Anitra Ford (born Anitra Joy Weinstein on September 3, 1942 in California) is a former American model, actress, photographer, and artist. She was one of the original Barker's Beauties on the newly, revamped version of The Price is Right from 1972-1976.
Early Life & CareerEdit
Anitra began her career as a model in the 1960s. Her first acting gig was a small, uncredited role as a model in the film The Love Machine. From there, she went on to appear in other films such as The Big Bird Cage, Invasion of the Bee Girls, and Messiah of Evil. But her best known movie role is appearing opposite Burt Reynolds in the opening scenes of the 1974 film The Longest Yard where she played Reynolds' wealthy girlfriend, Melissa Gaines.
Ford has also landed roles on various TV shows which include The Odd Couple, Wonder Woman, Starsky and Hutch, and The Streets of San Franscisco.
The Price is Right & later DepartureEdit
Although she had an impressive acting resume, Anitra's greatest enduring popularity came on September 4, 1972, the debut of the newly, revamped version of The Price is Right. She and Janice Pennington were signed on as the show's first two models, the original Barker's Beauties. During her stint as a Barker's Beauty, Anitra continued to land acting gigs in TV and movies. Beginning in August to October 1975, Ford took a leave of absence from the show and it was during this time period, Dian Parkinson (first appearing in mid-April, subbing for Anitra for three episodes) stepped in as the temporary replacement (even donning a brunette wig as an attempt to look like Anitra) and the popularity of Barker's Beauties expanded that November when Parkinson joined Anitra and Janice as the third permanent model.
In late December 1976, almost six years as a model on The Price is Right, Anitra decided to call it quits and was the only model to leave the program in the 1970s. After a brief model search, Ford was permanently replaced by Holly Hallstrom, who would garner even further popularity on the show and with the fans (for her mishaps, blunders, and bloopers with various prizes and set pieces). Anitra was one of VERY few permanent models from the Bob Barker era to leave the show on good terms (the other permanent models to leave on their own accord were Chantel Dubay and Gena Lee Nolin), she was the only one mentioned by name in his book "Priceless Memories" (the others were referred to collectively as "models" or "beauties") and she also was the one who handed (seen partially on-camera) Bob the microphone on the very first Price is Right episode.
Acting to Real EstateEdit
Anitra also decided to pull the plug on her acting career in the late 1970s and went to work in real estate. She is also an accomplished photographer, a published poet, and a very successful artist as her artwork has been displayed in various art galleries in Santa Barbara, California.