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Death of a fashion icon


I’ve always had a soft spot for WKRP in Cincinatti, one of the rerun staples of my youth, so I was sad to see this:

Frank Bonner, the actor best known for playing Herb Tarlek, the brash salesman with an affection for plaid polyester suits, on the popular television comedy “WKRP in Cincinnati,” died on Wednesday at his home in Laguna Niguel, Calif., south of Los Angeles. He was 79.

His daughter, Desiree Boers-Kort, said the cause was complications of Lewy body dementia. He had learned he had the disease, which leads to worsening mental and physical complications, about three years ago.

“WKRP in Cincinnati,” seen on CBS from 1978 to 1982, was set at a struggling radio station trying to reinvent itself with a rock format. The cast included Gary Sandy as the embattled station manager and Tim Reid and Howard Hesseman as disc jockeys. Mr. Bonner’s character, the station’s sales manager, was known for his obnoxious behavior, his general incompetence and his garish wardrobe.

Remember: the issues were a smokescreen.

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