In Memoriam

Bob Barker, iconic ‘Price is Right' host, dead at 99

Bob Barker hosted the game show 'The Price is Right' from 1972 to 2007

NBC Universal, Inc.

"The Price is Right" has lost a prize far more valuable than the cash and cars given away on the show: legendary host Bob Barker.

Barker, who would have been 100 in December 2023, died at age 99.

Barker’s longtime publicist, Roger Neal, announced the news today on behalf of Nancy Burnet. 

“It is with profound sadness that we announce that the World’s Greatest MC who ever lived, Bob Barker has left us,” Neal said.

Drew Carey, the show's current host, took his condolences to social media shortly after the announcement.

Carey went on to add a photo of the two in the studio.

Barker hosted "The Price is Right" for 35 years before retiring in 2007. Since premiering on CBS in 1972, Barker taped 6,482 episodes of the show in which contestants competed by guessing the prices of merchandise to win money and glitzy "showcase" prizes.

The premise requires contestants to bid as close to the actual retail price of the item without going over. Contestants are chosen from the studio audience and are called to "come on down!"

"The Price is Right" continues to be TV's longest-running game show.

Barker, who previously hosted "Truth or Consequences" from 1956 to 1975, won 19 Daytime Emmys as well as the Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award for Daytime Television. His retirement from "The Price is Right" came after celebrating 50 years on television.

He also hosted the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants from 1967 to 1987 before deciding to part ways with the organization due to their refusal to stop gifting furs as prizes.

Barker became active in animal rights advocacy following the death of his late wife Dorothy Jo in 1981. His DJ&T Foundation, named after her and his mother, Matilda (Tilly), gave financial assistance to organizations that spay and neuter cats and dogs.

His commitment to protecting animals led to Barker's sign-off at the end of every "Price is Right" episode: "Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered."

The legendary host was a vegetarian.

Nancy Burnet, Barker's decades-long girlfriend and co-executor of his estate, spoke about the animal activism work they did together.

“I am so proud of the trailblazing work Barker and I did together to expose the cruelty to animals in the entertainment industry including working to improve the plight of abused and exploited animals in the United States and internationally," Burnet said in a statement. "We were great friends over these 40 yrs. he will be missed.”

In addition to game shows, he appeared as himself on various television series, and in 1996 he made his film debut in the comedy "Happy Gilmore," in which he won the MTV Award for Best Movie Fight opposite Adam Sandler.

Barker was born in Darrington, Washington. He trained as a U.S. Navy fighter pilot during World War II. After graduating with a B.A. in 1947 from Drury College in Missouri, he focused on a career in radio, eventually working at a station in Burbank, California, before breaking into television.

His autobiography, "Priceless Memories," was published in 2009.

Barker is survived by his girlfriend of over 40 years, Nancy Burnet.

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