Robert William "Bob" Barker (born December 12, 1923 in Darrington, Washington) is an American former television game show host. He is best known for hosting CBS' The Price is Right from 1972-2007, making it the longest-running game show in North American television history. He also hosted Truth or Consequences from 1956-1974.
Barker is a native of Darrington, Washington. Bob spent most of his youth on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota, where his mother worked as a schoolteacher. His family eventually moved to Springfield, Missouri, where he attended high school and Drury College on a basketball scholarship.
Barker enlisted in the United States Navy on the outbreak of World War II and following his discharge, Bob returned to Drury and took a job at a local radio station to help finance his studies. It was there he discovered that what he did best was to host audience participation shows. After graduating summa cum laude with a degree in economics, he went to work for a radio station in Palm Beach, Florida. A year later he moved to Los Angeles, and within a week he was the host of his own radio program, The Bob Barker Show.
Truth or Consequences & Other Game ShowsEdit
His Game Show career began on December 21, 1956, at "five minutes past 12:00 noon", when he began hosting Truth or Consequences. Ralph Edwards, the show's originator, had sold the show to NBC as a daytime strip but he had not picked someone to host the program. He auditioned countless other hosts in Hollywood and New York for weeks but it was until he tuned into The Bob Barker Show on his car radio, he knew he had found the man for the job. Proving that Edwards had chosen him wisely, Barker hosted Truth or Consequences all the way until 1974, for an unbelievable 18 years. And every December 21st, until 2004, (Ralph Edwards died on November 16, 2005) Ralph and Bob would meet for lunch and toast at 12:05pm, to their long and happy friendship.
Bob has also hosted a handful of other game shows that were short-lived including End of the Rainbow (1957-1958), The Family Game (1967) and Simon Says (1971).
The Price is RightEdit
Barker's biggest game show hosting gig came on September 4, 1972, when he began hosting the newly revamped daytime version The Price is Right (Dennis James hosted the Syndicated, Nighttime version until 1977). Barker became far more associated with the series than the original host Bill Cullen (1956-1965).
On October 15, 1987, Barker did what other game show hosts almost never did: renounced hair dye, allowing his hair to turn gray and eventually white.
In addition to his hosting duties, Bob also became executive producer of The Price is Right, following the death of Frank Wayne, the original producer of the show. In this capacity, Barker has created several pricing games, instituted a prohibition of foreign car and animal-based products and launched the primetime series of specials known as The Price Is Right $1,000,000 Spectacular (first one aired in 2003) after the success of The Price Is Right Salutes", a series of 2002 primetime specials saluting the 5 armed forces branches and the firefighters and police officers who helped the victims of the 9/11 attacks.
On the 5000th episode of The Price is Right (taped March 11, 1998; aired April 9, 1998), Bob received a special honor by Studio 33 being renamed "The Bob Barker Studio".
Miss USA/Universe Pageants & Animal ActivismEdit
In addition to his hosting duties on The Price is Right, Barker also served as a long-time host of the Miss USA/Universe pageants from 1967 all the way to 1987. He stepped down from his hosting duties after he personally requested the removal of Fur Coats as prizes and the Miss USA committee refused to do so.
After parting ways with the Miss USA pageantry, Bob dedicated his free time to his long-time passion for Animal Rights. As an Animal Activist, he frequently and publicly petitioned for furs to be banned and marched through the streets leading anti-fur marches.
He also established the DJ&T Foundation in Beverly Hills, California, the purpose of which is to help control the dog and cat population. He is funding the foundation through his own resources to support low-cost or free spay/neuter clinics. This foundation is named in memory of his wife, Dorothy Jo, and his mother, Matilda, both of whom had a passionate love for animals and his work on behalf of animals has garnered him a long list of awards from prestigious humane organizations across the country.
Around the mid-80's, he ended each show of The Price is Right with the phrase "Help Control the Pet Population, Have your Pet Spayed or Neutered". At first, he often said it, but in the early 90's, he made it official.
Perhaps Bob's most famous cameo of all was in the 1996 movie Happy Gilmore alongside Adam Sandler (who has made guest appearances on The Price is Right, in 1996 and again in 2007 on Bob's 50 Years Primetime Special) in the most famous scene where the two get into an altercation on the Golf Course during a Pro-Am Golf Tournament as the scene ends with Barker getting the last word: "NOW you've had enough...B***H !" as he exits the golf course. The infamous fight scene won the pair an MTV award for "Best Fight Scene".
Barker and Sandler reunited to recreate their infamous fight scene for a charity cause, Comedy Central’s Night of Too Many Stars telethon to help raise money for autism awareness.
Awards & RetirementEdit
He has won 19 Daytime Emmys (fourteen for Outstanding Game Show Host, four for Executive Producer) and is a proud recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. He was also inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame in 2004.
After 35 years of hosting The Price is Right and 50 years in TV & Broadcasting, Barker stepped down from his hosting duties as his last episode aired on June 15, 2007.
