For 35 years, viewers tuned in to The Price Is Right to catch beloved host Bob Barker as he interacted with fans. The esteemed game show personality retired from hosting the show in 2007 at the age of 83. Since then, longtime fans of the program have wondered about his private life.
How Did Bob Barker Start His Career?
Bob, born in 1923 in Washington, began his broadcasting career back in college by working at a local radio station. He moved to California in the ‘50s before getting the call to host NBC’s Truth or Consequences in 1956. He served as the host of the program until 1975.
The Emmy winner landed the hosting job on The Price Is Right in 1972. He hosted both shows simultaneously for three years, becoming one of the most popular faces on daytime television.
Why Did Bob Barker Retire?
In October 2006, the longtime host announced that he would be retiring from The Price Is Right after 50 years on television.
“I will be 83 years old on December 12,” he told the Associated Press at the time, “and I’ve decided to retire while I’m still young.”
While Bob made it clear that being the face of the show was his dream job, he explained why he was stepping down after truly making his mark on the series.
“I’m just reaching the age where the constant effort to be there and do the show physically is a lot for me,” he said. “I might be able to do the show another year, but better [to leave] a year too soon than a year too late.”’
Bob signed off on The Price Is Right for the final time in June 2007. He did return to the series for special appearances over the years after host Drew Carey took over.
What Was Bob Barker’s Net Worth?
Thanks to his 35 years on the CBS series, Bob amassed an estimated net worth of $70 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. He also earned an estimated annual salary of $10 million. The Happy Gilmore actor released the book Priceless Memories in 2009, in which he delved into stories about his career as one of America’s most popular game show hosts.
In addition to his television career, the Hollywood icon has remained dedicated to supporting animal rights causes. He often donates money to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals cause.
Bob finished every episode of the game show by saying, “Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered.”
Was Bob Barker Married?
Bob found love with Dorothy Jo Gideon before rising to fame. The pair met when they were teenagers and got married in 1945. The couple were married up until Dorothy’s death in 1981 from lung cancer at the age of 57.
“I was married at 21; Dorothy Jo was 20. She was with me all the time until she died,” Bob recalled in a June 2007 interview with Esquire. “For some men, maybe a second or third marriage would work out fine. In my case, I had my marriage, and she was the love of my life.”
Did Bob Barker Have Any Children?
Bob and Dorothy never had any children together, a decision he never regretted due to his bustling career.
“We didn’t have time for children,” he said. “I don’t regret it, not when so many of my friends are having so much trouble with their children. I have 13 ducks, and that’s a lot of work.”
Bob Barker Had Health Issues Prior to His Death
After losing the love of his life to cancer, Bob faced a few health scares of his own. He battled skin cancer, suffered two strokes and recovered from several bad falls in the years after his retirement. Despite facing several hardships, he has always managed to keep a smile on his face.
The producer was able to find love again. He began dating Nancy Burnet after they met at a 1983 animal adoption event. She gave an update on her boyfriend’s health and life post-TV in an August 2022 interview with Closer.
“He’s doing pretty well … he’s happy, he’s engaged. He’s just doing remarkably well for almost 99 years of age,” she shared, while also mentioning that Bob is “a little bit forgetful” but that “comes with the territory.”
“A lot of people at that age are very gaunt, frail. He isn’t at all, he’s very sturdy,” Nancy continued. “His weight is good, he’s strong and he has this meal replacement in addition to his regular meals because [it’s] just the way he gets everything.”
Bob tragically died in his Los Angeles home at the age of 99 on August 26, 2023, his rep confirmed in a statement.