Open main menu

Frank Bonner (born Frank Woodrow Boers Jr., February 28, 1942) is an American actor and television director best known for playing sales manager Herb Tarlek on the television sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati.

Frank Bonner
Frank Woodrow Boers, Jr.

(1942-02-28) February 28, 1942 (age 77)
OccupationActor, director
Years active1970–2014
Spouse(s)Sharon Gray
(1966-1971; divorced)
Mary A. Rings
Lillian Garrett-Groag
(1977–1980; divorced)
Catherin M. Sherwood
Gayle Hardage


Life and careerEdit

Bonner was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, the son of Mamie Grace (née Dobbins), a singer, and Frank Woodrow Boers, a saxophone player.[1] Bonner started his acting career in the experimental 1967 independent film The Equinox ... A Journey into the Unknown, which was remade as the 1970 cult classic Equinox (credited as Frank Boers, Jr.).

In 1978, Bonner was injured in a parachute accident. Bonner was being towed by a 4 wheel drive vehicle when the ascendancy parachute he was hanging in collapsed in a freak wind at the El Mirage Dry Lake Recreational Area in 50 miles northeast of Los Angeles. Bonner fell 20 feet and suffered internal and back injuries[2]. This accident led to his appearance with crtuches on TV, most noticably in the WKRP in Cincinnati, season 2 episode - A Family Affair as well as an All-Star Special episode of Family Feud.

He reprised the role of Herb Tarlek in the 1991 spinoff The New WKRP in Cincinnati, and in a 2004 rock video for Canadian indie rock band Rheostatics (for the song "The Tarleks", from their album 2067).

Bonner appeared as a guest star in one episode of the sitcom Night Court in the 1980s. From 1988 to 1990, Bonner played the role of Father Hargis, headmaster of the fictional St. Augustine's Academy on the TV show Just the Ten of Us which was a spin-off of Growing Pains. Bonner also appeared in one of the early episodes of the television show Newhart.

Bonner also directed several episodes of WKRP in Cincinnati as well as other TV sitcoms, including Who's the Boss?, Head of the Class, Evening Shade, Newhart and every episode of the NBC Saturday morning sitcom City Guys. Bonner also appeared in five episodes of Saved by the Bell: The New Class, and directed four episodes.

