Loni Anderson WKRP

Yesterday, we reported that beloved actor Howard Hesseman had died on Saturday at the age of 81 due to complications from colon surgery. Now, Hesseman’s former “WKRP in Cincinnati” co-star Loni Anderson is speaking out to pay tribute to her old friend.


‘I’m Devastated And Heartbroken’

“I’m devastated and heartbroken,” Anderson, 76, told Fox News. “The warmth and depth of our 40-year friendship only grew stronger with each decade.”

“Howard was eloquent…stylish…and hilarious,” she added. “I loved getting his erudite ‘Dear Lady Loni’ emails. My favorite Howard sign-off…a quote by Louis Armstrong…’Jazz is what you are.’ And now Howard, forever missed is just what you are.”

“WKRP In Cincinnati” was a sitcom that ran from 1978 until 1982, and it detailed the misadventures of a radio station in Ohio. Both Hesseman and Anderson were nominated for two Emmys for their work on the popular series.

Backstory: Fans Pay Tribute To WRKP In Cincinnati’s Howard Hesseman

The cast of the sitcom have remained close in the 40 years since it went off the air, and they were devastated last June when their costar Frank Bonner died at 79 after a battle with Lewy body dementia.

“Frank Bonner was like family,” Anderson told Fox News at the time. “He was one of the funniest and nicest men I worked with. I am heartbroken.”

Anderson’s Self Defense Classes 

Last month, Anderson revealed that she took self defense classes in order to protect herself as a young actress who had to deal with Hollywood creeps trying to use the casting couch on her. 

“I was prepared,” Anderson told Page Six. “I went to self-defense classes, I had my speech ready, I was just ready.”

Anderson went on to say that she signed up for the classes immediately after hearing horror stories from other young actresses. 

“You’d go for an interview, there would be 20 girls in the outer office, and you’d get talking,” she recalled. “And they all had horror stories, so I wanted to prepare myself.”

Related: WKRP Wishes Everyone Happy Thanksgiving With Crazy Helicopter Stunt

Anderson Secures Pay Raise With Hesseman

In this same interview, Anderson recalled teaming up with Hesseman to secure a hefty pay raise on “WKRP In Cincinnati.” 

“I did it in a sneaky way,” Anderson remembered. “Howard Hesseman was also very popular on the show [as DJ Dr. Johnny Fever]. I went to him and said, ‘Let’s negotiate together, let’s be a team,’ and that’s what we did.”

Sure enough, their plan worked, and Anderson and Hesseman got the raises they desired.

No wonder she still considered him to be such a good friend all these years later, and was so devastated by his death. They certainly made quite a team! 

Related: Loni Anderson Confirms Burt Reynolds And Princess Diana Rumor

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