‘The Price Is Right’ Host and animal advocate Bob Barker dies at 99

Renowned host of “The Price Is Right,” Bob Barker, has passed away at the age of 99.

Barker served as the charismatic host of the iconic gameshow for an impressive span of 35 years. A spokesperson for Barker confirmed his natural demise at his Hollywood Hills residence, as stated in a communication provided to Insider on Saturday. He is survived by his half-brother, Kent Valandra, along with his half-nephews Robert Valandra and Chip Valandra, and his half-niece Vickie Valandra Kelly.

“With deep sadness, we announce the departure of the unparalleled master of ceremonies, Bob Barker,” the statement conveyed.

Born as Robert William Barker in 1923 in Darrington, Washington, the Emmy-awarded daytime television personality initially pursued training as a fighter pilot for the US Naval Reserve during World War II. However, the conclusion of the war came before he was assigned any duties.

Barker’s introduction to the media world occurred while he was still a student at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri, during his tenure at KTTS-FM Radio. He then ventured to WWPG 1340 AM, now known as WPBR in Lantana, Palm Beach, Florida.

In 1950, Barker inaugurated his own radio show, titled “The Bob Barker Show.” His rise to prominence commenced during his stint as a radio host at KNX (AM) in Los Angeles.

The year 1956 witnessed Barker becoming the host of “Truth and Consequences,” a quiz show with a blend of pranks. His hosting run on that show concluded in 1974. Barker also presided over brief-lived game shows such as “The Family Game,” “Simon Says,” and “That’s My Line.”

In 1972, Barker took the reins of “The Price Is Right.” Following an illustrious 35-year tenure, he retired from the show in 2007, with Drew Carey assuming his role. “The Price Is Right” stood as the inaugural hour-long TV game show and maintains its status as the longest-running game show in television history. The program showcased an array of diverse games that necessitated contestants to estimate the prices of various items, spanning from luxurious cars to household appliances.

A staunch vegetarian, Barker consistently integrated his commitment to animal rights into his work, advocating for pet spaying and neutering in the closing segments of “The Price Is Right” episodes. In 1987, Barker declined an offer to host the Miss USA pageant due to its inclusion of fur prizes for contestants.

In 1945, Barker married his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Jo Gideon. She passed away from cancer in 1981. The couple remained childless, and Barker did not remarry.

During his career, Two female employees who were part of the team working on “The Price Is Right” made public allegations of sexual harassment against Bob Barker. In 1994, Dian Parkinson, who was involved in a three-year romantic relationship with Barker, initiated a legal case against him.

Parkinson claimed that Barker used threats of termination to manipulate and extort her, although the lawsuit was eventually dropped. In 1995, another model accused Barker of similar harassment and unjust termination. This legal case reached a settlement in 2005.

Bob Barker received 14 Daytime Emmy Awards for his outstanding role as a game show host and was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Emmy in 1999. CBS officially reported that Barker’s total Emmy wins amounted to 19.

Barker was no stranger to making occasional guest appearances. He had cameo roles as himself in various television shows and movies, including popular titles like “How I Met Your Mother,” “Futurama,” and “The Nanny.” One of his most memorable appearances was in the 1996 Adam Sandler film “Happy Gilmore,” where he portrayed himself participating in a celebrity golf tournament.

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