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When WKRP In Cincinnati made its debut in 1978, it became an instant hit over the national TV networks. Over four decades the whole gang brought fun to millions of people, yet there are things that you don’t know about them. What are Gary Sandy, Gordon Jump, Loni Anderson and the rest of the crew up to these days? Let’s take a look!
On the show WKRP In Cincinnati, Gary Sandy played the role of Andy Travis, the radio show director who settled disputes as the reasonable one among his eccentric staff. Off screen, he developed a short romantic relationship with his co-star Loni Anderson.
Although Gary Sandy featured in a wealth of TV shows after 1982 when WKRP In Cincinnati ended, he never surpassed what he accomplished in the show. Now, he devotes himself more to play productions, and has achieved success in some Off-Broadway plays.
Herb’s wife, the nasally Lucille Tarlek, was played by Edie McClurg. WKRP In Cincinnati wasn’t her first time in Hollywood, as she made her debut in Carrie. In 1980, she also featured regularly on The David Letterman Show.
Edie made a name for herself in the 1980s, racking up credits in works such as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. However, in recent times she has started to focus on voice acting in animated films. If you hear a familiar voice in Cars, Cars 2, The Little Mermaid, and A Bug’s Life, that could be her.
When it comes to running a radio station, you got to have a DJ, and Venus Flytrap played by Tim Reid turned out to be a terrific DJ. Except of course that there was an ongoing mystery surrounding his true identity. Venus Flytrap, real name Gordon Simms, was a Vietnam veteran wanted for desertion from the army.
After his Venus Flytrap days, he has continued to find success in shows such as Simon & Simon, Frank’s Place, and Sister, Sister. His recent role was as Bishop Lionel Jeffries in Greenleaf.
Shy Bailey Quarters was another likable character in WKRP In Cincinnati and was played by Jan Smithers. Before Bailey, Jan has made a name for herself in the industry by making guest appearances and playing minor roles in a number of shows. We will always miss the butting head moments between Bailey and Jennifer.
Jan has been seen in Murder, She Wrote, Hotel, and a number of other shows making guest appearances after portraying Bailey Quarters. She married James Brolin and gave up her acting career to take care of her family.
Before WKRP In Cincinnati, Howard Hesseman started his acting career by playing a prominent role on The Andy Griffith Show. Few people know that Howard used to be a radio DJ in San Francisco in real life, and it was that which landed him the role of Dr. Johnny Fever.
When his DJ years were over, Howard Hesseman went on to Head of the Class, and also appeared made guest appearances in a number of shows. He most recently acted in the film Wild Oats and also promoted WKRP In Cincinnati on its return to television networks.
You probably know him before Arthur Carlson as the host of Gordon Jump’s Fun Time on WLWD. On WKRP In Cincinnati, he played the station’s general manager, after which, Jump continued his acting making guest appearances on The Incredible Hulk and The Bionic Woman.
Except for his role in the 1990s on The New WKRP In Cincinnati, Gordon never had much success in his subsequent career. Sadly, Mr. Jump passed away in 2003 with the last film he played - Changing of the Guard – still unreleased.
Lillian Carlson, owner of WKRP and mother of Arthur Carlson, believed that she had failed her son somehow and made him weak as a grown man. Apart from acting, Carol was a singer. She sang so well that she nailed roles in a number of Broadway productions.
WKRP In Cincinnati added another important role to Carol’s lengthy acting career. After the show, she continued to act until 2000 when she finished her last scene on That’s Life at 80 years old. She died at the ripe old age of 87.
As the sales manager of WKRP, Herb Tarlek was quite a hard case. He was tasteless and loathsome and was lusting after Jennifer despite the fact that he was already married. Although he appeared in many sitcoms in the 1970s, it’s WKRP In Cincinnati where he made his name.
After Herb Tarlek, Frank went on to a life behind the camera and directed episodes of Who’s the Boss and Head of the Class, to name a few. After appearing in Under the Hollywood Sign in 2014, he has pretty much disappeared from the limelight.
It turned out that it was a smart decision to have Loni Anderson, a relatively new actor, in the show to play Jennifer Marlowe, because she became one of the most popular characters. Loni was a sex symbol of the 1980s and ended up married to actor Burt Reynolds.
Unfortunately the marriage didn’t work out well and resulted in a long and messy divorce that almost cost Loni her acting career. Since the 1990s, she has devoted most of her time taking care of her daughter who suffers from severe scoliosis. Loni began acting again in My Sister Is So Gay. She still looks great!
Allyn McLerie had been seen in a number of films before WKRP In Cincinnati, The Magnificent Seven Ride, being the most notable. So, by the time she finally got the recurring role of Carmen Carlson in the show, Allyn was already a seasoned actress.
Allyn has been pretty much retired from the industry since 1993. She appeared in The Day and Nights of Molly Dood after WKRP In Cincinnati was taken off the air. You can also admire her performance in shows like Punky Brewster and Brooklyn Bridge. The actress died on May 21, 2018.
Richard Sanders delivered a brilliantl performance in the role of Les Nessman, an incompetent yet very serious news reporter, that brought audiences a lot of fun. Apart from acting, Richard also wrote many episodes of the show, because he once studied as a screenwriter.
After WKRP In Cincinnati, he started to focus his career more on screenplay writing while still playing some minor roles in Valley Girl, Men of Honor and other movies. The actor is 77 years old now, and we can still look forward to another one of his performances from time to time.
Sam Anderson was just in his early days as an actor when he started to play Rex Erhart on WKRP In Cincinnati. An interesting tidbit is that Sam didn’t play just one role on the show. But, it was Rex Erhart that everyone has remembered him for over the years.
Sam didn’t stop his acting career after Rex Erhardt, and he went on to appear in dozens of shows and a number of classic films like Forrest Gump and La Bamba.
Lillian Carlson wasn’t a great breakthrough for Sylvia Sidney because her character only appeared in the pilot and was never seen again. In fact, before WKRP In Cincinnati, the actress had already appeared in Sabotage and Fury.
Although Lillian Carlson didn’t work out very well for Sylvia, she hadn’t stopped acting until 1999 when she sadly passed away due to health problems. She was last credited for the film Mars Attacks in 1996.