Dian Parkinson is a retired American model, who is famous for her appearances in the popular TV show “The Price Is Right”. She’s also won various pageants and beauty contests.
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- 1 Early life and family
- 2 Educational background
- 3 Career
- 4 Controversy with Bob Barker, “The Price is Right” host
- 5 Personal life, ex-husband E. Duke Vincent
- 6 Appearance, clothing style
- 7 Net worth and salary
Early life and family
Dianne Lynn Batts was born on 30 November 1944, in Jacksonville, North Carolina USA, so her zodiac sign is Sagittarius, and she holds American nationality. Her parents moved to Falls Church, Virginia, when she was around four years old. Dian comes from a very strict family; her parents were devoted Catholics, while her father has a military background. Dian felt from her early years that one day she would leave her home with all those strict rules and strong religious beliefs to live another type of life. Thus, as soon as she turned 18, she left her parents and started participating in beauty pageants, especially enjoying the bikini catwalks.
Dian matriculated from her local high school in Falls Church in 1962. Nothing is known about her tertiary education, if any.
Dian started her professional modelling career in 1965, when she won the title of Miss District of Columbia USA; after that she represented DC at the Miss USA pageant in 1965, completing the competition in fourth place. The same year she went on to represent the US in the Miss World pageant, becoming the runner-up to Lesley Langley, the British model and actress. It was the year when Dian met Bob Hope, who was an actor and popular stand-up comedian. He took her on his USO Show, and Dian travelled with his crew around the US, working as a model in the show.
She also appeared in the Bob Hope British Classic golf tournament, also modelling and working as an entertainer. As Bob Hope was a very influential and mature person in the sphere of radio shows, television vaudeville and game shows, and popular TV series, he helped Dian to meet the right people to take her onto TV.
In 1966 Dian appeared in “The Bob Hope Vietnam Christmas Show”, but her professional television career really started in 1974, when she appeared in Hal Cooper’s movie entitled “Jerry”; the short comedy told the story about a young man suffering from his bachelorhood. Dian appeared in her first TV show in 1975, when she was invited as a guest star in one of the episodes of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”, the episode was entitled “Ted’s Moment of Glory”, with Dian in the role of Ginger.
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In 1978 Dian was offered several roles in various episodes of the popular TV show “Vega$”. In the episode “High Roller” (1978) Dian played Charlene; in the episode “The Day the Gambling Stopped” (1979) Dian portrayed Nickie, and in two more episodes, entitled “Aloha, You’re Dead: Part 1” and “Aloha, You’re Dead: Part 2” (1980) Dian landed the role of Sally.
Modelling in “The Price Is Right”
From 1975 to 1993 Dian worked as a model in the regular cast of the popular TV game show “The Price Is Right”. Dian became the second longest working model on the show, quitting it only after 18 years – the absolute record of the longest tenure on belongs to Dian’s colleague, Janice Pennington, who worked on the show for over 28 years in a row.
Dian was invited to substitute another model of the show, Anita Ford, in the middle of April 1975, and after the trial period of three shows, Dian was invited to join the regular cast in August 1975. Later Dian could be seen in many other popular game and talk shows,among them “The Maury Povich Show”, “The New Hollywood Squares”, “The Joan Rivers Show”, etc. Along with her “The Price Is Right” fellow model Janice, Dian also appeared in several episodes of “Regis and Kathie Lee Show”.
Featuring in Playboy Special Editions and EZ Krunch commercials
In 1991 Dian was featured on the pages of Playboy’s December issue. Her second appearance in the magazine happened in May 1993, followed in the middle of the year by Dian being exclusively featured in the Special Collector’s Edition of “Playboy Presents: Dian Parkinson”. Playboy also produced the 55 minutes long documentary about Dian’s personal life and career as a model entitled “Playboy Celebrity Centerfold: Dian Parkinson”, directed by Scott Allen.
