Bob Barker’s Girlfriend Nancy Burnet Recalls Their Shared Humor On His 100th Heavenly Birthday


Bob Barker always knew how to make his girlfriend Nancy Burnet smileBob Barker always knew how to make his girlfriend Nancy Burnet smile

If you ask several couples what the secret to their lasting relationship is, you may get just as many different answers. Nancy Burnet, the longtime partner of Bob Barker, is remembering the role that humor played in their relationship just in time for the game show host’s 100th heavenly birthday.

Barker was 99 when he passed away on August 26. Barker had lived with Alzheimer’s disease for several years and suffered from hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and hypothyroidism. For around 40 years, he had been in a long-term relationship with Burnet, following the passing of his first wife, Dorothy Jo Gideon, to cancer. Love is not always easy but Barker and Burnet made sure that friendship flourished at the core of their relationship.

The first meeting between Bob Barker and Nancy Burnet says it all

Burnet was focused primairly on his dedication to caring for animalsBurnet was focused primairly on his dedication to caring for animals
Burnet was focused primairly on his dedication to caring for animals / Everett Collection

Some people bond through shared hardships, others through ambitious projects. Spreading smiles formed the basis of Burnet and Barker’s relationship, right down to their first meeting, which took place in March ’83 at an animal adoption event Barker was hosting. Burnet herself was involved in animal welfare movements and hoped Barker might back her proposal to ban pet stores from selling ducklings at Easter.

That was how Burnet knew of Barker; she didn’t watch many daytime TV shows, and so she did not initially follow his career as host of The Price is Right. “I knew almost nothing about him really,” she explained, speaking with Entertainment Tonight on what would have been his 100th birthday on December 12. “I knew he did The Price Is Right. I knew that he was interested in animals, and he had the format to get the word out.”

“That first day, he walked over to me … and said, ‘Hi, I’m Bob Barker. Are you here to adopt a dog?’” she continued. “And I said no and I ended up adopting a dog anyway. It was the last one. He didn’t want to go back into his cage, so, of course I took him with me. And then he invited me to dinner that day.”

Nancy Burnet reflects on her and Bob Barker’s relationship that thrived for four decades

Famously, the two never formally tied the knot, though that was not for lack of trying on Barker’s part, as he proposed multiple times. But this personal decision never soured the waters between them. At the end of the day, they were two souls with plenty in common to fuel and uplift one another.

Barker proposed several timesBarker proposed several times
Barker proposed several times / TV Guide/courtesy Everett Collection

“We had a very similar humor about things,” Burnet shared. It’s Barker’s sense of humor that Burnet finds herself missing often. “Kind of rather dry humor. I guess just chatting [too]. He had a really wonderful, charmed life.”

Indeed, he was exactly the kind to jest as he drew closer and closer to 100. Burnet mused, “He’d just say, ‘100, I can’t believe it. And I’m just as cute as I ever was.’”

Nancy Burnet misses Bob Barker's humorNancy Burnet misses Bob Barker's humor
Nancy Burnet misses Bob Barker’s humor / ImageCollect


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