Actor filmographyEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1970 Equinox Jim Hudson Feature film
1970 The Young Lawyers Walt Episode: "Where's Aaron"
1970 Nancy Hank Episode: "Boys' Night Out"
1971 Mannix Hypnotized Man Episode: "Catspaw"
1972 Nichols Gruber Episode: "About Jesse James"
1972 The Hoax Clete Dempsey Feature film
1973 Little Cigars Gene (Hotel Bellman) Feature film
1973 The F.B.I. Johnson Episode: "The Confession"
1973 Hawkins 1st Yankee Episode: "Blood Feud"
1973 Emergency! Walt Episode: "Body Language"
1974 Love, American Style Jerry Segment: "Love and the Extra Job"
1974 Cannon Allecino Episode: "Kelly' Song"
1974 Fer-de-Lance Compton TV movie
1975 Las Vegas Lady Claude Feature film
1975 Cannon Bill Episode: "The Victim"
1976 Police Woman Donny's Father Episode: "The Pawn Shop"
1977 Man from Atlantis Bartender Episode: "C.W. Hyde"
1978–1982 WKRP in Cincinnati Herb Tarlek Main cast (88 episodes)
1979 Sex and the Single Parent Peter TV movie
1981 The Love Boat Dr. Jonathan Hunt Episode: "Country Blues/Daddy's Little Girl/Jackpot"
1981 Fantasy Island Jack Simon Episode: "Romance Times Three/Night of the Tormented Soul"
1982 The Facts of Life Goes to Paris Garth Kiley TV movie
1982 Gimme a Break! Officer Baxter Episode: "The Chief's Gay Evening"
1983 The Love Boat Ben Phillips Episode: "The Captain's Replacement/Sly as a Fox/Here Comes the Bride-Maybe"
1984 Newhart Mr. Pack Episode: "Kirk Pops the Question"
1984 Legmen Leo Gibson Episode: "I Shall Be Re-Released"
1984 The Duck Factory Mel Kemper Episode: "The Annies"
1984 No Man's Land Deputy Thad Prouty TV movie
1984 Simon & Simon Brad Daniels Episode: "Deep Cover"
1985 Matt Houston Fred Episode: "Death Watch"
1985 Gimme a Break! Warren Episode: "Police Mamas"
1985 George Burns Comedy Week Stu Episode: "Home for Dinner"
1985 Scarecrow and Mrs. King Henry 'Buck' McConnell Episodes: "Tail of the Dancing Weasel" and "Utopia Now"
1985 Crazy Like a Fox Chick Episode: "Requiem for a Fox"
1985 Night Court Howie Episode: "Mac and Quon Le: No Reservations"
1986 The Longshot Realtor Feature film
1986 Punky Brewster Cheapo Chester Episode: "Cherie Lifesaver"
1986 Blacke's Magic Hal Renquist Episode: "Death Goes to the Movies"
1986 Murder, She Wrote Earl Fargo Episode: "Murder in the Electric Cathedral"
1986 Sidekicks Detective R.T. Mooney Recurring role (5 episodes)
1986 Night Court Preston Cowdrey Episode: "Prince of a Guy"
1988 You Can't Hurry Love Chuck Hayes Feature film
1988–1990 Just the Ten of Us Father Robert Hargis Main cast (22 episodes)
1991 Going Under Soviet General Feature film
1991–1993 The New WKRP in Cincinnati Herb Tarlek Main cast (45 episodes)
1993 Evening Shade Walt Episode: "She What?!"
1994–1997 Saved by the Bell: The New Class Mr. Harrington Recurring role (5 episodes)
1995 The Mommies Director Episode: "Selling Out"
1995 The Colony Frank Williamson TV movie
1997 USA High Mr. Giggles (Dentist) Episode: "The Odd Couple"
1998 Motel Gressil Feature film
2000 City Guys Jake Episode: "Meet Mr. History"
2003 A Light in the Forest Kimmel Feature film
2004 Shut Up and Kiss Me Harvey Ballister Feature film
2004 A Norwegian Lunch Teacher Short film
2008 Remembering Phil Motel Clerk Feature film
2014 Under the Hollywood Sign Larry Feature film

Director filmographyEdit

Year Title Notes
1980–1982 WKRP in Cincinnati TV series (6 episodes)
1982 Family Ties TV series (1 episode)
1986–1990 Head of the Class TV series (2 episodes)
1988 Frank's Place TV series (1 episode)
1988 The Van Dyke Show TV series (1 episode)
1988–1990 Just the Ten of Us TV series (8 episodes)
1989 Who's the Boss? TV series (1 episode)
1989–1990 The Famous Teddy Z TV series (2 episodes)
1990 Evening Shade TV series (1 episode)
1990 You Take the Kids TV series (1 episode)
1991–1993 Harry and the Hendersons TV series (11 episodes)
1991–1993 The New WKRP in Cincinnati TV series (7 episodes)
1995 Fudge TV series (1 episode)
1995 The Mommies TV series (4 episodes)
1995 Campus Cops TV series (1 episode)
1997 Saved by the Bell: The New Class TV series (4 episodes)
1997–1998 USA High TV series (6 episodes)
1997–2001 City Guys TV series (105 episodes)
2003 Living Straight TV movie
2010 Desire and Deceit TV series (1 episode)


  1. ^ "Frank Bonner Biography (1942-)". Retrieved February 25, 2017.
  2. ^ "Parachute Accident Hospitalizes Frank Bonner of 'WKRP"". Retrieved June 14, 2019.

External linksEdit