Monday, November 23, 2015

Barker's Beauties

One of my early favorite game shows was Bill Cullen's THE PRICE IS RIGHT from the early 1960s.  One of my favorite game show hosts was Dennis James. In 1972, THE PRICE IS RIGHT was revived with Dennis James hosting a syndicated nighttime version and Bob Barker hosting the daytime network version. I don't recall if they were on Dennis's short-lived version but Bob had two actress/models known for their nude scenes, Janice Pennington and Anitra Ford, as his spokesmodels.

I enjoyed watching the show and developed a minor crush on Anitra.

Dian Parkinson joined the show and later Anitra left to be replaced by red-headed Holly Hallstrom. My dad retired in 1978 after getting hit by a car while out walking one day. He became addicted to THE PRICE IS RIGHT as it slowly evolved from a half hour game show to an hour and then to 90 minutes! Since I was out of school and working nights, I joined in the daily ritual of watching the show and we both enjoyed the "antics"of the ladies, by that point known as Barker's Beauties.

In time, the whole thing fell apart--as good things too often do--with charges of harassment and discrimination flying back and forth and lawsuits everywhere. Dian claimed a long affair with Bob that she was forced into, Holly was fired and won a multi-million dollar lawsuit, and Janice just seemed a tad insane in talk show appearances with a hard to believe story about her husband's murder.

But for a time it was all great fun as far as the public saw, and a special memory for me of my dad.


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