Come on Down! Remembering Bob Barker on What Would Be His 100th Birthday

THE PRICE IS RIGHT, Bob Barker (host), 1972-
Everett Collection

You can’t put a price on personality. Bob Barker’s was beyond compare, a display of unflappable charm, graciousness and good humor no matter the circumstance. With nary a hair out of place, never losing his cool even when frenzied contestants lost their minds, the dapper Barker was the ultimate TV host, receiving 19 Daytime Emmys. Little wonder a “W.G.M.C.” (World’s Greatest Master of Ceremonies) sign hung on his dressing room door for years. “When people asked me how I made a living, I told them I made a living creating spontaneous entertainment with unrehearsed contestants,” he wrote with characteristic modesty in his 2009 memoir, Priceless Memories, published two years after he ended his 35-year run as host of CBS’ enduring The Price Is Right. 

Truth Or Consequences, producer Ralph Edwards, Sandy Grant, Bob Barker, '25th Anniversary', (1965), 1950-88

Everett Collection

Truth Or Consequences, producer Ralph Edwards, Sandy Grant and Bob Barker celebrate the 25th Anniversary in 1965


The opportunities were pretty much endless on Price, with contestants hugging, kissing and even chasing him around the stage in their excitement to meet their idol and play those pricing games. As befits a cultural icon, Barker enjoyed sending up his wholesome image — memorably sparring with Adam Sandler in 1996’s Happy Gilmore and also appearing as himself on TV comedies How I Met Your Mother, Futurama (as a preserved head) and Family Guy.

The Price is Right, Janice Pennington, Holly Hallstrom, Dian Parkinson, Bob Barker, 1972-current

Everett Collection

The well-known ‘Barker Beauties,’ from right to left Janice Pennington, Holly Hallstrom and Dian Parkinson


If he could choose his own legacy, it would doubtless be as an outspoken animal-rights activist. He famously ended each episode of Price with a reminder to “have your pets spayed or neutered” to control the pet population. It’s even the last line of his memoir. Remember that the next time you watch someone excitably play Price’s popular game Plinko. 

THE PRICE IS RIGHT, left: Drew Carey, center: Bob Barker (Season 41, 2014).

Sonja Flemming/CBS/courtesy Everett Collection


Farewell 2023
Want More?

Farewell 2023

December 2023

A look back at the stars we loved and lost in 2023.

Buy This Issue