Belatedly, we mark the passing of Frank Bonner, the Little Rock native who brought a little bit of Arkansas Razorback spirit to each episode of “WJRP in Cincinnati” in his role as station sales manager Herb Tarlek. Bonner died Wednesday, June 16, at age 79 after suffering with Lewy body dementia.

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From Encyclopedia of Arkansas’s entry on Bonner:

From 1978 to 1982, Bonner appeared as sales manager Herb Tarlek in WKRP in Cincinnati. About his character, Bonner said, “Herb is the kind of guy who gets so drunk at a business dinner that he forgets to make the deal. He is tasteless. Look at the clothes he wears, and the pinky ring. He’s a redneck, a bigot and a hypocrite.” Bonner’s wife Lillian Garrett also guest-starred on WKRP. Bonner, a fan of the University of Arkansas football team, kept a Razorbacks coffee mug on his desk on the set of WKRP. …

Bonner also directed episodes of many TV sitcoms, including Who’s the Boss?Head of the Class, and Evening Shade, as well as every episode of the NBC Saturday morning sitcom City Guys. In addition, Bonner was also known for his voice-over work and is heard in RAC (Rent-A-Center) radio and TV spots.

 

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