Longtime Price Is Right Host Bob Barker Has Died – He Was 99 Years Old
It’s a sad day in the entertainment world today, as beloved game show host Bob Barker has died at the age of 99.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 26, 2023
Barker was born on December 12, 1923 in Darrington, Washington. His father died when he was young, and he and his mother moved to Springfield, Missouri afterward. He went on to attend Drury College/University on a basketball scholarship.
The young Barker later trained as a Navy fighter pilot during World War II. Upon his discharge, he returned home to Springfield, where he started working at a radio station named KTTS.
How Did Bob Barker Start Hosting Game Shows?
At KTTS, Barker ended up hosting his first audience-participation show when a co-worker didn’t come into work that day. That experience showed him that hosting could be the perfect gig for him.
Barker eventually made the move to Los Angeles, and hosted a radio show called The Bob Barker Show. Ralph Edwards, who was the creator and first host of the game show Truth or Consequences, heard Barker’s show, and liked him immediately.
Then-32-year-old Barker auditioned in front of 11 executives for the role. Edwards was the only person who voted in his favor, but his vote obviously carried the most weight.
“It’s the greatest thing that even happened to me professionally and the greatest thing that ever will,” Barker once said of landing the hosting gig on Truth or Consequences. He hosted the program from 1956-1975.
Bob’s Time On The Price Is Right Made Him A Household Name
Truth or Consequences aired during the evening hours. At the same time, Barker accepted an offer to host a show during the day. That show ended up being a new version of The Price is Right.
Barker’s name soon became synonymous with the program. He hosted The Price is Right from 1972-2007. CBS named Stage 33 in his honor, and it’s now called the Bob Barker Studio.
A vocal animal lover, Barker famously ended each episode of The Price is Right with the message to “Have your pets spayed and neutered.” Barker also donated $3.1 million to Drury College to help establish the university’s Animal Studies program
In 1996, Barker received renewed attention after famously appearing alongside Adam Sandler in the movie Happy Gilmore. The film introduced Barker to a brand-new, younger generation of fans.
Bob Barker’s Legacy
Barker received a total of 15 Emmy Awards over the course of his career. He also received the Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999. Then in 2004, he was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame.
Barker’s wife, Dorothy Jo Gideon, died in 1985 of lung cancer. He never remarried, and they had no children.
Roger Neal, Barker’s representative, confirmed with The Hollywood Reporter that he passed away on Saturday morning (August 26) at the age of 99. He died at his Hollywood Hills home of natural causes.
“It is with profound sadness that we announce that the World’s Greatest MC who ever lived, Bob Barker, has left us,” Neal said.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who knew and loved Bob. May he rest in peace.