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WKRP in Cincinnati star Frank Bonner dies at 79

Frank Bonner dies at 79: Star of TV sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati passes away ‘due to complications from Lewy body dementia’

Actor Frank Bonner has died at 79, according to his family.

Famous for playing the role of Herb Tarlek on the television sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati, Bonner is said to have passed away peacefully on Wednesday, TMZ report.

Bonner’s passing was a result of complications from Lewy body dementia, a degenerative condition similar to Alzheimer’s disease.

The report adds that the actor was surrounded by his family and loved ones when he died, who are said to be heartbroken. 

Frank Bonner dies at 70: Star of TV sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati passes away ‘due to complications from Lewy body dementia’

WKRP, a situation comedy about characters at a radio station, premiered in 1978 on the CBS television network and aired for four seasons and 90 episodes, ending on April 21, 1982. 

Actress Loni Anderson also found fame from show, and became known for her role as receptionist Jennifer Marlowe. 

Bonner started his acting career AS Frank Boers, Jr. in the experimental 1967 independent film The Equinox… A Journey into the Unknown.

He found fame playing Herb on the hit sitcom WKRP, where his character was known for wearing loud plaid shirts, and never being able to land the big account as sales manager. 

Cast: Frank Bonner (as Herb Tarlek, advertising salesman) is seen seated to the left adjusting his tie, sitting next to Loni Anderson in pink (as receptionist Jennifer Marlowe)

Cast: Frank Bonner (as Herb Tarlek, advertising salesman) is seen seated to the left adjusting his tie, sitting next to Loni Anderson in pink (as receptionist Jennifer Marlowe)

He also stood out wearing white shoes and a matching belt on the show.

He went on to direct some episodes of the show himself, and even reprised his role when the show was given the spin-off treatment in the ’90s, on The New WKRP in Cincinnati.

More recently in his career, Bonner had acted in and directed episodes of Saved By The Bell: The New Class.

In his personal life, Bonner hit the headlines in October 1979 when he suffered a serious parachute accident that left him hospitalized.

Falling 20 feet, Bonner’s ascendency chute collapsed and malfunctioned during a freak gust of wind as he was being towed by a vehicle over a dry lake bed in the Los Angeles area.  

Fame: Frank Bonner and Jan Smithers (who played opposite him as Bailey Quarters on WKRP in Cincinnati) attend 33rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Party, 1981 in LA

Fame: Frank Bonner and Jan Smithers (who played opposite him as Bailey Quarters on WKRP in Cincinnati) attend 33rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Party, 1981 in LA

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