Quiz Shows: Bob Barker, an Iconic Entertainment Figure, Captivated Viewers Since 1972
With an illustrious career spanning 35 years, Bob Barker hosted the show and earned an impressive collection of awards. He received 14 Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Game Show Host and four Emmys as an executive producer. Recognizing the role of his late wife in his success, Barker acknowledged her unwavering support and collaboration, stating, “She not only encouraged me, but she also worked alongside me,” expressing his gratitude in 2008.
Bob Barker’s first wife, Gideon, tragically passed away from cancer in 1981, after enjoying 36 years of marriage. Reflecting on their bond, Barker expressed, “I never had any inclination to remarry. She was my wife,” as he revealed to ABC News.
Nevertheless, Barker eventually discovered love anew with Nancy Burnet, his devoted partner for 40 years. Burnet always speaks affectionately of Barker, and she recently surprised everyone by sharing an update about his health just before he celebrated his 99th birthday in December.
Burnet disclosed that despite his advanced age, Barker only requires a single medication for his thyroid condition. She humorously remarked, “He’s going to be 99, and he takes one prescription medication, and that’s for his thyroid. Whenever his healthcare providers or visitors inquire about his medications, I just show them the bottle. That’s it.” Burnet playfully commented on his singular prescription, emphasizing that Barker doesn’t rely on medications for blood pressure, cholesterol, or other age-related concerns that most people typically require. She added, “He’s in very good health for his age, and his sense of humor remains intact. He has led a truly charmed life.”
Despite his overall good health, Bob Barker has faced medical emergencies and health scares over the years. More than two decades ago, he underwent surgery to address a partially blocked artery, reducing the risk of stroke. In 2002, he unfortunately experienced a stroke himself. Additionally, Barker underwent prostate surgery and has dealt with back issues. Furthermore, he has encountered multiple instances of mild skin cancer.
Nancy Burnet, being a vegetarian herself, ensures that Barker receives all the necessary supplements he requires. Recognizing the need to enhance his well-being, Burnet explains, “It was not to replace meals but to enhance everything. To take that in addition to his meals because he was not doing well. He was looking tired and kind of frail, not just not looking healthy. And, you know, if you’re going to be a vegetarian and vegan, you better know what you’re doing.” Burnet’s careful attention to Barker’s dietary needs is aimed at supporting his vitality and overall health.
Beyond his renowned role as a prominent quiz show host, Bob Barker is widely recognized for his unwavering dedication to animal rights. One of his iconic phrases, “This is Bob Barker reminding you to help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered,” has become synonymous with his advocacy.
Barker’s commitment to animal welfare extends to his personal choices as well. Inspired by his late wife, whom he regards as a forward thinker, Barker adopted a vegetarian lifestyle. He admiringly shares, “She stopped wearing fur coats before it became a widespread movement. She embraced vegetarianism before it gained popularity. And gradually, I followed her footsteps in doing the same.” Barker’s decision to become a vegetarian not only reflects his deep respect for animals but also serves as a tribute to his beloved wife’s foresight and values.
In a 2015 interview with the Associated Press, Barker expressed the significance of introducing young people to the distressing realities of animal exploitation and mistreatment in society. He believed that such awareness would have a profound influence on their actions. Barker emphasized that when education and encouragement fall short, legislation becomes necessary to effect change.
Barker’s profound affection for animals and his unwavering commitment to creating a more compassionate world for them is yet another reason why he garners such immense admiration. Leveraging his celebrity status, he actively utilizes his platform to drive positive transformations in society.