Last week, we reported that the legendary “The Price Is Right” host Bob Barker had passed away at the age of 99. Now, the “Wheel Of Fortune” icon Vanna White is speaking out to pay tribute to him, revealing that she actually got her start in the game show world with Barker as a contestant on “The Price Is Right” way back in 1980.
— Puerto Rican Babs🤞🏽🇵🇷💜 (@LeeAndDoobsMom) August 28, 2023
White Competed On ‘Price Is Right’
“When I moved to LA in 1980, I was on Price Is Right and met Bob Barker,” White wrote on Twitter. “Thank you Bob for introducing me to the game show world! We will miss you.”
White wrote this alongside a photo of herself competing on “The Price Is Right” when she was only 23 years-old. She had no idea at the time that she was destined to become a game show legend herself!
When I moved to LA in 1980, I was on Price Is Right and met Bob Barker. Thank you Bob for introducing me to the game show world! We will miss you. pic.twitter.com/b4VTbI1DzF
— Vanna White (@TheVannaWhite) August 27, 2023
Fox News reported that unfortunately for White, she was never able to make it out of the infamous Bidders’ Row during her time competing on the show. Nevertheless, she’s always looked back fondly at her time as a contestant on “The Price Is Right!”
Prior to Barker’s death, his longtime girlfriend Nancy Burnet said that one of his favorite memories from the 35 years he spent hosting “The Price Is Right” was when White competed on it.
“Even before she had ‘Wheel of Fortune,’ she was a contestant on ‘The Price Is Right,’” Burnet recounted. “She kept looking in the monitor. And he was funny. He was very direct. And he said something about paying more attention and to stop looking at herself in the monitor.”
Watch White compete on “The Price Is Right” in the video below.
Barker’s death was announced by his longtime publicist Roger Neal, who said that the legendary game show host died of natural causes at his Hollywood Hills home.
“It is with profound sadness that we announce that the World’s Greatest MC who ever lived, Bob Barker has left us,” Neal said.
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Burnet spoke out to pay tribute to Barker as well.
“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. “We were great friends over these 40 yrs. He will be missed.”
Barker hosted “The Price Is Right” from 1972 until he retired in 2007. He would have turned 100 in December of this year, and he will be dearly missed.
Bob Barker dies at 99 🙏 pic.twitter.com/u9onaVFWQk
— Daily Loud (@DailyLoud) August 26, 2023
White’s ‘Wheel Of Fortune’ Difficulties
As for White, she’s going through a bit of a difficult time right now, as her future at “Wheel Of Fortune” continues to be up in the air.
White, 66, has hosted “Wheel Of Fortune” with Pat Sajak, 76, ever since 1982. Earlier this year, however, Sajak announced that he would be retiring from “Wheel Of Fortune” in 2024, with Ryan Seacrest being revealed as his replacement. Since then, White has been fighting for a higher salary after it was revealed that she’s gone years without getting any kind of raise for her work on the game show.
“Vanna and the producers are currently on a similar page and want to get a deal done but they both have a few hiccups to still clear through,” a source told Daily Mail last week.
“They both know they have a lot of time to do it and more discussions to be had but everyone wants something achieved and wouldn’t want Pat’s last year hampered by the constant news of the revolving contract dispute drama,” the insider continued. “They want to celebrate this year with little to no drama whatsoever.”
Vanna White or Barker’s beauties? pic.twitter.com/RB6P7ah0Us
— Carlos Estrada 🇺🇦🏳️🌈🏾 (@CTOTHELOS77) August 22, 2023
The source went on to say that there have been some slight stalemates in negotiations due to this likely being White’s last contract with the game show.
“‘Wheel’ wants to make the transition between Pat and Ryan seamless and having Vanna there would be wonderful to make that all happen,” the insider said. “They want her next contract though to be her last contract so there is a little more maneuverability to change things up in a few years when they look for her replacement.”
“Vanna is actually OK with that, she just wants a tremendous payday that the show isn’t ready to even consider at this time,” the source explained. “It is a matter of who is going to budge first, but they both aren’t blinking yet. Vanna wants to go out on her terms and retire when she is ready with a nice paycheck to end it all.”
White herself has yet to comment publicly on this. We can only hope that she is able to reach an agreement with producers, because her presence on “Wheel Of Fortune” would be greatly missed if she were to leave along with Sajak!
Vanna White says she is leaving “Wheel of Fortune” unless she makes at least half of what Pat Sajak makes. (Pat Sajak makes $15 Million a year) pic.twitter.com/aXyVNRVrFW
— Daily Loud (@DailyLoud) June 29, 2023
It’s sweet to learn that White got her start in game shows so many years ago on “The Price Is Right” under Barker’s eye. We’re sure he would have loved White’s touching tribute to him, and please join us in saying a prayer for Barker’s family and friends as they continue to mourn him.
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