Bob Barker has died, according to TMZ. The Longtime host of “The Price Is Right” was 99-years-old.
“We lost a beloved member of the CBS family today with the passing of Bob Barker. During his 35 years as host of ‘The Price Is Right,’ Bob made countless people’s dreams come true and everyone feel like a winner when they were called to ‘come on down.’ In addition to his legendary 50-year career in broadcasting, Bob will be remembered as a dedicated animal rights activist. Daytime television has lost one of its most iconic stars,” read a statement sent to Heavy from CBS.
Barker is pre-deceased by his wife, Dorothy Jo Gideon. He did not have any children.
Since leaving “The Price Is Right” in 2007, Barker has been looked after by caretakers in his California home. He rarely made public appearances in recent years, only leaving the house occasionally.
Each year that he was able, Barker would go to Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles to visit his late wife’s grave.
Here is what you need to know:
1. Dorothy Jo Gideon Died in 1981 After a Battle With Lung Cancer
Gideon was a heavy smoker for much of her life. She was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1991 and passed away just six months later.
“Bob went into this deep depression and was a totally different person for two or three years,” Barker’s half-brother Kent told People Magazine back in 1999.
Since Gideon’s passing, Barker has gone to visit her grave at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles. He was most recently seen leaving flowers by her tombstone in 2017. According to the Daily Mail, Barker was taken to the cemetery by a caregiver. He brought with him a large bouquet of daisies to lay on Gideon’s grave.
2. Dorothy Jo Gideon Met Bob Barker in High School & Their First Date Was at an Ella Fitzgerald Concert
Both Barker and Gideon attended Central High School in Springfield, Missouri, graduating in 1941.
“We fell in love as kids. And we stayed in love,” Barker previously told People Magazine.
The two weren’t in any immediate rush to get married, however, and didn’t actually tie the knot until 1945. At that time, a 21-year-old Barker was on leave as a Navy pilot. He and Gideon eloped to St. Louis on January 12 of that year.
Although Barker and Gideon were together for nearly four decades, they never had children together.
3. Dorothy Jo Gideon Encouraged Bob Barker to Join the Entertainment Industry & Was Known for Her Sense of Humor
Gideon was extremely supportive of her husband and even encouraged him to further his career in show business.
“I had been working in a radio station. And I finally got the opportunity to do an audience participation show … Dorothy Jo heard it. When I got home she said, ‘That’s what you should do,'” Barker said.
In addition to being a huge support system to Barker, Gideon also made him laugh. In fact, she was known for her sense of humor.
“She was a very funny woman. Once, somebody asked her what is the secret of her happy marriage. ‘Two things,’ she said. ‘I love Bob Barker, and Bob Barker loves Bob Barker,'” Price Is Right prize model Janice Pennington told People Magazine.
4. Dorothy Jo Gideon Loved Animals & Was Bob Barker’s Inspiration
If you ever watched Barker on The Price Is Right, you probably know that he always ended the show with a call to action.
“Help control the pet population, have your pets spayed or neutered,” Barker would say. It was actually Gideon who inspired Barker to love animals.
“She was ahead of her time. She really was. She stopped wearing fur coats before anyone was stopping. She became a vegetarian before people were becoming vegetarian. And I gradually did the same thing with her,” Barker told ABC News.
Gideon also inspired Barker to become a vegetarian — and his choice to not smoke may have stemmed from his marriage as well.
“I’m a vegetarian, I work out, and I don’t smoke,” he told a woman who asked him how he “stayed so slim,” according to People Magazine.
5. Bob Barker Vowed to Never Marry Again, But He Dated Over the Years
Following Gideon’s death, Barker never remarried. He said that he just never felt the need to do so.
“I’ll never marry again. Dorothy Jo was the love of my life,” he told People Magazine in 1999. He echoed those sentiments nearly a decade later, telling Good Morning America.
“I never had any inclination to remarry. She was my wife,” he told GMA in 2007.
Barker did date, however. Eight years after losing his wife, Barker started seeing Price Is Right model Dian Parkinson.
“She told me I had always been so straitlaced that it was time I had some hanky-panky in my life,” he told People Magazine. Their relationship fizzled, however, after Barker found out that Parkinson may have been using him.
“I heard that she was using her relationship with me to have her way on the set,” he said.
In 1994, Parkinson filed an $8 million sexual-harassment lawsuit against Barker. A year later, however, she withdrew the suit.
Barker also dated Nancy Burnet (pictured above). The two had a casual relationship that was based on friendship and mutual interests.
“I’m very active in my work, and I don’t have a great deal of time for a full-time relationship with anyone. When I do have time, Barker is the person I’m interested in spending it with. We are very, very comfortable together,” Burner told People.