(NewsReady.com) – On August 26, tributes began pouring in from actors and fans who were mourning the loss of Bob Barker. The longtime television game show host died of natural causes at age 99.
Barker was born two weeks before Christmas in Darrington, Washington, in 1923. The family eventually moved to Mission, South Dakota, so his mom could work on a Native American reservation as a teacher. His dad was a lineman but had hurt his back in a work accident. When he was 13, Barker’s mother moved him to Springfield, Missouri, after remarrying. He received a basketball scholarship but enlisted in the US military as a Naval Aviation Cadet during World War II.
After the war, Barker was discharged from the Armed Forces as a lieutenant junior grade. He went back to college and graduated in 1947. During this time, he married his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Jo Gideon. After graduating, he worked as a radio host. Then, from 1956 to 1974, he hosted the television program “Truth or Consequences.”
In 1972, while hosting the show, he was given another opportunity to host a revised version of “The Price Is Right,” called “The New Price Is Right.” And so began a nearly four-decade-long role on the longest-running game show in American history. Eventually, CBS dropped the “New” from the name.
For 35 years, Barker was the face of the television show. He won 14 Daytime Emmy Awards for hosting, four Emmys for producing it, and a Lifetime Achievement Emmy. He was a fierce animal rights advocate.
Barker also appeared in the Adam Sandler movie “Happy Gilmore.” The actor paid tribute to Barker on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.
The man. The myth. The best. Such a sweet funny guy to hang out with. Loved talking to him. Loved laughing with him. Loved him kicking the crap out of me. He will be missed by everyone I know! Heartbreaking day. Love to Bob always and his family! Thanks for all you gave us! pic.twitter.com/hhZvYAQUK3
— Adam Sandler (@AdamSandler) August 26, 2023
Vanna White, known for her role on “Wheel of Fortune,” thanked Barker for introducing her to the world of game shows. She shared a photo of herself on “The Price Is Right.”
When I moved to LA in 1980, I was on Price Is Right and met Bob Barker. Thank you Bob for introducing me to the game show world! We will miss you. pic.twitter.com/b4VTbI1DzF
— Vanna White (@TheVannaWhite) August 27, 2023
Barker is survived by his half-brother, Kent Valandra. His wife preceded him in death in 1981 from lung cancer, and he never remarried. He did, however, spend 40 years with his longtime companion, Nancy Burnet. The animal rights activist is the executor of his estate. He will be laid to rest next to his late wife.
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