To many viewers “The Price Is Right” was, as one critic put it, among television’s last “islands of wholesomeness.” That image was challenged in 1994 when Dian Parkinson, who for almost 20 years had been a model on the show — one of the so-called Barker’s Beauties, whose main function was to display the prizes — sued Mr. Barker for sexual harassment.
Ms. Parkinson, who had left the show the year before, said she had sex with Mr. Barker because she thought she would lose her job if she didn’t. In response, Mr. Barker acknowledged that he and Ms. Parkinson had had a relationship for a number of years, beginning in 1989, but insisted that it had been consensual.
“She told me I had always been so strait-laced that it was time I had some hanky-panky in my life,” he said, “and she volunteered the hanky-panky.” Ms. Parkinson withdrew the suit in 1995 because, she said, she lacked both the emotional endurance and the money to pursue it.
Mr. Barker announced his retirement in October 2006. “I will be 83 years old on Dec. 12,” he said at the time, “and I’ve decided to retire while I’m still young.”
His final episode as host of “The Price Is Right” was taped on June 6, 2007, and shortly shown twice on June 15: first in its regular daytime slot and again in prime time.