(WTVO) — “Price is Right” host Bob Barker died as a result of Alzheimer’s disease, TMZ reports.
The disease was listed as the cause of death on Barker’s death certificate, although the game show host, who passed away at age 99 last month, never addressed his illness publicly.
Doctors said his death came “years” after his diagnosis.
Barker retired in June 2007, telling his studio audience: “I thank you, thank you, thank you for inviting me into your home for more than 50 years.”
Barker was working in radio in 1956 when producer Ralph Edwards invited him to audition as the new host of “Truth or Consequences,” a game show in which audience members had to do wacky stunts — the “consequence” — if they failed to answer a question — the “truth,” which was always the silly punchline to a riddle no one was ever meant to furnish. (Q: What did one eye say to another? A: Just between us, something smells.)
Barker stayed with “Truth or Consequences” for 18 years — including several years in a syndicated version.
Meanwhile, he began hosting a resurrected version of “The Price Is Right” on CBS in 1972. (The original host in the 1950s and ’60s was Bill Cullen.) It would become TV’s longest-running game show and the last on a broadcast network of what in TV’s early days had numbered dozens.
“I have grown old in your service,” the silver-haired, perennially tanned Barker joked on a prime-time television retrospective in the mid-’90s.
In 2013, Barker teamed up with PETA to tout the benefit of a vegetarian diet, saying giving up meat can prevent onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
CBS said in a statement that daytime television has lost one of its “most iconic stars.