N/A (passed away Jul. 27th, 2003)
Eltham, London, England, UK
Guest TV Roles
Comedian, born in London and moved to Bristol before emigrating with his parents to the US in 1908. After some years on the stage as a dancer and comedian, he made his first film appearance in The Big Broadcast of 1938 (1938) singing "Thanks for the Memories", which became his signature tune. In partnership with Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour, he appeared in the highly successful "Road to ..." comedies (1940-1952), and in many others until the early 1970s. During World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars he spent much time entertaining the troops in the field. For these activities and for his continued contributions to the industry he was given a special Academy Award on five occasions.
- Was the first honoree of the "'Dean Martin' Celebrity Roasts" series on October 30, 1974. The Celebrity Roasts had begun in the last season (1973-74) of _"The Dean Martin Show" (1965)_ (qv) and were so popular that after that show went off the air, the "Celebrity Roasts" continued as specials.
- Has entertained the troops overseas in every war from WWII to the Gulf War
- Awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom by President 'Lyndon Johnson (I)' (qv) on his last day in office. (January 20th 1969)
- On his wartime USO tours he had one ironclad rule that he insisted his fellow performers follow: under no circumstances were they allowed to cry when visiting wounded soldiers in military hospitals. This was often difficult given the amount of suffering they saw, but he told his performers that it was their duty to always smile and provide laughs and good cheer for the troops. According to Hope, he broke his own rule only once. While visiting an army hospital in Italy in 1943, he stopped at the bedside of a wounded soldier who had been in a coma for two months. The soldier suddenly opened his eyes and said, "Hey, Bob Hope! When did you get here?" He had to leave the hospital room to keep the troops from seeing his tears, but he returned a few hours later to present the soldier with his Purple Heart medal.
- In 1969, he was worth in excess of $150 million, largely as a result of shrewd business and real estate investments.
- Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 7, 2003-2005, pages 256-258. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2007.
- Was incorrectly declared dead several times since retiring from the public eye. On the most infamous occasion in 1998, a wire service accidentally posted a pre-written obituary to a Web page. A member of the US House of Representatives saw this bogus news flash and announced Hope's death during a session at the Capitol. Hope learned he was dead when a reporter called his home asking for a statement. According to family members, Hope took this mistake in good humor.
- Was a Master Mason.