‘I’m not wasting another moment in my life’
by Laura Shipp
You may not know his name. You might not be able to pick out his face in a crowd. But his voice? You’d recognize it anywhere: “Come on down! You’re the next contestant on The Price Is Right!” For the past six years, Rich Fields has been the voice of the long-running game show made popular by Bob Barker and now helmed by comedian Drew Carey.
In March 2004, after a three-year stint as an on-air meteorologist in Southern California, Rich was hand selected by Bob Barker to be the new announcer of The Price is Right, succeeding Rod Roddy. Five years later, he was named “Best Game Show Announcer” for his work on the show.
“It was a lifelong dream come true,” Rich says of the announcing gig in an interview with Coping® magazine. “My mom has videotapes of me at ten years old standing in front of the TV holding her black hairbrush like a microphone saying, ‘It’s a new car!’ I wanted to do it all my life.”
“It seems like everyone has a Price Is Right story when I talk to them. They were on the show, or they know somebody who was on it. Since I’ve come out about my cancer, I’ve found that everyone has a cancer story, as well. Everyone.”
If there’s one word that describes Rich, it’s dedicated. His steadfast character was shaped at a young age by a battle with cancer that he has only recently spoken about publicly. As a young adult attending college at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Rich was diagnosed with testicular cancer and, subsequently, cancer of the lower lymphatic system. Both were treated successfully; however, the experience left a lasting mark.
“It was the first time anyone had ever said the word cancer to me,” Rich reveals. “I was young. I was alone at college. It was my worst fear come true.”
Though it wasn’t exactly an easy road, looking back Rich can see how cancer was a catalyst in his life. He recalls a defining moment just before his second surgery: “I was lying in the hallway on a gurney getting ready to go into the operating room. It was 5:30 in the morning. My toes were freezing. My hands were freezing. And I remember thinking, I’m not wasting another moment in my life. If there is something I want to do, if there is something I want to say to somebody, I’m going to do it. I’m not going to waste another minute. And you know what? I believe now at age 49 I didn’t waste any time from then to now. I had tunnel vision from then on. I sunk myself into achieving the goals that I wanted to achieve.”
One of those goals was working with legendary host Bob Barker on The Price Is Right. Check.
Now that his tenure on The Price Is Right is ending (he won’t be returning for the show’s 39th season this fall), Rich says he has set new goals for himself. But he’s not ready to reveal them just yet.
One thing he will talk about, however, is his desire to see a cure for cancer. “I wish we could kill this disease and get rid of it once and for all,” Rich stresses. “This country wastes so much money on frivolous things. We could save millions of lives all over the world if we could just figure this one thing out.”
To find out more about Rich Fields, visit his website, richfields.tv.
This article was published in Coping® with Cancer magazine, September/October 2010.