At the end of 1993 Dian became the official spokesperson of the abs exerciser “EZ Krunch”, also starring in multiple commercial videos of the sports equipment machine. Dian was rumored to retire from modelling after her being diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, but she never confirmed the rumors.
Controversy with Bob Barker, “The Price is Right” host
When Dian left “The Price Is Right” show, host of the show Bob Barker, announced that she was leaving to pursue her other interests. However, in 1994 Dian revealed the true reasons of her leaving, accusing Barker of sexual harassment, and filed a lawsuit against him in Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming that she was threatened with being fired from the show if she wouldn’t have a sexual relationship with Barker. She also stated that Bob made her commit adultery with him for three years.
Bob Barker denied all the allegations, and the case was eventually withdrawn by April 1995 – Dian was paid an undisclosed amount of money to stop the investigation; she also stated that the case lasted so long that it took a toll on her health even more than she could ever imagine. At the press conference Barker held after Dian’s allegations against him, he admitted that he indeed had sexual relationship with her, as they were a couple during a short period of time. However, Bob insisted he never forced her to have sex with him, and never threatened to fire her from the show. Bob’s attorney suggested he pay $10 million to end the case quietly, but Bob asked him to fight: ‘I said, it’s not true and I don’t want you to pay them anything. And I said, go ahead and fight it.
And so he said then, let’s have a press conference and put your story on the table. So I did. In our relationship, we were actually together very little. And there was very little sex actually’, he shared in his interview on “Larry King Live” on CNN. An interesting fact about the case was that Dian’s fellow model Janice Pennington from the show in fact defended Bob Barker, stating that he never harassed Dian.
Other controversies around “The Price Is Right” – Dian was not the only victim of Bob Barker
In fact, the show “The Price Is Right” was often accused of being overtly sexual, as the models appeared on the stage in all kinds of bikinis – Dian once appeared in the episode about the sauna wrapped in a short red towel, that was about to fall on the floor if she didn’t hold it up.
Dian wasn’t the only one who filed lawsuits against Bob Barker – there were Holly Hallstrom, Kathleen Bradley (who was the first African-American model on the show), and later Janice Pennington herself, though earlier she defended Bob saying he behaved just fine; all of them accused Barker of sexual harassment or wrongful termination in different periods of time.
It is worth mentioning that even after Bob Barker left the show in 2007, models still felt unsafe working on “The Price Is Right”. Thus, Mike Richards, the executive producer of the show, and Adam Sandler, another producer (not to be confused with Adam Sandler, the actor) were both accused of inappropriate behavior towards the models on the show.
In 2012 Brandi Sherwood, Miss USA 1997, who worked on the show, won the lawsuit against the show proving she was fired during her maternity leave, winning $8 million from the producers.
Personal life, ex-husband E. Duke Vincent
In 1967 Dian married Robert E. Parkinson, the executive director of the Miss Universe Pageant show; the couple divorced several years later. On 30 July 1977 Dian married E. Duke Vincent, the legendary Hollywood producer, who is famous for working on such TV series as “Beverly Hills, 90210”, “Charmed”, “Melrose Place”, and many others. At the time of his marriage with Dian, he produced such shows as “Aloha Paradise”, “Vega$”, “Strike Force” and others. The couple later also divorced. Among her brief relationships with Bob Barker and other TV show producers, Dian was also rumored to be married to Robert. C. Gardener since 2000.
She was also said to have an affair with photographer Bert Stern, to whom she exclusively modeled for several years, working on campaigns for Cosmopolitan Magazine and Blackglama Furs.
Appearance, clothing style
Dian has long slightly curly blonde hair which became grey due to her age; she has dark brown eyes. Dian is 5ft 7ins (1.70m) tall, weighs around 123lbs (56kgs), and her vital statistics are 36-23-37. As to her clothing style, Dian likes wearing trousers and blouses of light shades, and patterned short dresses.
Net worth and salary
As of 2020, Dian’s net worth is estimated to be around $1 million. She also listed a residence she owns in Westlake Village, California, in November 2019.