legend Bob Barker was a major player in Hollywood and the field of TV anchoring during his lifetime.
With his significant impact on the entertainment industry, Barker helped make popular programs like ‘Truth or Consequences’ and
his most well-known appearance on ‘The Price Is Right.’ Before retiring, he worked for more than six decades. At the age of 99, Barker died on August 26, 2023.
Following his passing, condolences from celebrities in the entertainment industry came in as many paid
tribute to his extraordinary life and times. On August 28, 2023, Nancy Burnet, Barker’s longtime partner, talked about their most memorable times while also discussing his last days.
The renowned host began his career in World War 2 as a naval officer. He was born Robert William Barker on December 12, 1923.
In order to pursue a profession in broadcasting, he relocated to California after developing an interest in radio. In 1950, Barker launched ‘The Bob Barker Show,’ his radio program.
His big break came six years later when he was hired as an anchor for ‘Truth or Consequences.’After managing
the program for nearly two decades, Barker went on to become more well-known with ‘The Price Is Right.’
The daytime game program “The Price Is Right” surpassed all others in longevity in 1990. Additionally,
Barker won 19 Daytime Emmy Awards. In addition to being elected into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 2004, Barker also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1976.
Dorothy Jo Gideon was married to the former ‘Miss Universe’ host from 1945 until her untimely death in 1981.
She battled lung cancer till she passed away at the age of 57. The pair, who had a passion for animal rights,
didn’t have any kids together. Barker remained faithful to Burnet for the rest of his life and never remarried.
At a pet adoption event in 1983, which was two years after Jo Gideon’s passing, Barker and Burnet first connected.
The two became close because they shared a passion for protecting wildlife and pets. ‘Priceless Memories,’ Barker’s autobiography
from 2009, included a comprehensive account of how they initially met. When he inquired as to whether she was married or single,
Burnet said that she was ‘winding up a divorce.’ The two then developed a bond that would last for many years.
She claimed that their common sense of humor and interests were the reason why their relationship endured for so long.
People need to have fun together, she told Today. After being together for a while, they occasionally forget that.
But if they can maintain that in their connection, it will endure for a very long time and help you get through some really difficult times.
According to Burnet, their relationship improved over time as a result of ‘the work that was done.’ She was referring to their shared love of animal activism when she said this.
Through Barker’s DJ&T Foundation, of which Nancy was appointed vice president in 2000, the pair cared for and saved animals.
She remarked that because of his contributions to animal rights, Barker’s legacy will remain, and she raved about
how he used to close episodes of ‘The Price Is Right’ by urging viewers to ‘help control the pet population.’ Burnet declared:
I’m incredibly proud of the ground-breaking work Barker and I performed to expose animal abuse in the entertainment
industry and to seek to alleviate the situation of abused and exploited animals both domestically and abroad.
In a sense, Barker wanted to carry on what he had passionately promoted during his lifetime—caring for animals—even after his death.
In addition to more than 40 animal rights organizations, Barker also bequeathed a significant portion of his estate to military charity, according to TMZ.
These organizations included the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a bird sanctuary, and DonkeyLand Rescue in Riverside, California.
Naturally, he also bequeathed a sizeable sum to the United Activists for Animal Rights organization, which Burnet serves as president of and which he founded in 1987.
After more than five decades in show business, Barker’s estimated net worth was $70 million.
According to the source, Barker left Burnet in control of a large portion of his estate following his death because she had gone to great lengths to meet
all of his needs nonstop during the previous few years. She recalled hiring the top carers in Los Angeles as she described his final moments and said:
He wasn’t so gaunt, even in his latter days. Some persons at that age are extremely haggard, lean, and fragile. No, he wasn’t.
Despite his notoriety and lasting influence, Barker requested that there not be a funeral or memorial service. Neal said that the television personality would be buried.
In the Hollywood Hills’ Forest Lawn Memorial Cemetery, Barker will be buried close to his late wife, Jo Gideon.
In his later years, Barker spent his time alone at home. But according to Burnet, she was responsible
for ‘every aspect of his health, of his care’ in her capacity as ‘a friend and companion.’
Every day, all day, I spoke with the caregiver nurses, and if there was ever a problem, they checked in with me at night.
I spoke with them until late. I enjoyed performing it. Since not everyone had the luxury that
he enjoyed, it was important to ensure that he was taken care of appropriately, she continued.
Although it hadn’t always been that way, Barker and Burnet’s relationship had simmered into something more similar to a close
friendship than romantic love by the time of Barker’s death. Burnet recalled how Barker had previously requested for her hand in marriage multiple times.
He was convinced when we initially started seeing each other that neither of us wanted to get married again, she told People. But as time passed,
he repeatedly asked me to marry him. Simply put, I don’t want to get married. We had really dry humor. We kind of joked. He responded, ‘Not even to me?’ I then said, ‘Especially not to you.
Barker persisted despite Burnet’s struggles with worries about their significant age difference.
We were 19 and a half to twenty years apart in age, so I asked myself, ‘What would people think here?’
Oh, I don’t care what people think, he responded. However, he was enthusiastic about doing it. He was unconcerned, she claimed.
She described how Barker was so determined to marry her that he even had a prenup prepared without telling her. She clarified:
‘He sent it to me through his attorney. I simply don’t want to do this, I said. This is something I won’t accept.
And he responded, ‘Well, if the terms of the prenup don’t sit well with you, take it to your own attorney.’ It is changeable. I didn’t do it at all.
Burnet expressed what she thought Barker’s fondness for her was based on their decades of dating:
I believe that I may have been the only person that treated him equally with everyone else, which is what he appreciated best about me.