Bob Barker, the affable television icon and animal rights activist who hosted The Price Is Right for more than three decades, passed away on Saturday at the age of 99.
The program has become the longest-running game show in North America. At the end of each episode, viewers get to see their pets being spayed or neutered. From 1972 to 2007, Barker served as the host of this iconic CBS game show, making it a staple on American TV screens for several decades.
In 1972, The Price is Right ended his stint as the host of the show slightly before the modern reboot of the game show, The Truth or Consequences. The show, The Price is Right, which previously ended in 1965, was a modern reboot of an earlier version of the game show. Eventually, Barker became synonymous with the daytime game show and became a pop culture fixture.
Barker’s inherent gray/white hair shade made him even more well-liked. Eventually, Barker notably needed approval from prominent producers to cease coloring his hair in 1987. “I took a vacation and simply allowed it to grow out,” he shared with the Los Angeles Times in 1990. “When I returned home, the show’s staff remarked, ‘You appear more appealing this way compared to when you had it dyed or tinted. Why not just maintain this look?'” As the host of The Price Is Right, Barker became the center of narratives that garnered widespread significance.
During his 35-year tenure on The Price Is Right, Bob Barker was at the center of a few controversies, including multiple lawsuits filed by women. One of the most high-profile lawsuits came from Dian Parkinson, a model who alleged that Barker forced her to have sex with him in order to keep her job as one of Barker’s “Beauties.” She also claimed that she was wrongfully terminated in 1981 and became a widower later, but Barker later denied her claim and said that they had a consensual relationship. Despite these controversies, Barker maintained a wholesome image on the show.
To address the issue of animal overpopulation, Barker founded the DJ&T Foundation in 1995, which assists in financing clinics that perform spaying and neutering procedures. In 1988, he resigned from his position as the host of the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants after more than two decades due to the shows’ utilization of fur coats. By participating in numerous campaigns for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and supporting organizations such as the United Activists for Animal Rights, he demonstrated his strong dedication to animal rights and openly condemned animal cruelty outside of his on-screen work. He gained fame for concluding each show with a message to the viewers, “Assist in controlling the pet population. Ensure your pets are sterilized,” which he cleverly incorporated into The Price Is Right. Additionally, Barker will always be remembered for his passionate affection towards animals.
He was a Sioux individual who wrote “Barker Memories,” his priceless autobiography in 2009. He began his broadcasting career on the radio, known for his genial persona. He developed this persona while spending his early childhood on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. He was born in Darrington, Wash., And grew up in Mission, S.D.
Before the war ended, he could have been deployed to a squadron that operated at sea as he did not engage in any combat. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a pilot specialized in aerial combat. Although World War II erupted, he decided to leave shortly after. Barker later pursued his education at Drury University, having been granted a basketball scholarship. Following the passing of his father in 1930, the family relocated to Springfield, Mo., Where Barker attended high school.
From 1950 to 1956, he helmed his own show, The Bob Barker Show, in California, before eventually settling in Florida, where he found employment at radio stations. His initial radio gig at KTTS-FM in Springfield encompassed composing local news and delivering sports broadcasts. It proved successful; his background as a fighter pilot caught the attention of the manager. Barker held onto the hope that the manager shared his enthusiasm for airplanes upon hearing about it. Following the war, Barker returned to college and tied the knot with his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Jo Gideon, in 1945.
Bob Barker became known for his sign-off on the show “The Price Is Right,” where he would say goodbye and hope that all of the consequences for the contestants were happy. He hosted the show from dawn until 1974, and it coincided with the dawn of elaborate stunts, usually involving contestants answering questions correctly to indicate their consequences. Bob Barker became the host of his first game show, “Truth or Consequences,” in the late 1950s, which had aired on NBC since 1940. This marked a turning point in Barker’s life as he ventured into television hosting.
Barker’s time as The Price Is Right host made him a prominent American cultural icon, leading to a notable appearance in the Adam Sandler comedy Happy Gilmore.
Audiences were excited when Price returned to Fool’s April as a thrilling joke in 2015, after focusing on his animal rights activism. Despite retiring from The Price Is Right in 2007, Barker still made surprise appearances on TV and continued to advocate for animal rights.