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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Bob Barker, longtime host of ‘The Worth Is Proper,’ dies at 99


Bob Barker, the enduring, dapper sport present host who turned a family identify over a half century of internet hosting “Fact or Penalties” and “The Worth Is Proper,” has died. He was 99.

Barker — additionally a longtime animal rights activist — died Saturday morning at his dwelling in Los Angeles, publicist Roger Neal stated.

“I’m so pleased with the trailblazing work Barker and I did collectively to reveal the cruelty to animals within the leisure trade and together with working to enhance the plight of abused and exploited animals in the USA and internationally,” stated Nancy Burnet, his longtime good friend and co-executor of his property, in an announcement.

Barker retired in June 2007, telling his studio viewers: “I thanks, thanks, thanks for inviting me into your property for greater than 50 years.”

Barker was working in radio in 1956 when producer Ralph Edwards invited him to audition as the brand new host of “Fact or Penalties,” a sport present wherein viewers members needed to do wacky stunts — the “consequence” — in the event that they didn’t reply a query — the “fact,” which was at all times the foolish punchline to a riddle nobody was ever meant to furnish. (Q: What did one eye say to a different? A: Simply between us, one thing smells.)

In a 1996 interview with The Related Press, Barker recalled receiving the information that he had been employed: “I do know precisely the place I used to be, I do know precisely how I felt: I hung up the telephone and stated to my spouse, ‘Dorothy Jo, I obtained it!’”

Barker stayed with “Fact or Penalties” for 18 years — together with a number of years in a syndicated model.

In the meantime, he started internet hosting a resurrected model of “The Worth Is Proper” on CBS in 1972. (The unique host within the Nineteen Fifties and ’60s was Invoice Cullen.) It will turn into TV’s longest-running sport present and the final on a broadcast community of what in TV’s early days had numbered dozens.

“I’ve grown outdated in your service,” the silver-haired, perennially tanned Barker joked on a prime-time tv retrospective within the mid-’90s.

CBS stated in an announcement that daytime tv has misplaced one in all its “most iconic stars.”

“We misplaced a beloved member of the CBS household at present with the passing of Bob Barker,” the community stated, noting that he had “made numerous folks’s desires come true and everybody really feel like a winner after they had been known as to ‘come on down.’”

In all, he taped greater than 5,000 reveals in his profession. He stated he was retiring as a result of “I’m simply reaching the age the place the fixed effort to be there and do the present bodily is loads for me. … Higher (to depart) a 12 months too quickly than a 12 months too late.” Comic Drew Carey was chosen to switch him.

Barker was again with Carey for one present broadcast in April 2009. He was there to advertise the publication of his memoir, “Priceless Recollections,” wherein he summed up his pleasure from internet hosting the present as the chance “to observe folks reveal themselves and to observe the thrill and humor unfold.”

“There hasn’t been a day on set that I didn’t consider Bob Barker and thank him. I’ll carry his reminiscence in my coronary heart eternally,” Carey wrote in a put up on X, the location previously often known as Twitter.

Barker nicely understood the attraction of “The Worth Is Proper,” wherein viewers members — invited to “Come on down!” to the stage — competed for prizes by making an attempt to guess their retail worth.

“Everybody can determine with costs, even the president of the USA. Viewers at dwelling turn into concerned as a result of all of them have an opinion on the bids,” Barker as soon as stated. His personal enchantment was clear: Barker performed it straight — heat, gracious and witty — refusing to mock the sport present format or his contestants.

“I need the contestants to really feel as if they’re friends in my dwelling,” he stated in 1996. “Maybe my feeling of respect for them comes throughout to viewers, and which may be one of many the explanation why I’ve lasted.”

As a TV persona, Barker retained a contact of the old-fashioned — as an illustration, no wi-fi microphone for him. Just like the mic itself, the mic wire served him nicely as a prop, insouciantly flicked and finessed.

His profession longevity, he stated, was the results of being content material. “I had the chance to do the sort of present and I found I loved it … Individuals who do one thing that they totally take pleasure in and so they began doing it after they’re very younger, I don’t assume they wish to cease.”

Barker additionally spent 20 years as host of the Miss USA Pageant and the Miss Universe Pageant. A longtime animal rights activist who each day urged his viewers to “have your pets spayed or neutered” and efficiently lobbied to ban fur coats as prizes on “The Worth Is Proper,” he stop the Miss USA Pageant in 1987 in protest over the presentation of fur coats to the winners.

Amongst his actions on behalf of animals was a $250,000 donation to Save the Chimps, the Fort Pierce, Florida-based group stated in an emailed assertion Saturday.

“Bob Barker’s type spirit lives on at Save the Chimps, the place we stroll on daily basis on the street named for him after his game-changing contribution,” stated Save the Chimps’ CEO Ana Paula Tavares. On the time of the donation, Barker stated that he hoped chimpanzees tortured “bodily and mentally” for years when getting used for analysis experiments would discover “the primary peace, contentment and love they’ve ever recognized at Save the Chimps.”

In 1997, Barker declined to be a presenter on the Daytime Emmy awards ceremony as a result of he stated it snubbed sport reveals by not airing awards within the class. He known as sport reveals “the pillars of daytime TV.”

He had a memorable cameo look on the massive display in 1996, sparring with Adam Sandler within the film “Joyful Gilmore.” “I did ‘The Worth Is Proper’ for 35 years, and so they’re asking me the way it was to beat up Adam Sandler,” Barker later joked.

Sandler paid tribute to Barker on Instagram Saturday with a collection of pictures of them collectively. “The person. The parable. One of the best. Such a candy humorous man to hang around with.” Sandler captioned the put up. “Liked speaking to him. Liked laughing with him. Liked him kicking the crap out of me.”

In 1994, the widowed Barker was sued for sexual harassment by Dian Parkinson, a “Worth is Proper” mannequin for 18 years. Barker admitted participating in “hanky panky” with Parkinson from 1989-91 however stated she initiated the connection. Parkinson dropped the lawsuit in 1995, saying it was hurting her well being.

Barker turned embroiled in a dispute with one other former “Worth Is Proper” mannequin, Holly Hallstrom, who claimed she was fired in 1995 as a result of the present’s producers believed she was fats. Barker denied the allegations.

Neither uproar affected goodwill from the viewers.

Born in Darrington, Washington, in 1923, Barker spent a part of his childhood on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota, the place his widowed mom had taken a educating job. The household later moved to Springfield, Mo., the place he attended highschool. He served within the Navy in World Warfare II.

He married Dorothy Jo Gideon, his highschool sweetheart; she died in 1981 after 37 years of marriage. That they had no youngsters.

Barker was given a lifetime achievement award on the twenty sixth annual Daytime Emmy Awards in 1999. He closed his acceptance remarks with the signoff: “Have your pets spayed or neutered.”


AP Leisure Author Anthony McCartney contributed to this report.


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