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Legendary TV Host Bob Barker Dead at 99

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Bob Barker, legendary host of the TV game show “The Price Is Right,” has died from natural causes at age 99.

His longtime publicist Roger Neal confirmed his death to ABC News on Saturday, Aug. 26.

“It is with profound sadness that we announce that the World’s Greatest MC who ever lived, Bob Barker has left us,” Neal said.

“He had a wonderful life,” Neal added.

Barker ruled the game show universe as the charming host of “The Price Is Right” for 35 years.

Barker got his start in radio while attending Drury University. After graduating, he hosted an audience-participation show at the Department of Water and Power Auditorium in San Fernando Valley.

He hosted some cooking and laundry demos using ranges and washer/dryers. His success got the attention of execs at Southern California Edison who offered their auditoriums to Bob, too. Then Westinghouse came calling.

Bob’s first television appearance was on “Your Big Moment,” a talent show.

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Barker continued hosting “The Bob Barker Show” on the radio. His big break came when game show creator Ralph Edwards heard him on the radio and offered a job hosting “Truth or Consequences” in 1956.

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NBC’s “Truth or Consequences” was broadcast in front of a live studio audience in Hollywood.

In one scripted stunt using a live tiger, Barker convinced an unsuspecting contestant that she was pulling the tail of a tiger suit worn by fellow contestant while singing a chorus of “Hold That Tiger.”

The show was scripted, but Barker’s ad-libs were spontaneous and endearing.

“Truth or Consequences” soon became the number one show in daytime television for 18 years.

In 1972, Barker began hosting “The Price is Right,” which remained the number-one ranked game show for almost 30 years.

The show’s announcer Johnny Olson originated the phrase “Come on down!”

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In addition to his game show duties, Barker also hosted the Miss Universe and Miss USA Pageants for many years. He did voiceover work in movies and appeared in numerous films and TV shows as himself.


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