"A Day With Icons"
RICH FIELDS' BLOG
Wow! Where do I start?
I suppose the first thing that I want to say is that Mr. Barker changed the lives of my wife and I forever, by giving me the opportunity to be his Announcer on The Price is Right. Christine and I thank the Lord every day for gracing us with Bob in our lives. The opportunity to be on The Price is Right brought me prestige, notoriety, and even more work opportunities (not to mention the compensation). You probably already suspect this, but talent salaries for nationally televised TV shows are crazy! I have often said in interviews that getting The Price is Right was like hitting the lottery. I believe the feeling of hitting the actual lottery would be very much the same as the feeling that I got when TPIR show producers called me to say, "Mr. Barker has selected you to be the new Announcer of The Price is Right".
At the writing of this Blog, Mr. Barker is enjoying good health. Sure, he's slowed down a bit. Yes, he's fallen and has had hospital visits because of it. But basically he is in good shape for his age (in the mid-90's). Bob is not out walking his dog or hiking up the Hollywood Hills above his home on Outpost Drive any longer. But he did for many, many years. Bob attributes his longevity to his wife Dorothy-Jo who converted both of them to be vegetarians long ago. From there, Bob eventually morphed into a total vegan (well, except for ice cream... Bob loves real ice cream). So, is he a total vegan? Hmm.
Anyway, the attached photos were taken on my cell phone camera by my television agent for many years, Fred Wostbrock. The pictures were taken at an old studio in the heart of Hollywood (what they call a 4-wall) that are rentable spaces for any production purpose, in this case a photo shoot for Vanity Fair. I had stopped by the shoot on my way in to work at CBS News, where I was now one of their top night-time Meteorologists. Bob and a few of other game show hosts were all together for this piece that Vanity Fair was to publish on Game Show Icons.
It had been a month or two since Bob and I had last seen each other... and he lit up with a huge smile when he saw me walk into the studio. So did Monty Hall, an old golfing buddy of mine from my days as a Meteorologist at the CBS affiliate in Palm Springs. Monty would regularly invite me to hit the links with him during various golf outings that he had organized. Monty was a HUGE philanthropist. He actually holds a record being the biggest fund raiser of all-time for various charities, causes and groups in-need. Google "Monty Hall Philanthropy" and you'll see what I mean.
Two other game show icons were also in attendance that day, which were Peter Marshall and Tom Kennedy. It was history in the making. At no time had these four successful game show hosts ever been in the same room together, let alone be photographed together. So, I was giddy at the chance to watch the magic happen.
Posted below are a few pics that I took during and after the shoot that day. I also remember that Bob, Fred Wostbrock and I all went out to lunch together afterward. We dined at the legendary El Coyote Restaurant on Beverly Boulevard that afternoon. And to Bob's amazement, I insisted on being seated at the "Johnny Olson booth". Bob didn't even know that Johnny had "a booth" at El Coyote (and they were really good friends prior to Johnny's passing).
I have a photo of me sitting at Johnny's booth... and a great story about him to go with it. But that will have to wait for another day.