Hollywood took to social media to pay tribute to Bob Barker, who died of natural causes Saturday morning at 99.
The longtime Price Is Right host gained a new group of fans after his iconic fight with Adam Sandler in their 1996 comedy Happy Gilmore.
Sandler remembered Barker host as a man, a myth and “the best,” adding in his Instagram caption, “Such a sweet funny guy to hang out with. Loved talking to him. Loved laughing with him. Loved him kicking the crap out of me. He will be missed by everyone I know! Heartbreaking day. Love to Bob always and his family! Thanks for all you gave us!”
Drew Carey, the current Price Is Right host who took over for Barker in 2007, called it a “very sad day for the Price Is Right family and animal lovers all over the world. There hasn’t been a day on set that I didn’t think of Bob Barker and thank him. I will carry his memory in my heart forever. #RIPBobBarker We love you.”
Barker also a major animal rights activist and, according to PETA, one of the first stars to go vegetarian more than 30 years ago.
“[He] urged families to stay away from SeaWorld, demanded the closure of cruel bear pits masquerading as tourist attractions, implored Hollywood to take action to protect animals used in film and TV and, as a Navy veteran, called for the end of military medical drills on live animals,” the organization said in a statement.
Julie Bowen, who also starred in Happy Gilmore, recalled Barker and Sandler’s fight in the film, noting it was “one of my favorite filming memories ever. She concluded her Instagram caption, writing, “In honor of Bob: please remember to spay and neuter your pets,” referring to what the host used to say during his Price Is Right sign-off.
“We lost a beloved member of the CBS family today with the passing of Bob Barker,” CBS said in a statement. “During his 35 years as host of The Price Is Right, Bob made countless people’s dreams come true and everyone feel like a winner when they were called to ‘come on down.’ In addition to his legendary 50-year career in broadcasting, Bob will be remembered as a dedicated animal rights activist. Daytime television has lost one of its most iconic stars.”
The National Academy of Television Art and Sciences also shared a statement from its president and CEO Adam Sharp, noting that he helped to define the game show genre. “You don’t mess with perfection,” he said. “His championship of the craft and for animal welfare were equal in their exuberance. His presence will be missed greatly by the Emmy community.”
In a post celebrating his 50-year TV career, the Motion Picture Association championed his Emmy-winning career. “In countless households across America, Bob Barker was a part of the family — beaming into our homes daily as the iconic host of ‘The Price Is Right,’” MPA tweeted. “Thanks for the memories, Bob.”
On Saturday, actor Lou Diamond Phillips recalled his experience being the “tireless” animal advocate’s neighbor. “Was lucky enough to be Bob Barker’s neighbor for a while. Would often chat with him when he was walking his dogs. What a consummate gentleman and tireless advocate for animals. What an epic run you had, sir. #RIPLegend”
Read on for more tributes.