Actor Frank Bonner, best known for his role as overconfident sales manager on the television sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati,” died in California on Wednesday, his daughter Desiree Boers-Kort told CNN. He was 79 years old.
Bonner’s first credited role was in the cult film “Equinox,” in which he was credited with his birth name, Frank Boers, Jr., according to the Internet Movie Database.
But he reached his greatest fame in 1978 for his role as the overconfident Herb Tarlek sales manager on WKRP. The show ran from 1978 to 1982.
At the fictional radio station, Tarlek was a shady but sympathetic salesman known for his cocky demeanor and pleasant relationship with his boss. Her fashion sense was even stronger than the station’s rock ‘n’ roll playlist. Tarlek wrestled with disc jockeys while wearing a seemingly endless supply of checkered sports coats and wide ties.
“RIP my great friend !!” actor Gary Sandy posted on Facebook on Thursday. On âWKRP,â Sandy played program director Andy Travis, another frequent foil of Bonner’s character.
Behind the scenes, Bonner developed an interest in directing, working behind the camera on five episodes of “WKRP” before directing episodes on other shows, including “Just the Ten of Us” and “Saved by the Bell: The. New Class “, which he also performed in front of the camera.
When the success of syndicated reruns of “WKRP” prompted producers to relaunch the series in 1991, Bonner signed on as an actor and director again. âThe New WKRP in Cincinnatiâ ran for two seasons.
“He loved his fans and still signed autograph requests until the last weeks of his illness. Thanks to everyone who followed his career,” Boers-Kort wrote on Facebook.