Best Known For
Bob Barker hosted the popular television game show The Price Is Right from 1972 to 2007.
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In 1996, Barker appeared on the big screen when he played himself in Happy Gilmore, a comedy starring Adam Sandler. In a memorable sequence, he and Sandler get into a brawl at a celebrity golf tournament; the scene won an award for "Best Fight Sequence" at the MTV Movie Awards that year.
That same year, Barker won an Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement. In 2006,
he announced his retirement from hosting The Price Is Right after holding the job for nearly 35 years. His last episode aired in June 2007.
In 1994, Dian Parkinson, a woman who had worked as a model on The Price Is Right from 1975 to 1993, sued Barker for sexual harassment, claiming that he had threatened to fire her if she did not have sex with him. Though she later dropped the suit, Barker was deeply hurt by her accusation and the public scandal that went along with it, he maintained that he had an intimate relationship with Parkinson, but that it had been consensual.
The indefatigable Barker also hosted the Miss Universe and Miss U.S.A. pageants every year from 1966 to 1988, when he became involved in a dispute with the organizers of Miss U.S.A. over an issue that had become dear to his heart animal rights. Barker declined to host the pageants after organizers refused to remove fur coats from the prize packages received by the winners, as he had requested.
His support of animal rights culminated in his founding in 1995 of the DJ&T Foundation, an organization based in Beverly Hills that works to reduce the overpopulation of domestic animals by providing free or inexpensive sterilization for cats and dogs. Barker named the DJ&T Foundation for his wife, Dorothy Jo Gideon, and her mother, Tilly. Gideon produced her husband's game shows until her death, in 1981, from cancer.
In October 2013, Barker spent approximately $1 million to get three African elephants from the Toronto Zoo to an animal sanctuary in California. The Toronto City Council allowed for their removal in 2011 after activists such as Barker voiced their concerns about having large animals held within zoos. With the addition of Toka, Iringa and Thika, the Performing Animal Welfare Society's ARK 2000 compound has a total of 11 elephants.
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