Bob Barker is a legendary American game show host famous for hosting The Price is Right for over 35 years. Barker worked part-time as a radio host during his time in college. In 1956, he began hosting Truth and Consequences and remained as host up to 1975. He began hosting The Price is Right in 1972 and retired from his role in 2007.
Barker retired to his Hollywood Hills home to live a secretive life after spending half a decade on television. He made a surprise appearance on The Price is Right on April Fool’s Day in 2015, but we haven’t seen him on television since.
No need to worry, however – Bob Barker is still alive.
Bob has had plenty of health struggles, including suffering a stroke and skin cancer
The world watched Bob Barker age gracefully from the mid-50s to the 2000s. In 1990, Barker told The Los Angeles Times that he’d never thought he could host another show for longer than he hosted Truth or Consequences, which he hosted for 20 years.
“It never entered my mind I would do anything longer,” Bob said. “It never entered my mind I would even live longer.” By that time, Barker’s iconic grey hair had become part of his brand. He’d tried to conceal it by dying his hair back, but he eventually ‘let it go.’ He explained:
“When I came home the people on the show said, ‘You look better this way than you do with it dyed or tinted. Why don’t you leave it this way?’”
When Bob retired in 2007, he was 84. He is set to celebrate his 98th birthday on 12th December 2021. Since his retirement, Bob has suffered plenty of health struggles, including skin cancer, prostate surgery, a stroke, and injuries resulting from falls.
People at Bob’s age fall frequently, and due to their advanced age, recovery takes longer. In 2018, Bob was hospitalized twice for severe back pain. His rep told USA Today that Bob spent his 95th birthday recuperating. The rep explained:
“He’s just resting, and he’ll probably have some family come by. He’s still recuperating from his back. He’s improving. He’s 95 today so it’s a bit of a slow process. But all the things are pointing to a good recovery, and so he’ll just keep doing what he’s doing. He’s just taking the steps necessary to recover and get better and he’s going in the right direction.”
Barker stayed safe and healthy during the coronavirus pandemic by adopting strict quarantining measures and limiting visits from friends and family. Bob only leaves his Hollywood Hills home to visit the grave of his ex-wife Dorothy Jo Gideon. Dorothy passed away in 1981 due to lung cancer. Bob never remarried after his beloved wife’s death.
According to a source speaking to Closer Weekly, Bob looks forward to the day he reunites with Dorothy. “He’s not afraid,” per the insider. “I think he can’t wait for the day that he and Dorothy Jo are reunited.”
Bob credits his vegetarian diet and exercise as the reasons for his long life
In 2012, Bob talked to the Vegetarian Times about his 40-year commitment to a vegetarian diet. He revealed that he switched to vegetarian diets due to his concern for animals but later realized that vegetarianism had numerous health benefits. He said:
“I was vegetarian for a very long time before I realized that many people become vegetarians out of concern for their health. I think they are absolutely right. I think it is the healthiest way to live.”
Bob also credits regular exercise as another reason for his long life. “I recommend that you become a vegetarian and exercise if you want to enjoy the golden years,” he added.
It would be an emotional moment seeing Bob Barker on television again. Bob’s health might prove to be a hindrance, but according to Bob, we need not worry as we are in the hands of the equally adept Drew Carey.
“He likes Drew Carey and enjoyed the show,” a source said. “He’s a fan.” In conformity with his humble nature, Bob downplayed his impact as host of The Price is Right and credited the show’s format as the main reason for its success. He told The Los Angeles Times:
“It is still popular because of the powerful basic premise of the show – everything is based on prices. Everyone identifies with prices. The minute we put something up for a bid, the viewer is involved. Once you become involved, we have accomplished what the producer of every game show wants – viewer involvement.”