N/A (passed away Jul. 27th, 2003)
Eltham, London, England, UK
Guest TV Roles[none found]
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.
- He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1990.
- Awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom by President 'Lyndon Johnson (I)' (qv) on his last day in office. (January 20th 1969)
- In November of 1948, when President 'Harry S. Truman' (qv) scored his upset presidential re-election victory, Hope sent him a one-word telegram: "Unpack". Truman was so amused by it he kept it in his desk in the Oval Office.
- Awarded a Congressional Gold Medal by President 'John F. Kennedy' (qv) at the White House. (September 11th 1963).
- In 1999 he became the first to start the tradition of the official lighting of the Christmas Tree in Disneyland. Afterwards, he and wife 'Dolores Hope' (qv) drove their own golf cart down Main Street, through Frontier Land to Club 33 for dinner.
- He bought several acres of prime real estate in Rancho Mirage, CA, to build a racetrack. He later decided a medical center was needed in the area instead, so he donated the land to build Eisenhower Medical Center, which is now rated as among the top 100 hospitals in America today. A medical building on the campus is named for him and contains statues of he and wife 'Dolores Hope' (qv) in the lobby. Another medical building next door is called "Hope Square".
- He is among the select few non-band members who have had the honor of dotting the "i" during The Ohio State University Marching Band's 'Script Ohio' routine. This is considered the greatest honor the band can bestow to any non-band person and is an extremely special (and rare) event.
- 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.