‘WKRP in Cincinnati’ star Frank Bonner dead at 79

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif. — Actor and TV director Frank Bonner died Wednesday at his home in Laguna Niguel, California, at the age of 79, multiple media outlets reported.

Gayle Hardage, Bonner’s wife, confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that he died of complications from Lewy body dementia.

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Bonner was best known for his portrayal of hapless radio station sales manager Herb Tarlek on the popular “WKRP in Cincinnati” from 1978 to 1982.

It Is True ! Frank Passed Away, Yesterday June 16th at 3:48 Pacific Time RIP My Great Friend !!!

Posted by Gary Sandy on Thursday, June 17, 2021

Bonner also appeared as Father Hargis, headmaster at the fictional St. Augustine’s Academy, on the “Growing Pains” spinoff “Just the Ten of Us,” but ultimately moved behind the camera to direct ’80s TV staples such as “Family Ties,” “Who’s the Boss,” “Head of the Class” and “Evening Shade,” THR reported.

According to Variety, Desiree Boers-Kort, Bonner’s daughter, posted in a “WKRP In Cincinnati” Facebook group, that the actor “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.💔”

Born Frank Woodrow Boers Jr. on Feb. 28, 1942, in Little Rock, Arkansas, Bonner spent six years in the U.S. Navy before his on-screen debut in 1967′s “The Equinox … A Journey Into the Supernatural,” THR reported.

Bonner is survived by Hardage, two daughters, two sons, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild, Variety reported.

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