Sarah May
August 28, 2023

Longtime 'Price is Right' host, animal rights advocate Bob Barker dead at 99

The showbusiness world lost a legend this weekend with the announcement that Bob Barker, longtime host of the beloved TV game show The Price is Right died at age 99, as NBC News reported.

Barker's publicist, Roger Neal, revealed the sad news, lauding the celebrated on-air personality as “the World's Greatest MC who ever lived.”

Prolific career remembered

Though he was certainly best known for handing out prizes for decades on The Price is Right, Barker got his first real break in the industry in 1950 when he was tapped to host The Bob Barker Show on radio.

Then making the move to television in 1956, Barker assumed hosting duties on the NBC show Truth or Consequences, a role he held for 18 years.

It was in 1972 that Barker was chosen to become the face of The Price is Right on CBS, bringing new vitality to a show that had floundered on previous networks.

Barker did not retire from the weekday staple until 2007, and the show's staying power – as evidenced by its continued presence on the air – serves as a testament to the impressive legacy he left behind.

Humble start to a distinguished life

Born in 1923 in Washington state, during childhood, Barker and his mother relocated to a Sioux Indian reservation following the sudden death of his father.

The future television icon spent two years in the Navy toward the end of the Second World War, and then went on to earn an economics degree from Drury University in Missouri.

Barker wed his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Jo Gideon, in 1945, and their union lasted until her death in 1981.

In addition to his indisputable achievements on the small screen, Barker also made a name for himself as an ardent animal rights activist, always urging pet owners to have their pets spayed and neutered to prevent the innumerable ills caused by overpopulation.

Tributes abound

There was no shortage of glowing remembrances offered for Barker amid the news of his passing, with Drew Carey – who was named host of the famous game show in 2007 – saying it was a “very sad day for the Price is Right family and animal lovers all over the world. There hasn't been a day on set that I didn't think of Bob Barker and thank him. I will carry his memory in my heart forever.”

Actor and comedian Adam Sandler, who had a fan-favorite on-screen tussle with Barker in the 1996 feature Happy Gilmore, said his late colleague was “the best,” writing on social media that he was “[s]uch a sweet funny guy to hang out with. Loved talking to him. Loved laughing with him,” words of praise by which most anyone would love to be remembered.

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