Holly Hallstrom (born Holly Anne Hallstrom on August 24, 1952 in San Antonio, Texas) is a former American model. She is best known for being one of the longest-serving Barker's Beauties on The Price is Right, appearing from 1977-1995 (19 years).
In her late teens and early twenties, Holly was a college student and to help pay for her college tuition, she booked part-time modeling gigs. While visiting Los Angeles, she landed the one gig that would change her life forever and say goodbye to her college studies. That gig was auditioning to become the newest Barker's Beauty on the television game show The Price is Right after previous model Anitra Ford, on the show since its 1972 premiere, chose to leave the program the previous fall to pursue careers in real estate and photography.
Price is Right, Memorable Bloopers & MishapsEdit
Holly's first appearances on the series began on (airdate) January 3, 1977 (during model tryouts) and after a string of appearances with other guest models, Hallstrom was officially hired as the newest Barker's Beauty (permanently replacing Anitra) later that February. She quickly became known for having mishaps, blunders and bloopers with various prizes and set pieces which made her a favorite among the fans.
During the closing of the (airdate) October 16, 1981 episode, Holly suffered a wardrobe malfunction while dancing to Kool and the Gang's Celebration as her dress began to slip, causing her to run behind announcer Johnny Olson and Bob Barker stepped in front covering Hallstrom with his jacket. One of Holly's most memorable bloopers on the show is the infamous Gibson Kitchen Appliances, which she battled with on three different episodes. The refrigerator door (third time the dishwasher) kept swinging back open as she attempted to shut it. Another memorable Holly blooper was from a February 1993 show where she was modeling a Jukebox while dancing with a male mannequin as the mannequin's pants started to fall down as the audience exploded with laughter. She did not notice until announcer Rod Roddy finished reading the prize description and laughed herself with embarrassment. Bob jokingly pointed out that with Holly you could never tell if those kind of things were planned or not.
In late 1983, Hallstrom had originally left the series (final appearance was December 2nd) to pursue an acting career while various guest models (including Kyle Aletter) filled her spot over the next period of months. Holly returned to The Price is Right in the spring of 1984.
Serious Injuries on Price is Right setEdit
It was not always fun and humor. On (airdate) December 10, 1992, Holly and Kathleen Bradley both suffered severe injuries during a showcase skit which involved a 500 pound industrial stove on a rotating platform dolly. The backstage crew began wheeling out another prize in that showcase skit which was a one-and-a-half-ton sailboat; the hull of the boat began pushing the stove forward and the platform dolly was supposed to be hauled off stage, but no one came to retrieve it. The oversized appliance began tipping over onto Hallstrom and Bradley as they frantically tried pushing it back, keeping it from falling onto them but it was too heavy. Holly managed to jump out of the way but Kathleen was stuck and couldn't move. Soon, a stagehand realized what was happening and came to her rescue. The appliance went crashing as it hit the stage floor, shattering into a million pieces as both Kathleen and Holly were struck in several parts of their bodies as they lay backstage in severe pain. The studio audience didn't witness the scary mishap and host Bob Barker was not aware of the incident until after the show taping when he was informed by one of the producers. An ambulance then arrived and both ladies were rushed to the hospital. Hallstrom and Bradley suffered severe bruising and a few lacerations and were too injured to return to work on the next day of taping. Janice Pennington was not present during that horrifying ordeal as she took that particular week off, leaving Dian Parkinson as the only regular model in attendance for the next several tapings.
With Janice off for that week and while Holly and Kathleen were at home recovering from their injuries, substitute model Kyle Aletter was called in and helped Dian hold down the fort. The following week and a half later, Hallstrom and Bradley (and Pennington) returned to work but were still badly bruised in numerous places on their bodies. The accident justified a lawsuit against CBS for negligence (just as happened to Janice back in 1988) but instead CBS Television City and The Price is Right were extremely apologetic and voluntarily offered Holly and Kathleen small monetary compensations for their pain and suffering which both ladies willingly accepted. Afterwards in a radio interview, Holly stated that the accident was quite a scare and she and Kathleen were lucky to be alive and also believed that the stage was jinxed.
