Bob Barker – one of the most prominent figures in the entertainment industry and who was responsible for producing numerous hit shows – once saw his illustrious career suffer a devastating blow following the passing of his wife, several months after her diagnosis.
The legendary TV host’s death was confirmed on Saturday, with TMZ reporting that he had died of natural causes.
According to new reports, Barker will not have a funeral. Neither will there be any kind of memorial service, as is usually commonplace after the death of such a high-profile figure.
Bob Barker’s name was well-known in Hollywood as the esteemed host of the beloved show, ‘The Price Is Right’. His recognizeable voice endeared fans across the country.
However, as well as being a stellar television presenter, he was also a loving husband to his wife, Dorothy Jo Gideon, who held a special place in his heart. Her death significantly impacted Barker’s life.
Barker and his late wife shared a loving partnership for 36 years, during which he demonstrated unwavering devotion, cherishing the moments spent with his beloved wife above all else.
In the mid-1930s, the TV icon first crossed paths with Dorothy at an Ella Fitzgerald concert. Despite being just 15 years old at the time of their encounter, his love for her blossomed swiftly. Their courtship spanned several years before they eloped in 1945 while Barker was on leave from his duties as a fighter pilot in the United States Navy.
In the early years of their marriage, Barker pursued a career as a TV star, while Dorothy also ventured into show business. In 1956, the ‘Bonanza’ actor assumed the role of host on the popular television game show ‘Truth or Consequences’, a position he held for nearly two decades.
The Emmy Award winner graced several other shows, including ‘The Family Game’ and ‘That’s My Line’. Barker took the reins of ‘The Price is Right’ in 1972, after leaving ‘Truth or Consequences’ in 1970.
Barker’s bond with Dorothy was strong, so much so that he never even thought about moving on following her passing from lung cancer in 1981 – just six months after her diagnosis.
Her death was not only deeply shocking but also transformative for the star. Despite being compelled to move forward in the face of his loss, Barker never truly recovered, believing that there could never be a substitute for Dorothy.
The show host remained single until his death – once saying that he never felt inclined to remarry, because Dorothy was his only spouse.
Throughout their years together, Dorothy played a pivotal role in shaping Barker’s advocacy for animals. She was a renowned animal rights activist, and according to Barker, she was ahead of her time, inspiring progressive trends.
Her influence on Barker was so profound that the actor, who hosted the Miss Universe and Miss United States of America pageants from 1966 to 1988, engaged in a heated dispute with the organizers over animal rights. When organizers declined to remove fur jackets from the prize packages awarded to winners, as Barker had requested, he withdrew from hosting the pageants.
Barker once spoke of his wife’s influence on his career, acknowledging that she encouraged him to pursue a role in an audience participation show while he was employed at a radio station. This decision proved to be life-changing.
We are sending our thoughts and prayers to Bob Barker’s family, friends, and fans at this difficult time.