Leslie Townes “Bob” Hope (May 29, 1903 – July 27, 2003)….was an American comedian, vaudevillian, actor, singer, dancer, athlete, and author. With a career spanning nearly 80 years….Hope appeared in over 70 films and shorts….including a series of “Road” movies also starring Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour. In addition to hosting the Academy Awards fourteen times (more than any other host)….he appeared in many stage productions and television roles….and was the author of fourteen books. The song “Thanks for the Memory” is widely regarded as Hope’s signature tune.
Born in London, England, Hope arrived in America with his family at the age of four and grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. He began his career in show business in the early 1920s….initially on stage….and began appearing on the radio and in films in 1934. He was praised for his comedy timing, specializing in one-liners and rapid-fire delivery of jokes….which were often self-deprecating….with Hope building himself up and then tearing himself down. Celebrated for his long career performing United Service Organizations (USO) shows to entertain active service American military personnel….he made 57 tours for the USO between 1941 and 1991. Hope was declared an honorary veteran of the United States Armed Forces in 1997 by act of the U.S. Congress. He also appeared in numerous specials for NBC television….starting in 1950….and was one of the first users of cue cards. Hope participated in the sports of golf and boxing….and owned a small stake in his hometown baseball team, the Cleveland Indians. He was married to performer Dolores Hope (née DeFina) for 69 years. Hope died at age 100 at his home in Toluca Lake, California. In this lil ole Chiweenie’s opinion….Bob Hope was a true American hero. This video brings back memories of Hope along side some of Hollywood’s biggest names…..Rosemary Clooney, Edward G. Robinson, Deana Merrill, James Cagney and Jimmy Durante….just to name a few.