RIP Bob Barker pic.twitter.com/Ti88W31ExJ— TodayInSports (@TodayInSportsCo) August 26, 2023
New York Daily News
Longtime game show host Bob Barker has died. He was 99.
The former “The Price is Right” host Barker died peacefully at home of natural causes on Saturday morning in L.A. his rep told TMZ.
For 35 years, Barker invited studio audience guests to “Come on down!” for a chance to win items ranging from automobiles to vacation packages. In 1982 — a decade after taking over the program — he began closing each show by reminding viewers to help control the pet population by having their dogs and cats spayed and neutered.
Prior to moving to CBS’s “The Price is Right,” Barker spent nearly 20 years hosting the game show “Truth or Consequences.”
He wrote of both experiences in his 2009 memoir “Priceless Memories.” Barker returned to “The Price is Right” to host an April Fool’s Day segment in 2015, then passed the reins back to comedian Drew Carey, who began hosting when his predecessor retired in June 2007.
Barker was born in Washington state and raised on a South Dakota reservation. He married Dorothy Jo Gideon in 1945. They stayed together until her death in 1981. They married while Barker was on leave from the U.S. Navy in 1945.
December 12 would have marked a century of life for Barker, who made his film debut punching Adam Sandler’s character in the 1996 golf film “Happy Gilmore,” which earned him an MTV Movie Award.
“I’m old, but I’m tough,” he told Entertainment Tonight while talking about that scene.
He said he studied martial arts with film star Chuck Norris for eight years, who always outfought him.
“But I got Adam!” he joked.
A former “Price is Right” model sued the show’s star in 1994, accusing him of sexual misconduct while they were colleagues. Barker claimed he was in a consensual relationship with Playboy model turned “Barker’s Beauty” Dian Parkinson from 1989 to 1991, but denied wrongdoing. The pair worked together for 18 years.
Barker, a vegetarian, will be remembered for his animal activism, which PETA thanked him for in 2018 by naming a rescued horse in his honor.
“We love this man, but what do you give someone who has everything and gives his all to animals? The answer is a rescued horse named in his honor,” PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said in a statement on Barker’s 10 year anniversary of his involvement with the animal rights group.
He’s donated money and recorded an ad supporting PETA’s efforts.
In 1988, he announced his withdrawal from the Miss Universe beauty pageant he’d hosted for more than 20 years because officials insisted on rewarding fur coats to participants.
“I cannot do them (the pageants) as long as they give away fur coats,” he protested. “This involves morality.″
The pageant tweeted him a happy birthday wish in 2021. He started working with the pageant in 1967.
Barker had several health scares throughout his long life. They included a partially blocked left carotid artery, a stroke, prostate surgery and skin cancer, according to Distractify. He also required stitches after a 2015 fall outside his Los Angeles home.
Readers rated Barker TV’s second greatest game show host in a 2023 poll, where he trailed only former “Jeopardy” host Alex Trebek. Other polls reversed the order. Trebek lost his battle with cancer in 2020.
Barker announced his exit from “The Price is Right” in good humor in 2016, while correctly predicting he still had several good years in him.
“I will be 83 years old on December 12,” he told viewers, “And I’ve decided to retire while I’m still young.”