‘The Price Is Right’ Host Bob Barker Dies At 99
Bob Barker, the longtime host of the game show The Price Is Right, has passed away. In a statement to NBC News Saturday (August 26), his publicist Roger Neal said, “It is with profound sadness that we announce that the World’s Greatest MC who ever lived, Bob Barker, has left us.” Barker was 99 years old. The legendary host spent more than half a century on television. He took over as host of the popular Truth or Consequences in 1956. He hosted that show for 18 years. In 1972, he began hosting The Price Is Right until 2007. After that, Drew Carey took over as host.
Robert Thompson, the director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University, said one reason Barker became an iconic game show host was the sheer length of his career. “From the black and white era of television right up to the new century, Bob Barker had a real presence on two really big shows,” Thompson said. “Secondly, you’ve got some game shows where the host just stands behind a podium, but Barker really interacted with regular people” who were selected as contestants. “And he was particularly good at it.”
Robert William Barker was born in Darrington, Washington, on December 12, 1923. At the age of 6, he moved to a Sioux Indian reservation in Mission, South Dakota, with his mother after his father died in a workplace accident. His mother, Matilda, a schoolteacher, remarried and moved again to Missouri. Barker served in the Navy for two years at the end of World War II, then returned to Missouri to attend Drury College, now Drury University, and graduated with a degree in economics. He landed a job at a radio station in Florida, and gained popularity with his smooth delivery. In 1950, he moved to California to start his own radio program, The Bob Barker Show, in Burbank.
Celebrity Deaths 2023: Musicians, Entertainers & Cultural Figures We Lost
We’ve had to say goodbye to some big names this year in the worlds of entertainment, sports, politics and beyond. To be frank, it was an absolutely brutal year.
So many giants in music died in 2023. Guitar god Jeff Beck died suddenly in January at age 78 after contracting bacterial meningitis. In February, legendary songwriter Burt Bacharach died at age 94. Singer, actor and civil rights icon Harry Belafonte died in April at age 96 from congestive heart failure. In May, the world lost Tina Turner – the Queen of Rock ‘n Roll – at age 83. Iconic pop singer Tony Bennett died in July at age 96.
The worlds of television and film were not immune to significant loss in 2023. Sitcom mastermind Norman Lear died in December at age 101. Three’s Company star Suzanne Somers died in October at age 76 from an aggressive form of breast cancer. Matthew Perry also died in October. The Friends star was only 54. Bob Barker, longtime host of The Price is Right, died in August at age 99. Paul Reubens, best known for his character Pee-wee Herman, died in July at age 70 following a private battle with cancer.
The sports world was rocked by the deaths of three major wrestling figures. In June, The Iron Sheik (Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri) died at age 81. Then, in August, there were two back-to-back deaths. First, WWE Hall of Famer Terry Funk died at age 79. Funk’s hardcore style has been influential to generations of wrestlers that followed. Then, Bray Wyatt (Windham Rotunda) suddenly died at age 36. The young wrestler died after contracting COVID, which exacerbated a heart issue and led to a heart attack.
Scroll through the gallery below to see the musicians, celebrities and other cultural figures we’ve lost in 2023.
Legendary singer/actor who was also an integral figure in the civil rights movement.
Queen of Rock & Roll. An icon, a legend and forever the moment.
Iconic pop singer whose career spanned eight decades.
Guitar icon and two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee as a solo artist and as a member of the Yardbirds. He is one of the most influential guitar players of all time.
Legendary songwriter who wrote hits for Dionne Warwick, Aretha Franklin, Jackie DeShannon, Tom Jones, Dusty Springfield and more. His hits included "This Guy's in Love with You," "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head," and "(They Long to Be) Close to You."
Singer-songwriter best known for his work with the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash (& Young). He's a two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. He also released a number of solo albums in the years leading up to his passing.
Suzanne Somers shot to fame as Chrissy Snow on the '70s sitcom 'Three's Company.' She would reach pop culture icon status thanks to the Thigh Master.
Norman Lear was the creator of some of the most iconic and influential sitcoms of all time. Lear's impact on television is immense. He created/developed over 100 shows in his career. Among them were 'All in the Family,' 'Sanford and Son,' 'Maude,' 'Good Times,' 'The Jeffersons,' 'One Day at a Time' and 'Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.'
Iconic record executive who co-founded Sire Records and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Actress best known for playing Shirley Feeney in the 1970s sitcom 'Laverne & Shirley.' The show was a spinoff from 'Happy Days.'
Jimmy Buffett was a legendary singer/songwriter. His massive hit, "Margaritaville," helped inspire his brand, which is worth billions.
