What's Come Out About Bob Barker Since His Death

Bob Barker was best known as the suave long-running host of the CBS TV game show "The Price is Right." On August 31, 2023, less than a week after Barker died at age 99, the show honored him with an hour-long special. "Most people remember Bob from the 35 years he spent hosting The Price Is Right," Drew Carey, the show's current host said (via People). "So it's easy to forget that for 18 years, he was a fixture in America's living rooms for "Truth or Consequences," a radio host before that, and a naval aviator during World War II."

Barker died at his home in the Hollywood Hills on the morning of August 26, 2023, from "natural causes," per the Times of San Diego. Later, however, Barker's death certificate revealed that he died from complications of Alzheimer's disease with other contributing factors. The death certificate indicated Barker had been diagnosed years before with Alzheimer's, but gave no specific date of when he first began experiencing symptoms, according to People. "Up until two months before Bob Barker's passing, he routinely participated in conversation and bedside exercises," his companion of 40 years, Nancy Burnet, told ABC 7 in a statement.

He spent his final days watching reruns of "Two and a Half Men," according to TMZ. Barker, who had no children, didn't have a funeral or even a memorial, and much of his estate went to support animal rights organizations, per the Daily News and Entertainment Tonight.

Cause of death

Alzheimer's Disease is the most common form of dementia. It progressively destroys nerve connections in the brain but doesn't actually kill you, rather it's the complications that arise from the disease, such as pneumonia brought on by aspirating food and beverages, according to UCLA Health. The other diseases listed on Bob Barker's death certificate include hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, and hypothyroidism, in which the body doesn't produce enough thyroid hormone, slowing down the metabolism. Barker also had hyperlipidemia also known as high cholesterol.

Though it's unknown when Barker, a staunch animal rights supporter, was diagnosed with the disease, in an ironic twist the legendary host once did a Public Service Announcement on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA (via YouTube), called "Go Vegetarian, Prevent Alzheimer's." In the video, he said he was "almost 90 years old," and had been a vegetarian for 30 years. The message was that the more meat a person consumes the greater their chance of developing Alzheimer's. Barker said, "That's right, eating meat means that you have a much greater chance of losing your mind, so to protect your memory, eat vegetarian and keep your wits about you into a ripe old age." While Barker certainly lived a long time with his mental faculties in check, it seems unlikely he'd been diagnosed with Alzheimer's as far back as a decade before he died since he was purporting the benefits of a meatless diet to avoid the disease he ultimately succumbed to.

Why didn't Bob Barker have a funeral?

In a somewhat unusual move, Bob Barker's friends and family did not have a funeral or even a memorial for him. This was the way he wanted it, according to Barker's publicist Roger Neal. "He just felt that should be something very private," Neal told the Daily News. "So we're just following his wishes. He wanted the burial to be private." They cremated Barker and have plans to bury him in ​​Forest Lawn Memorial Park next to his wife of more than 35 years, Dorothy, who died of cancer in 1981, per ABC 7

Barker was worth $70 million at the height of his financial success, but according to Celebrity Net Worth he had vowed to "die broke," because he wanted to leave his money to charities that work to help animals.  Entertainment Tonight reported that Barker had made good on his promise by leaving the majority of his estate to 40 different animal rights and military organizations. 

Among the charities that received funds are a wild burro and donkey rescue, who posted their gratitude toward Barker and Burnet on Facebook, saying they are planting a tree in his honor. Funds also went to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and United Activists for Animal Rights charity, which Nancy Burnet runs, per TMZ. "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 said after Barker's death in a statement to Fortune.