|Born||Holly Anne Hallstrom
August 24, 1952
San Antonio, Texas
The Price Is Right
On January 3, 1977, Hallstrom joined the cast of The Price Is Right as the third model after Anitra Ford left the program the previous fall. Hallstrom appeared, along with Janice Pennington and Dian Parkinson, as one of the principal models on all versions of the show from the late 1970s through the early 1990s.
Hallstrom briefly left the program in 1983 to pursue an acting career but re-joined the cast later in 1984.
In September 1995, host Bob Barker dismissed Hallstrom from The Price is Right. She later revealed that Barker ordered her off the show because of 14 pounds (6.4 kg) she had gained due to a prescription medication she was taking. Hallstrom later alleged that the real reason for her dismissal was her refusal to support Barker when another model, Dian Parkinson, sued him for sexual harassment. Hallstrom said Barker ordered her to go on talk shows and do interviews saying that Parkinson was lying, as well as being instructed to recall certain events differently from how she remembered them. Hallstrom, who did not want to get involved in the situation or perjure herself, refused and was dismissed from the show. In response to angry mails sent by former fans of the series after Hallstrom's dismissal, Barker sued Hallstrom for libel and slander (Barker v. Hallstrom), claiming that Hallstrom was lying, but dropped the suit 48 hours before the trial began. The court declared Hallstrom the prevailing party and ordered Barker to pay Hallstrom's legal fees.
Hallstrom countersued Barker for age, weight and medical discrimination, wrongful termination and malicious prosecution (Hallstrom v. Barker). In October 2005, Hallstrom received a multi-million dollar settlement. The settlement would have possibly been more, but early settlement agreements all contained a "hush clause" that forbade Hallstrom from saying anything disparaging about Barker to any form of the media. However, Barker himself refused to agree to the mutuality clause of the settlement agreement, thereby retaining the right to speak freely against Hallstrom in the media. In order to retain her right to speak about the case, and to protect herself against what she called "Bob Barker's shameful manipulation of the media", Hallstrom accepted a lesser financial amount, but with a settlement that did not contain a hush clause. She has also started a foundation for individuals 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.
Following their testimonies in Barker's failed lawsuit against Hallstrom, models Janice Pennington, Kathleen Bradley, production assistants Linda Riegert and Sherrill Paris, and veteran director Paul Alter lost their jobs on The Price Is Right. Pennington, who had been with the show since its debut in 1972, and Bradley (1990–2000) received out-of-court financial settlements. Pennington's contained a hush clause prohibiting her from speaking publicly against Barker. Although Pennington has not spoken publicly regarding Barker or her departure from The Price Is Right since receiving her financial settlement, Bradley has referred to her termination as "abrupt" and "unexpected", and as an event she was not prepared for. Paris filed suit against Barker for wrongful termination, along with another female 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, claiming she was the target of many inappropriate sexual remarks and gestures. Both women received financial settlements to drop their lawsuits against the aging game show host. Alter briefly regained his position and employment on the show in 2000 where he remained until he retired.
Since 1996, Hallstrom is one of six women who were dismissed from The Price Is Right under Barker's role as executive producer, and who have sued Barker 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 is still pending.
Hallstrom has never married and has no children, which is why she believes she was the one member of The Price Is Right who could stand up to what she called "miserable tyranny at the hands of a mad dictator" (referring to Barker). During nearly 10 years that her lawsuit was in the courts, she spent all of her resources and savings. At her lowest point during those years, she sold her house and ended up living out of her car. As she said in interviews regarding that period of her life, "I refused to give up and let that evil old bastard win." Hallstrom is now semi-retired and living in one of several houses she owns, all of which are in and around San Antonio. She does give occasional interviews for shows such as CNN, The Today Show and The View.
Other game show appearances
Hallstrom also appeared several times as a guest panelist on Match Game. In the early 1990s she also appeared on Family Feud with her Price Is Right costars, the majority of which appearances were played against the cast of The Young and the Restless.