Bob Barker, the longtime host of The Price is Rightgameshow and a vocal animal rights activist, has died at the age of 99.
“It is with profound sadness that we announce that the World’s Greatest MC who ever lived, Bob Barker has left us,” Mr Neal said in a statement.
Barker retired in 2007 after hosting the hit CBS game show since 1972.
“I was 48 and didn’t have any thoughts about the rest of my life. It was just another show I thought I would have fun with and be well paid for,” he told Entertainment Weekly.
During his career, Barker won 19 Daytime Emmy Awards, received an Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1999 and was inducted into the Television Academy’s Hall of Fame in 2004.
“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.’,” CBS said in a statement.
“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.”
Marker was known for his support of animal rights causes and donated $5m to the anti-whaling Sea Shepherd Conservation Society which named one of their ships after him.
In 2013, Barker donated $1 million to move three captive elephants from the Toronto Zoo to a sanctuary in California.
Barker’s longtime friend, Nancy Burnet, who is also the co-executor of his estate released a statement on his death.
“I am so proud of the trailblazing work Barker and I did together to expose the cruelty to animals in the entertainment industry and including working to improve the plight of abused and exploited animals in the United States and internationally. We were great friends over these 40 years, and he will be missed,” she said.
Barker was born in Darrington, Washington, on 12 December 1923, and at the age of six moved to a Sioux Indian reservation in Mission, South Dakota, with his mother, Matilda, after his father died.
When his schoolteacher mother remarried the family moved to Missouri. Barker served for two years in the US Navy towards the end of World War II and then attended Drury University where he graduated with an economics degree.
Barker’s own wife, Dorothy Jo Gideon, died of lung cancer in 1981 and he never remarried.
“I never had any inclination to remarry. She was my wife,” he said.
He said that it was his wife who was behind his fight to help 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,” he said.
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