Though we're technically on hiatus here at Retroality.TV until sometime this spring, I wanted to take this opportunity to give a shout out to model-actress-singer-entrepeneur and now author Kathleen Bradley. The first black Barker's Beauty (1990-2000) just released her new tell-all book, Backstage at The Price is Right: Memoirs of a Barker Beauty -- and it is a sexy, eye-opening page-turner!
The African-American co-star of the hit 1995 movie Friday spills about her experiences behind-the-scenes at America's longest-running game show during Bob Barker's affair with prize model Dian Parkinson (1975-93), the blonde bombshell's subsequent exit and scandalous sexual harassment lawsuit against the legendary emcee, the host's costly and equally jaw-dropping legal battles with redheaded girl-next-door model Holly Hallstrom (1977-95) and the ensuing "fire"-storm that saw the contested dismissals of Bradley, longtime Price model Janice Pennington (1972-2000) and three other female staff members employed on the show for several years.
In her exposé -- which dares go where Bob Barker's 2009 memoir (the aptly named Priceless Memories) and the "official" Price tome (2007's Come on Down!) interestingly did not -- Kathleen kindly acknowledged interviews I've done with Holly and other Barker's Beauties for this site and elsewhere. (As many of you know, among the books I've been writing is my own Price is Right tell-all. I talk about this long-in-the-works project here.)
Bob Barker will almost certainly not like Bradley's book. The big question is: Will Bob Barker fans approach this with an open mind and give her story a well-deserved read? We'll see. Let the Plinko chips fall where they may!
(C'mon, Mr. Barker ... open up on all of this controversy. You deserve your say, as do the women of The Price is Right. The on-screen magic that you all -- yes, the entire oft-feuding Price family -- created during the show's hey days will forever flicker on YouTube and in the minds and hearts of game show fans.
A definitive history on the show will one day be published, and it is my sincere hope that it includes the memories and perspectives of Bob, Janice, Dian, Holly, Kathleen, original show model -turned-artist Anitra Ford and the show's other surviving key players/creative forces on camera and behind-the-scenes. Sadly, many important Price folk -- even some around well before L'Affaire Dian -- have been afraid or unable to comment given all of the litigation surrounding the show. But one day their voices will be heard, their faces seen and their contributions acknowledged -- just as they were by Bob Barker back in the good old days. How nice it would be for Bob to acknowledge them once more -- as Price did him on his 90th birthday, despite controversy in 2010 and 2012 -- and discuss the good, the bad and the, well, not so Beauty-ful, in a way that will bring the Price story full circle.)
Bradley's well-written, nicely-illustrated and hot-off-the-press memoir is available at KathleenBradley.TV. Soon, as per her just-posted promo video below, versions will be available at Amazon.com, too.
Buy a copy, heat up some Hot Pockets and get ready for some serious sizzle!