, Herb was a fan favorite--and he continued his shenanigans for another 46 episodes when The New WKRp in Cincinnati aired 1991 to 1993.
Born February 28, 1942, in Little Rock Arkansas. Bonner first tried acting in the experimental drama "The Equinox... A Journey into the Unknown" 1967 and became a cult classic when edited and released as a feature film in 1970. He made rounds on TV guesting on popular sitcoms like Nancy (1970) before his run as Tarlek from 1973 to 1974 achieved international success with viewers tuning in daily just for him!
Born Feb 28th, 1942 - grew up near little rock Arkansas !!! Started by auditioning for an experimental play called The Equinox which was never completed due to lack of funding but he showed some natural talent so they offered him another role where he would be paid $50 per day
After the "WKRP's" initial run, he continued appearing on TV. This included an early Jim Carrey sitcom called "The Duck Factory", as well as various other shows including Gimme a Break!, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Punky Brewster, Murder She Wrote, Night Court (and more).
Bonner, the TV director who helmed episodes of "WKRP" to "Family Ties" and 105 episodes in all for City Guys (1997-2001), also played Mr. Harrington on four episodes of Saved by the Bell: The New Class.
He finished his career with films, including 2014's Under The Hollywood Sign where he directed himself as an old producer trying to make a comeback movie that was never made because it had no meaning or value at all like most movies today do.
Teenage sweetheart Gayle Hardage is mourning the loss of her husband and their four children.
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