A Tribute to Bob Hope
(We celebrated the 100th birthday of one of the world’s most recognized and beloved entertainers on May 29th, 2003. On July 27th of that same year, Bob Hope passed away, just two months after his 100th birthday.)
Bob Hope is best known as a comedian, and as the guy who’s always ready to fly off and entertain the troops. His longevity as a TV performer is remarkable. He’s legendary among golfers, as well.
But Bob also had a long career as a comic movie actor, from 1934 to 1994. He appeared in over 80 films and TV series (including cameos), and while he has joked about never winning an Oscar (especially while emceeing the Academy Awards shows), he has actually won four honorary Oscars, plus the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. (In addition to more than 2,000 medals, awards, citations, and honorary doctorates he’s received — a Guinness world record!) He was even Knighted by Queen Elizabeth.
Although he has become an American icon, Hope was actually born to an English father and a Welsh mother in Eltham, England on May 29, 1903, as Leslie Townes Hope. He and his parents came to the US in 1907. After achieving success in vaudeville and on Broadway as a singer, dancer, and comedian, and appearing in several films beginning in 1934 (the same year he married Dolores Reade), he finally landed his first big movie role in “The Big Broadcast of 1938,” in which he sang what later became his signature tune, “Thanks For the Memories.”
The highlight of his movie career was the series of “Road” films (to Singapore, Zanzibar, Morocco, Utopia, Rio, Bali, and Hong Kong) he made with Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour from 1940 to 1962. He was the top box office draw in 1950. Some of his other notable films include The Ghost Breakers (1940), My Favorite Blonde (1942), and The Paleface (1948). (See Part II for reviews.)
This 100th birthday feature includes links to tribute sites, reviews, photos, posters, and more. Please note that it has four pages, so don’t forget to click below for Parts II, III, and IV. (This page is the Introduction.)
In 2010, we also take happy note of Bob’s wife Dolores’ 101st birthday on May 27!
Part I: Introduction
Part II: Bob Hope Tributes and Other Pages
Part III: Movie Reviews & Where to Find His Movies
Part IV: Books, Photos, Art, and Posters