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Friday, 24 July 2015

Bob Hope

Leslie Townes "Bob" Hope was born on May 29, 1903, in London, England to a Welsh mother and English father. In 1908, the Hopes migrated to Cleveland, Ohio.

From the age of 12, Hope earned pocket money by busking, singing, dancing, and performing comedy. He entered many dancing and amateur talent contests (as Lester Hope) and won a prize in for his impersonation of Charlie Chaplin.

He changed his name from Leslie to Bob, because in school they would call the roll as 'Hope, Leslie' and classmates shortened it to hopeless.

In 1920, at the age of 17, Hope became an American citizen.

Before he was an actor, Hope fought as a professional boxer under the name of  "Packey East".

Bob Hope's first show business job was as a dancer in the 'Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle' vaudeville review in Cleveland in 1924.

Bob Hope's film The Big Broadcast of 1938 debuted in New York on February 18, 1938. The movie introduced Hope's signature song, "Thanks For The Memory."

Bob Hope performed his first USO show on May 6, 1941 at California's March Field. and continued to travel and entertain troops for the rest of World War II, later during the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the third phase of the Lebanon Civil War, the latter years of the Iran–Iraq War, and the 1990–91 Persian Gulf War.

Bob Hope USO show, 1944

Bob Hope made his network TV debut on April 9, 1950, hosting the 90-minute entertainment extravaganza Star-Spangled Review on NBC.

In February 1934, Bob Hope married Dolores DeFina (May 27, 1909 - September 19, 2011). She had been one of his co-stars on Broadway in Roberta .The couple adopted four children: Eleanora, Anthony, Linda, and Kelly.

The couple lived at 10342 Moorpark Street in Toluca Lake, California from 1937 until his death.

Bob Hope wrote a book Confessions of a Hooker, about his lifelong passion for golf.

His golf buddy was Prescott Bush, the father and grandfather of presidents George Bush and George W. Bush.

Bob Hope died of pneumonia on July 27, 2003, two months after his 100th birthday. He was buried three days later, and reburied on July 22, 2005 in a custom made grave in California.

The legendary comedian's last words were "Surprise me" in response to his wife's question regarding where he would like to be buried.

He holds two entries in The Guinness Book of World Records. One is for having the distinction of being the entertainer with "the longest running contract with a single network - spanning sixty-one years". The second is for being the "most honored entertainer", with over 1500 awards.

Bob Hope in 1978

Hope amassed 88,000 pages of comedy material over his lifetime and his long-serving secretary said she’d typed up about seven million jokes over 30 years and had never laughed once.

Bob Hope hosted a total of 19 Oscar ceremonies.

Bob Hope was the only person who was awarded five times with an honorary Oscar.

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