Price is Right Departure & Decade-long Court BattlesEdit
In September 1995, everything was shattered around Holly as she was abruptly dismissed from The Price is Right by Bob Barker himself, for according to Barker, "gaining weight" (her final appearance aired on October 27, 1995). Shortly after her abrupt firing, Hallstrom recalled in an interview where she would be placed behind various things to hide her "weight gain". She later revealed that the real reasoning behind her firing was because her refusal to support Barker when ex-model Dian Parkinson, who departed back in June 1993, filed a lawsuit against Barker for sexual harassment. Holly also stated that Bob ordered her to make appearances of various talk shows and do radio interviews to say that Parkinson was lying and as well as being instructed to recall certain events differently than she had remembered them. Holly refused to get involved, and did not want to perjure herself (and risk being in contempt of court), so she was fired (under the guise of weight gain and corporate cutbacks as the number of models downsized from four to three).
Hallstrom was a fan favorite on The Price is Right and after she was dismissed from the series, host Bob Barker became bombarded with a tremendous and overwhelming amount of angry mail sent by former fans of the show and as a response to this, Barker fought back as he not only launched a media attack on Hallstrom but also filed suit against her for libel and slander (Barker v. Hallstrom), claiming that she was lying but 48 hours before the trial was supposed to began, Barker dropped the suit and the court declared Hallstrom the prevailing party and he was ordered to pay Holly's legal fees. But the legal wars didn't stop there, wanting revenge, Hallstrom fired back as she countersued Barker for age, weight and medical discrimination, wrongful termination and malicious prosecution (Hallstrom v. Barker) which ultimately led to a decade-long battle in the courts and during that time period, Holly spent all of her savings and resources, sold her house and lived out in her car and despite all of this, giving up was NOT an option as she even reportedly said in an interview during that time period "I refused to give up and let that evil old bastard win." In 1997, she moved to Utah where she found seasonal work at a local ski resort, but the court battles continued.
In December 2000, fellow longtime models Janice Pennington and Kathleen Bradley as well as several of the show's staff members (Sherrill Paris, Sharon Friem, Linda Riegert and director Paul Alter) were all dismissed from the show following their testimonies in Barker's failed lawsuit against Hallstrom. Pennington, who had been with the series since its 1972 debut and Bradley, since 1990, both received out-of-court financial settlements. In addition to Pennington's settlement, she was prohibited from speaking publicly against Barker and although she has not spoken publicly regarding Barker or her departure from The Price is Right since receiving her financial settlement, Kathleen's settlement on the other hand, did NOT contain a hush clause. She referred to her termination as "abrupt" and "unexpected" and as an event she was not prepared for. Former staff assistant Sherrill Paris filed suit against Barker for wrongful termination, along with production assistant, Sharon Friem, who was also dismissed at the same time and sued Barker for wrongful termination, as well as sexual harassment and sex discrimination, stating she was the target of many inappropriate sexual remarks and gestures. Both ladies received financial settlements to drop their lawsuits against Barker. However, Paul Alter briefly regained his position on the show in early 2001 and remained until his retirement.
Since 1996, Holly is one of six women who were dismissed from their duties on The Price is Right under Barker's leadership as executive producer as well as filing suit against Bob for charges including sexual harassment, racial discrimination and wrongful termination. The women received out-of-court settlements to drop their lawsuits against Barker except former production assistant Linda Riegert's case, which at the time, was still pending (Riegert's case was most likely like the others, settled out of court).
After 10 long years of battling in the courts, Holly would later emerge victorious. In October 2005, when she received a multi-million dollar settlement, which she used to buy several houses in her native San Antonio, TX and also setting up foundations, one of which is for individuals (both Women AND Men) who have suffered wrongful or malicious conditions in the workplace, and don't have the power or resources (financially or otherwise) to go up against powerful individuals (whether it be their boss or CEO, etc.) or large corporations, despite having a valid, non-frivolous claim. She also sat for an interview with Ann Curry on The Today Show and later with Barbara Walters on The View to discuss her victory win.
Other TV appearances & Personal TriviaEdit
Holly's newfound fame as one of Barker's Beauties on The Price is Right made her a bit of a celebrity as well. She occasionally appeared as a celebrity panelist on Match Game, most likely beginning in 1979.
In 1991 and again in 1993, Holly appeared alongside Bob Barker and the cast of The Price is Right (with Barker as team captain) as they faced off against the cast of the CBS soap The Young and The Restless with future TNPiR host Doug Davidson serving as team captain in a Soap Stars vs Barker's Beauties special on Family Feud during the tenure of Ray Combs. Also in 1993, Hallstrom, Kathleen Bradley and Dian Parkinson (shortly before her departure from The Price is Right) all appeared on Vicki Lawrence's talk show Vicki! alongside original Let's Make a Deal model Carol Merrill, $ale of The Century hostess & former Miss USA Summer Bartholomew, and the original hostess/letter-turner on Wheel of Fortune, Susan Stafford.