Jim Brown was a legendary NFL fullback, actor and civil rights activist. His reputation would be impacted following accusations of abuse towards women.
Singer/songwriter and only child Elvis and Priscilla Presley. Her debut album, 'To Whom It May Concern,' was released in 2003.
Matthew Perry was best known for playing Chandler Bing for ten seasons on 'Friends.' During the show's run, Perry received one Primetime Emmy Award nomination in 2002 for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.
Sandra Day O’Connor was the first woman to serve on the United States Supreme Court. She sat on the bench from 1981-2006.
Bob Barker was the longtime, legendary host of 'The Price is Right.' Before that show, Barker hosted 'Truth or Consequences' from 1956 to 1972.
Andre Braugher was best known for his roles on 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' and 'Homicide: Life On The Street.' His breakout role was in 1989's Academy Award-winning film 'Glory.'
Paul Reubens was best known for his character Pee-wee Herman. The character was the star of three films and the Emmy Award winning children's series 'Pee-wee's Playhouse.'
Richard Roundtree was a legendary actor that rose to fame during the era of blaxploitation movies. He's best known for playing the iconic character Shaft.
Rosalynn Carter was a former First Lady of the United States. She was married to former President Jimmy Carter for 77 years. Mrs. Carter also championed mental health, caregiving, and women’s rights.
Dianne Feinstein was a legendary politician who served as in the United States Senate for over 30 years. She also served as mayor of San Francisco.
Former politician turned notorious talk show host of 'The Jerry Springer Show.'
Actor best known for his roles on HBO's 'The Wire' and the 'John Wick' movie franchise.
Acclaimed Irish singer best known for her moving cover of "Nothing Compares 2 U" and who was chastised for telling the truth about the Catholic Church.
Dick Butkus was a Chicago Bears legend and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Butkus began acting toward the end of his football career and during his retirement.
Renowned stand-up comedian and actor best known for playing Det. John Munch on 'Homicide: Life on the Street' and 'Law & Order: SVU.'
Acclaimed Academy Award-winning actor.
Bobby Knight was a the legendary college basketball coach for Indiana University. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991.
Legendary wrestler. Currently making the afterlife humble.
Guitarist and last surviving original member of Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Co-founding member/drummer and co-founding member/guitarist and vocalist for Bachman-Turner Overdrive both passed away this year. BTO's hits included "Let It Ride," "Takin' Care Of Business" and "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet."
Bray Wyatt was a WWE wrestler portrayed by Windham Rotunda. He is considered one of the most unique WWE characters in its storied history.
Robbie Robertson was best known for being the guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for The Band. Robertson went on to have a decades-long partnership with Martin Scorsese. He composed or produced music and served as executive music producer for a number of Scorsese's films.
Actress and iconic sex symbol of the 1960s. She won a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Actress in a Musical or Comedy in 1974 for her performance in 'The Three Musketeers.'
Actress, photojournalist and politician. She was a sex symbol during the "Golden Age Of Hollywood."
Steve Harwell was the singer for Smash Mouth from 1994-2021. Smash Mouth is best known for their hits "All Star," "Walkin' On The Sun" and their cover of the Monkees' "I'm A Believer."
Clarence Avant was a legendary record executive and influencer in the world of politics and sports. He was dubbed "The Black Godfather."
Australian actor best known as the personality of Dame Edna Everage.
Burt Young was a veteran actor known for playing "tough guy" roles. He was best known for playing Paulie in the 'Rocky' film franchise.
Henry Kissinger was one of the most powerful, influential and controversial political figures in modern history. He served as Secretary of State for President Richard Nixon and President Gerald Ford.
Green was the drummer for Modest Mouse. He was a founding member of the group. He left in 2003, but returned shortly after.
Gangsta Boo of Three 6 Mafia. Starting her career at age 14, she became a popular collaborator. She has worked with a number of artists, including Eminem and OutKast.
Founding member of the Pointer Sisters. She was also the lead singer on many of their other hits, including "Yes We Can Can", "Fire", "Slow Hand", and "I'm So Excited."
In February 1964, he photographed the Beatles' immortal performance on 'The Ed Sullivan Show.' He was also a staff photographer for LIFE magazine.
“Father of Instant Replay” in the NFL. In 2022, McNally became the first NFL game official to be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Child star on ‘Eight Is Enough.' He was often referred to as "America's Little Brother" at the time. He also guested on other shows including 'The Six-Million Dollar Man' and 'CHIPS.'
Former head of Volkswagen. The company helped popularize the VW Beetle.
