WKRP Actor Frank Bonner Dead at 79

'Herb Tarlek' turned 'Hokay, fine' into a catchphrase
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2021 1:21 AM CDT
Actor Frank Bonner, WKRP In Cincinnati 's Herb, Dead at 79
This undated image provided by Desiree Boers-Kort shows Frank Bonner and his wife Gayle.   (Desiree Boers-Kort via AP)

Frank Bonner, who played Herb Tarlek in 88 of the 90 episodes of WKRP in Cincinnati, died Wednesday at age 79. Bonner's plaid-suit-wearing sales manager character at the struggling fictional radio station turned "Hokay, fine" into a catchphrase. The actor also directed six episodes of the sitcom, which ran from 1978 to 1982, Variety reports. He starred as Tarlek once again in The New WKRP in Cincinnati from 1991 to 1993. Bonner's family tells TMZ his death came as a result of complications from Lewy body dementia.

"He loved his fans and was still signing autograph requests up until the last few weeks of his illness," Bonner's daughter posted on Facebook. "Thank you to all who followed his career. He will be forever missed." Born to a singer and a saxophone player in Arkansas, Bonner, who served in the Navy for six years, debuted in an experimental film and after WKRP he went on to play Mr. Harrington on Saved by the Bell: The New Class, detective RT Mooney in Sidekicks, and Father Robert Hargis on Just the Ten of Us, and made many other appearances on TV. He also gained success as a director for shows including City Guys, Saved by the Bell: The New Class, Family Ties, Who's the Boss?, Head of the Class, Evening Shade, and Harry and the Hendersons, per the Hollywood Reporter. (More obituary stories.)

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