Iconic ‘The Price is Right’ host Bob Barker dead aged 99 from ‘natural causes’

Bob Barker has died aged 99 credit:Bang Showbiz
Bob Barker has died aged 99 credit:Bang Showbiz

Bob Barker has died aged 99.

The iconic ‘The Price Is Right’ host – who fronted the show for 35 years – passed away at his Los Angeles home on Saturday (26.08.23) morning from natural causes, according to TMZ.

His representative confirmed in a statement: “It is with profound sadness that we announce that the World’s Greatest MC who ever lived, Bob Barker has left us.”

Bob suffered an injury in 2019 after taking a spill in his Hollywood Hills home, where he was treated by paramedics and not taken into hospital.

The previous year, Bob was hospitalised in Los Angeles twice within one month because of severe back pain.

The former host also went to the hospital in 2017 after hitting his head in a fall at his home.

Born Robert William Barker on 12 December 1923 in Darrington, Washington, to parents Byron Barker and Matilda Tarleton Barker, he grew up in Mission, South Dakota, on the Rosebud Indian Reservation.

During his time in college, he left to become a Naval Aviation Cadet in World War Two, and in 1945 married wed his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Jo Gideon.

When the war ended he returned to school where he kicked off his long showbiz career by working a local radio station, where he accidentally made his first on-screen debut.

He said during a speech at the Emmys in 2000: “I had never studied speech. I’d never studied drama. I had never been in a school play. I had never been before an audience and I was on duty there as an announcer. Ted Tucker, bless him, didn’t show up.

“I didn’t even have time to get nervous. I’m out there doing it live.”

In 1956, Bob became the host of the popular game show ‘Truth or Consequences’, which ran until 1975.

He went on to host shows including ‘End of the Rainbow’, ‘The Family Game’, ‘Simon Says’ and ‘That’s My Line’.

In 1972, he became the host of ‘The Price is Right’, which he hosted until his retirement in 2007.

He won 19 Daytime Emmys for his work on the series and in 1999 was honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 2004, Barker was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame.

He has also been honoured with a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame and a stage named after him on the CBS Television City studio complex.

During his time on hit game show, Barker had several lawsuits lodged against him from multiple women claiming harassment and wrongful termination.

Dian Parkinson, one of the show’s models, sued him for $8 million in 1994 and, according to Time magazine, she claimed she’d been forced to have sex with Barker to keep her job before she was fired.

Bob released a statement at the time saying the pair had a consensual relationship for more than a year and Dian later dropped her lawsuit when she couldn’t afford to pay the legal fees.

Another model, Holly Hallstrom, sued Bob in 1995, claiming she’d been fired for gaining weight and refusing to tell the press false stories about Dian – and won a settlement.

Alongside his 50-year career as a TV host, Bob appeared as himself in shows including ‘Futurama’, ‘How I Met Your Mother’ and ‘Yes, Dear’.

In a cameo as himself in ‘Happy Gilmore’ he is seen telling Adam Sandler during a fight: “The price is wrong, b****.”

His wife Dorothy was killed by lung cancer in 1981, and Bob and she never had children during their 36-year marriage.