One-third of the influential hip-hop group De La Soul. They reissued their incredibly influential catalog months after his passing.
Songwriter and husband of country singer Kellie Pickler.
Actor of stage, screen and television. Best known for playing Jim Dial on the hit CBS sitcom 'Murphy Brown.'
Confectioner best known for inventing Peeps.
Hockey Hall of Famer best known for his 15 seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks. Known as "The Golden Jet," he is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time.
Co-creator of 'Sesame Street'
Iconic Philadelphia DJ, "The Geator with the Heater" and "The Big Boss with the Hot Sauce."
Songwriter and guitarist from influential punk band Television.
Actress best known for playing Wednesday Addams on ABC's 'The Addams Family' from 1964-1966.
Actor and singer/songwriter best known for his roles on 'Hollywood Heights' and 'Days of Our Lives.'
MLB All-Star and two-time World Series Champion that went on to be a Hall of Fame broadcaster.
Noted superfan of 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show.'
Founding member and guitarist for Saliva.
Procol Harum lyricist. Notably wrote the lyrics to "A Whiter Shade of Pale."
Music promoter, wife of John Lydon (Sex Pistols' Johnny Rotten) and mother to Arianna Forster (Ari Up from The Slits.)
Iconic character actor best known for his roles in the films 'Barton Fink,' 'Elf' and 'Newsies.'
"Diamond" of conservative media personalities "Diamond and Silk." They were frequent contributors to conservative news outlet Newsmax.
Famed British designer known as "The Mother of the Miniskirt."
Author of the 2005 memoir 'Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs, and Classic Music,' which was later adapted into an award-winning series for Amazon.
Renown British dance champion who was a longtime judge on ABC's 'Dancing With the Stars.'
Bassist of The Smiths.
Legendary Canadian singer-songwriter/folk icon.
Lyricist for legendary rock band Cream.
Actor best known for roles in “Punisher: War Zone,” “King Arthur” and the “Thor” films.
Founding member of the legendary band, Eagles.
Renown actress and inspiration behind the iconic Hermès Birkin bag.
Legendary basketball star. Two-time Olympic gold medalist, three-time WNBA All-Star.
Bernie Marsden was the guitarist for Whitesnake from 1978-1982. During his time in the band, Marsden and David Coverdale wrote Whitesnake's biggest hit, "Here I Go Again," which was originally released on their 1982 album 'Saints & Sinners.' However, the track took off when it was re-recorded for the band's self-titled 1987 album.
Gary Wright was the former keyboardist/singer of Spooky Tooth and a solo artist. He was best known for his solo hit "Dream Weaver."
Michael Gambon was an acclaimed actor of TV and film. He is best known for playing Albus Dumbledore in the 'Harry Potter' film series.
Rudolph Isley was a founding member of The Isley Brothers. The iconic ground was best known for their hits "Shout," "This Old Heart of Mine," "Twist & Shout," "It's Your Thing," and more.
Shane MacGowan was the singer/songwriter/founder of The Pogues. He fronted The Pogues from 1982-1991. MacGowan and The Pogues would reform from 2001 to 2014.
Denny Laine was a co-founder of the Moody Blues and Wings. Laine was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018 as a member of the Moody Blues. Laine also played on all seven studio albums from Wings, which was also co-founded by Paul McCartney in 1971 following the breakup of the Beatles.
Ryan O'Neal was best known for his roles in 1970's 'Love Story' and 1973's 'Paper Moon.' O'Neal's breakout performance came as Rodney Harrington on the '60s TV series 'Peyton Place.'
Angus Clous was best known for portraying Fezco on 'Euphoria.' He was only 25 years old.
Mark Margolis was a veteran character actor. He was best known for roles in 'Breaking Bad,' 'Scarface,' 'Ace Ventura: Pet Detective' and more.
Rodriguez was a working musician based in Detroit. He was the subject of the Academy Award-winning documentary 'Searching for Sugar Man.'
Piper Laurie was an Emmy Award-winning and Oscar nominated actress. Some of her most notable credits include 1961's 'The Hustler,' 1976's 'Carrie' and 1986's 'Children of a Lesser God.'
Richard Moll had an acting career that spanned four decades. However, he was best known for playing bailiff Bull Shannon on NBC's 'Night Court.'
Tyler Christopher was best known for portraying Nikolas Cassadine on 'General Hospital.' He won a Daytime Emmy Award for his performance in 2016.
Marty Krofft, along with his brother Sid, created a number of popular children's/variety shows of the 1970s. Among them were 'H.R. Pufnstuf,' 'Land of the Lost' and 'Donny and Marie.'