Bob Barker, Longtime 'The Price Is Right' Host, Dead at 99: 'The World’s Greatest MC'

Bob Barker, Longtime 'The Price Is Right' Host, Dead at 99: 'The World’s Greatest MC'

The star was the host of 'The Price is Right' for 35 years until his retirement in 2007

Bob Barker, the legendary host of The Price Is Right, has died, PEOPLE can confirm. He was 99.

Barker died of natural causes in his longtime Hollywood Hills home this week, Roger Neal — who served as his publicist from 1987 through 1994, and again from 2020 — announced Saturday on behalf of Barker's girlfriend, Nancy Burnet.

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

“I am so proud of the trailblazing work Barker, and I did together to expose the cruelty to animals in the entertainment industry and including working to improve the plight of abused and exploited animals in the United States and internationally," Burnet added in her own. "We were great friends over these 40 yrs. He will be missed.”

Barker is survived by his half-brother Kent Valandra and half-nephews Robert Valandra and Chip Valandra, as well as a half-niece, Vickie Valandra Kelly.

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Jesse Grant/WireImage
Jesse Grant/WireImage

Related: Remembering Bob Barker's Life in Photos

The TV personality has battled various health problems in the past few years. In January 2019, paramedics were called to Barker's Hollywood Hills home after he fell at his residence. Although an ambulance was on the scene, he was not hospitalized.

Several months earlier, Barker's manager confirmed to PEOPLE that an ambulance and the fire department responded to his Hollywood Hills home for a "non-emergency back problem" in October 2018.

Afterwards, his manager said Barker was "fine and resting at home." The incident came more than a year after he fell and hit his head at his home in June 2017.

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty

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Barker served as the host of The Price Is Right for 35 years before announcing his retirement at the age of 87. His last episode on the iconic show, now hosted by Drew Carey, was in 2007.

Fans often waited hours outside CBS TV City in Los Angeles just to hear Barker utter the famous phrase, "And the actual retail price is…."

<p>Tibrina Hobson/FilmMagic</p>

Tibrina Hobson/FilmMagic

When he eventually retired, even Barker had reservations about leaving the gig that turned him into a TV icon.

"I have thought every year for the last 10 or 15 years that maybe I should quit, and then I think, 'No, I'll do it for another year,'" he told Entertainment Weekly in 2007. "I regret that I'm quitting now.'"

Mark Davis/Getty Bob Barker during his last taping of The Price is Right
Mark Davis/Getty Bob Barker during his last taping of The Price is Right

Related: Betty White Dies: The Golden Girls and Mary Tyler Moore Show Star Was 99

Barker began his television career after moving out to Los Angeles in 1956. It was only a matter of days before he secured his first hosting gig on Truth or Consequences, where he worked for 18 years.

He began hosting The Price Is Right on CBS in 1972. An overnight hit, it became the longest-running game show in U.S. history and turned Barker into the longest-tenured game show host.

Though Barker's fame helped him to land several big-screen roles, including in Adam Sandler's 1996 comedy Happy Gilmore, his work in TV remained his crowning achievement.

"It's probably hard to believe, but I have thoroughly enjoyed doing this show for all these years," Barker once told Entertainment Weekly.

Barker was previously married to wife Dorothy Jo for 36 years before her death in 1981. The couple had no children, and the television host never remarried.

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