At "The 2007 34th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards", he won his very last Emmy for Outstanding Game Show Host (presented by Talk Show Host & Comedienne Ellen DeGeneres) and was paid a special tribute by TV Host & psychologist Dr. Phil McGraw (who revealed that he & his wife Robin were in the audience at a Price is Right taping back in 1976 and showed their contestant nametags to prove it) and former Late Show host Craig Ferguson (via satellite), who met with various audience members before the taping of Bob's final show.
Even in his retirement, Bob has continued to work closely as a full-time Animal Activist.
He has dedicated his long-standing career to his late wife, Dorothy Jo Gideon (who died in October 1981).
Recently, he participated in a photo dedicated to CBS's 1 for 30 stars (who have worked on "The Price is Right", "Let's Make a Deal, "The Young & The Restless", "The Bold & The Beautiful", and "The Talk"), making him the only talent to appear, from a similar photo in 1978, from when CBS celebrated 50 years on Television.
Price is Right ComebackEdit
He has made a return visit to The Price is Right on three separate occasions. First time being April 2009 when he made a special showcase cameo to promote his memoir "Priceless Memories" and gave out copies to the studio audience.
His second visit was in December 2013 when the show celebrated his 90th Birthday and the entire week of shows were dubbed "Pet Adoption Week", he also got to call down a contestant to contestant's row and presented a showcase of his very own.
His third visit came on April 1, 2015, as April Fool's Day surprise, he came out in place of Drew Carey to start the show as the audience went berserk and then conducted the first game of the day Lucky Seven, in which the contestant won an SUV. Afterwards, since he mentioned that the audience gave him a "wonderful welcome", when he came out, he advised everyone to give "another wonderful welcome, for the guy you came to see- the star of 'The Price is Right', Drew Carey!" Drew then remarked that it was the "best April Fools Day ever". Later in the show, Barker took part in the showcase. When he was asked about how he got to the studio in the past, he then says that got there, in his "new Cadillac". When it was time to say goodbye, Drew gave Bob the privilege to say his spay-neuter plug.
Other TV AppearancesEdit
Back in the 1960s, Barker landed a small character role of Mort on an episode ("Denver McKee") of the Western series Bonanza.
He also appeared as a frequent semi-regular panelist on the CBS Game Shows Tattletales (with wife Dorothy Jo) and Match Game. In 1978, He sat in the middle lower seat, previously occupied by former regular panelist Richard Dawson, who permanently left the series to host Family Feud.
From 1970 to 1982, Barker hosted the Pillsbury Bake-Off on CBS and from 1969 to 1988, he also served as the host of the Tournament Of Roses Parade every New Year's Day on CBS.
In 1991 and again in 1993, Barker served as head captain on the TPiR team against The Young and The Restless with future TNPiR host Doug Davidson in a TPiR vs Y&R faceoff on Family Feud with host Ray Combs.
Bob has made countless cameo appearances on various TV shows, he has made two cameo appearances on the CBS soap The Bold and The Beautiful, first in 2002 alongside then-current Price is Right models Nikki Ziering and Claudia Jordan and again in 2014 in a now-infamous storyline involving actors Scott Clifton and Darin Brooks, who got beat up by Barker.
His other TV appearances include cameos on The Nanny, How I Met Your Mother, and a memorable appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (accompanied by announcer Rich Fields and models Brandi Sherwood-Cochran, Shane Stirling, Gwendolyn Osborne, and Gabrielle Tuite) where he karate chopped Craig's desk with his hand and then ordered the Barker's Beauties to finish destroying the desk with hammers.
He recently voiced the character Bob Barnacle, a snail business owner on the Nickelodeon animated series SpongeBob Squarepants.
Bob was previously married to his long-time wife Dorothy Jo Gideon, they married on January 12, 1945 until her death on October 19, 1981.
In 1989, he began a three year personal relationship with model Dian Parkinson but things soon escalated to an ugly level after Bob ended their relationship and Dian was out for revenge. In 1994, she filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him, alleging that she was extorted by threats of firing as Bob fired back by filing a lawsuit of his own and he held a live news conference with his attorney where he stated that he and Parkinson were involved in a personal relationship but he never forced her to do anything she didn't want to do.
Dian's sexual harassment case never went to trial, she dropped the lawsuit in 1995 after her doctor ordered her to do so as the stress from the ordeal was damaging to her health as Bob revealed afterwards that he felt totally vindicated.
On the morning of October 20, 2015, police and rescue personnel were summoned nearby Barker's Los Angeles-area home, they discovered that Bob tripped and fell on his head on the sidewalk, the ambulance immediately rushed him to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, for lacerations on his head that were not seriously injured. Bob has since been released and is currently recuperating.
Rosie O' Donnell presents Bob Barker with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 1999 Daytime Emmy Awards
Bob wins the Emmy for Outstanding Game Show Host at the 2002 Daytime Emmy Awards
Bob's HILARIOUS, yet memorable appearance on "The Bold and The Beautiful" where he beats up Wyatt (Darin Brooks) from 2015
Bob returns for an April Fools Day prank