Best known for hosting The Price Is Right from 1972 until 2007, Bob Barker was one of the most famous game show hosts of all time. He was also beloved for playing a hilarious version of himself in the 1996 Adam Sandler comedy, Happy Gilmore, and was an outspoken celebrity activist for animal rights. But is Bob Barker still alive today? And if so, what’s Bob Barker’s age? Here’s the inside scoop on this legendary game show host.
Bob Barker Hosted The Price Is Right For Over 35 Years
Before Drew Carey served as host of The Price Is Right, it was Bob Barker who asked contestants to “come on down!” Barker got the job back in 1972, after hosting another popular game show, Truth or Consequences, for close to 20 years.
“It never entered my mind that I would do ‘Price Is Right’ longer than ‘Truth or Consequences,’” Barker told the Los Angeles Times in 1990. “It never entered my mind I would do anything longer. It never entered my mind I would even live longer.”
Charismatic, charming, and always comfortable in front of an audience, Barker has won 19 Emmy Awards throughout his long career, including five Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Game Show Host for The Price Is Right. He helped make the show a hit and kept the bidding and bargaining going for more than three decades.
But if you ask Barker, he says the show’s success has more to do with its format than its host.
“It is still popular is because of the powerful basic premise of the show–everything is based on prices,” Barker told the Los Angeles Times. “Everyone identifies with prices. The minute we put something up for bid and the contestant makes a bid, the viewer is involved. Once you become involved, we have accomplished what the producer of every game show wants–viewer involvement. ‘The Price Is Right’ has that.”
Bob Barker Is Still Alive And Was Born In 1923
At the time of this writing, Bob Barker is 97 years young. He retired from his long-time gig as The Price Is Right host in 2007 when he was 84. Since that time, he’s made a number of guest appearances on the show, including a return to celebrate his 90th birthday in 2013 and a surprise appearance for April Fool’s Day on April 1st, 2015.
During his first 15 years on the show, Barker admits he tried to conceal his age by dying his hair. But by the late ‘80s, he decided it was time to let his grey hair show. “I went on vacation and I just let it go,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “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?’”
Unfortunately, because the episodes were filmed weeks before they aired, this meant the unveiling of his grey hair was quite sudden, which startled some views. “We taped ahead,” Barker explained. “So let’s say on the Wednesday show I had dark hair, but when we taped the next show I had gray hair and that show aired on Thursday. I got a letter from a fellow who said, ‘Bob, you must have had one hell of a night.’”
Bob Barker Is Seemingly In Good Health For Being 97 Years Old
As he moves into his late 90s (Barker turned 97 on December 12, 2020), the former Price Is Right host is doing remarkably well. He had a few bouts with skin cancer while he was still working, which he admits was due to spending too much time in the sun. “It’s not going to be a problem at all if I take care of it,” the host told Today in 2005. “Anyone who spends a great deal of time in the sun, or spent time in the sun, should see a dermatologist once or twice a year.”
Barker was hospitalized in 2017 and 2019 after suffering falls, which is common in people of advanced age. Thankfully, he sustained no major injuries from either incident. He also remained healthy and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to strict quarantining protocols and limited visits from family and friends.
Here’s What Bob Barker Credits To His Long Lasting Life
So what’s Bob Barker’s secret to a long and healthy life? The PETA activist says it’s his vegetarian diet, which he’s been following for more than 40 years. “I am a staunch believer in it,” he told the Vegetarian Times in 2012. “I became a vegetarian out of concern for animals, and I was a 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.”
The game show host also said exercise has played a major role in his longevity. “I was able to [work] until I was 83 for two reasons: 1. being a vegetarian 2. working out regularly,” he explained. “The answer to enjoying life is nutrition. I recommend that you become a vegetarian and exercise if you want to enjoy the golden years.”