Dian Parkinson (born Dianna Lynn Batts on November 30, 1944 in Jacksonville, North Carolina) is a former American model and longtime ex-Barker's Beauty on The Price is Right from 1975 to 1993.
Early Life & CareerEdit
Hailing from Jacksonville, North Carolina. A Marine brat who soon made new residence in Virginia with her Military family. Dian was raised in a strict religious household which she soon chafed against as she turned to beauty pageants to help her escape her highly regimented lifestyle.
In 1965, while living in Falls Church, Virginia, she won the Miss District of Columbia USA title and competed as Diana Batts in the Miss USA 1965 pageant, where she placed fourth runner-up. Parkinson won the 1965 Miss World USA contest. She went on to represent the United States in the international Miss World contest, and was first runner-up to Lesley Langley of the United Kingdom.
Dian traveled during 1965 with the Bob Hope USO Show including performances in Vietnam during late December 1965 and also served as Queen of the 1965 Bob Hope Desert Classic golf tournament.
In the early 1970s, Dian began to land small roles in TV and movies as well as appearing on covers of various magazines including Cosmo.
The Price is RightEdit
She would return to the show as a long-term substitute model later that August when Anitra took a leave of absence from the show until mid-October and it during this time period that Dian wore a brunette wig as an attempt to look like Anitra during her absence. In November, Dian ditched the brunette wig and officially joined The Price is Right as the third permanent model and ran an 18-year stint until her departure in June 1993.
While Janice Pennington holds the longest record of years as Barker's Beauty: 28 years, Dian holds the second-longest record as she completed an 18-year stint as a Barker's Beauty.
Playboy Appearances, Price is Right Departure, And LawsuitEdit
In 1991, Parkinson took on a new challenge as she bared it all for the cameras in Playboy magazine, appearing on the cover of the December issue. Two years later, she bared it all for Playboy's cameras again appearing on the cover of the May 1993 issue of the magazine with the title Dian Parkinson: an Erotic Encore (these photos were more explicit and VERY graphic). Dian also appeared in a feature newsstand publication entitled Playboy presents Dian Parkinson and starred in her own Celebrity Centerfold video.
Dian, after 18 years as a Barker's Beauty on The Price is Right, departed from the show as her last episode aired on June 18, 1993. Before the 6th pricing game, host Bob Barker allowed Dian to say a heartfelt goodbye to the home and studio audiences and mentioned that she was moving on to "pursue other interests". At the time of Dian's departure, there were rumors, particularly in the tabloids, that she had left the show because of an ongoing, escalating and nasty feud with fellow model Janice Pennington.
Although it was reported that they quarreled (production staff seldom paired them together by the early 1990s), it was not the primary reason she departed the show. The following year in 1994, Parkinson was out for revenge as she filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court (case no. BC106366) against Bob Barker for sexual harassment, claiming she was forced into a three-year sexual relationship with Barker in order to keep her modeling job on The Price is Right. This prompted Barker to seek revenge of his own, as he and his attorney, Jeffrey Berman, held a live news conference where he revealed that he and Parkinson had indeed been involved in a personal relationship outside of Studio 33, but he claimed that he had never forced her into doing anything that she had not wanted to do, sexually or otherwise. During the news conference, Barker recalled an angry and bitter shouting match in which he had engaged with Parkinson in his dressing room. He learned that she gave an interview to USA Today about her appearances in Playboy magazine as they asked her on what Barker thought about her posing nude in the popular men's magazine, in which Parkinson replied that Barker had (allegedly) said, "As far as I'm concerned, the good definitely outweighs the bad" as he also revealed that he tried to reason with Parkinson and expressed a wish that she would not put words in his mouth, and as Parkinson asked him on what he really thought of her nude pictorials; to this he replied that he thought they were unfortunate and revealed that Parkinson went ballistic. Barker ended the news conference by announcing that he was coming for Parkinson, saying that he planned to prove that her allegations were false and to sue her for malicious prosecution.
Parkinson's sexual harassment case never went before a jury. In April 1995, Dian suddenly dropped the lawsuit after her doctor demanded that she do so because the ongoing stress was causing her health to decline dramatically. Shortly afterwards in an interview, Barker stated that he felt that the dismissal of Parkinson's lawsuit was total vindication for him but the legal wars were just heating up and about to get even uglier as longtime model Holly Hallstrom found herself in the unemployment line after refusing to get involved in the Barker vs Parkinson battle. Hallstrom stated in her press conference that Barker wanted her to recall certain events differently then she had called them as well as make appearances on talk shows and conduct radio interviews, and was dismissed after her refusal to do so.
After she dropped her lawsuit, Parkinson found her image in the public eye to have been irreversibly tarnished, as she became a recluse over the next several years, neither being seen nor heard from afterwards. She was rumored still to reside in San Fernando Valley, California.
Other TV AppearancesEdit
- Dian appeared in an episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show titled "Ted's Moment of Glory" (first aired on October 11, 1975) where she played a model named Ginger.
- She has also appeared on several episodes of Vega$ between 1979 and 1980.
- In 1987, Dian appeared with Bob Barker and Janice Pennington on
The New Hollywood Squares with host John Davidson (Dian & Janice shared a square while Barker had his own square).
- In 1991, she appeared with the cast of The Price is Right with Bob Barker as team captain on Family Feud (hosted by Ray Combs) as they faced off against the cast of
The Young and The Restless with future TNPiR Host Doug Davidson as their team captain.
- In 1993, Dian appeared on The Maury Povich Show as she discussed her Playboy pictorials.
- Also in 1993, shortly before her departure from Price, Dian appeared with Kathleen Bradley and Holly Hallstrom on Vicki Lawrence's talk show Vicki! alongside original
Let's Make a Deal model Carol Merrill, $ale of The Century hostess & former Miss USA Summer Bartholomew, and Susan Stafford, the original hostess/letter-turner on Wheel of Fortune.