Sad news emerged from Hollywood over the weekend when it was announced that Bob Barker, longtime host of television game show The Price is Right, died at the age of 99, as NBC News reported.
Barker's death was revealed to the world by his longtime publicist Roger Neal, who referred to the late star as “the World's Greatest MC who ever lived.”
Getting his big industry break – in radio – back in 1950 with The Bob Barker Show, it was not long before the iconic television personality moved to the medium that would ultimately make him famous.
The legendary host's extensive game show experience dates back to 1956, when he first took the helm of NBC's Truth or Consequences, a program on which he continued for its 18-year run.
Then, in 1972, Barker was hired to assume hosting duties on The Price is Right on CBS, which was not a new show on the broadcasting scene, but one which needed an infusion of new energy.
Barker retired from the weekday morning favorite in 2007, and the fact that its production has continued for well over a decade since his departure is a glowing testament to the popularity and staying power he helped generate for the show.
Barker was born in Washington state in December of 1923, and following the unexpected death of his father, moved to an Indian reservation in South Dakota.
Two years of military service toward the end of World War II was followed by studies at Missouri's Drury University, from which Barker received an economics degree.
In 1945, Barker married Dorothy Jo Gideon, who was his high school sweetheart, and to whom he remained wed until her death in 1981.
The recognition earned by Barker for his television work was not the only way in which he distinguished himself over the years, as he was also a noted animal rights activist, urging pet owners to spay and neuter their animals to prevent overpopulation and its attendant ills.
Among the numerous names from the world of showbusiness and elsewhere who paid tribute to Barker over the weekend was Drew Carey, who took the reins of the Price is Right in 2007, as the Hollywood Reporter explained.
Carey declared that it was a “very sad day for the Price is Right family and animal lovers all over the world. There hasn't been a day on set that I didn't think of Bob Barker and thank him. I will carry this memory in my heart forever.”
Comedian Adam Sandler, who engaged in a memorable on-screen fight with Barker in the 1996 film Happy Gilmore remembered his colleague as “the best,” adding on Instagram that he was “[s]uch a sweet funny guy to hang out with. Loved talking to him. Loved laughing with him. Loved him kicking the crap out of me. He will be missed by everyone I know! Heartbreaking day. Love to Bob always and his family! Thanks for all you gave us!”
Another cast member from Happy Gilmore, actress Julie Bowen, offered fans a suggestion on how best to honor Barker's memory, writing on social media, “In honor of Bob: please remember to spay and neuter your pets” – a nod to the familiar show sign-off line the iconic host delivered to generations of appreciative fans.