WKRP in Cincinnati star Frank Bonner dead at 79 after complications from Lewy body dementia

ACTOR Frank Bonner, who famously portrayed Herb Tarlek on the CBS sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati, died on Wednesday at the age of 79.

The Arkansas native passed away from complications stemming from Lewy body dementia, according to TMZ.

He reportedly died peacefully, with his family by his side.

Frank starred on WKRP in Cincinnati from 1978 to 1982, before reprising his onscreen sales manager role a decade later for The New WKRP in CIncinnati.

The sequel series ran on CBS from 1991 to 1993.

Along with being an actor, Frank worked as a director, as well.


He directed a few episodes of his CBS sitcom and its spinoff, plus quite a few other series.

The late entertainer had a recurring role on Saved by the Bell: The New Class, a program which he also worked on as a director.

Some other shows he acted on include Just the Ten of Us, Punky Brewster, Sidekicks, and City Guys.

Head of the Class, Just the Ten of Us, The Famous Teddy Z, Harry and the Hendersons, and USA High are just some of the shows he directed episodes of.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Lewy body dementia, which Frank suffered from, is when “protein deposits, called Lewy bodies, develop in nerve cells in the brain regions involved in thinking, memory and movement.”

The organization explained some of its possible symptoms, writing: “Lewy body dementia causes a progressive decline in mental abilities. 

“People with Lewy body dementia might have visual hallucinations and changes in alertness and attention. 

“Other effects include Parkinson's disease signs and symptoms such as rigid muscles, slow movement, walking difficulty and tremors.”

In 1978, Frank was injured in a freak parachute accident outside of Los Angeles.

Wind caused his parachute to collapse, and he fell 20 feet, suffering back and internal injuries.

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