Bob Hope Biography
Born in the UK, Bob Hope's family emigrated to Cleveland, Ohio in 1908 where he grew up entertaining the locals with dance and comedy routines. His father, William, was a stonemason and his mother Avis, was an opera singer. He won amateur talent contests and also briefly took up boxing.
Bob Hope in Films
His film career started in New York with Educational Pictures and Vitaphone, but it was with Paramount that Bob Hope became a household name. He starred in the famous "Road" movies as a double act with Bing Crosby, and his leading ladies in other movies included Jane Russell and Lucille Ball. Dorothy Lamour also appeared in the "Road" movies with Hope and Crosby. Despite hosting the Academy Awards many times, Hope was never nominated, and once quipped whilst presenting Humphrey Bogart with his Oscar for The African Queen, "Give me that. You've got one".
Bob Hope on Radio and Television
Hope's broadcast career lasted 64 years during which time he appeared on both radio and television, mainly for NBC. He presented The Bob Hope Show from 1950 until 1955, and also presented many TV specials and it's rumoured ad-libbed his way through his appearance on the popular I Love Lucy program. He also made a guest appearance in 1992 on The Simpsons playing himself.
Bob Hope on Broadway
Bob Hope first appeared on Broadway in the 1920s with a number of walk-on parts, which led to larger roles during the 1930s for which he received good reviews. He appeared in the Ziegfeld Follies as well as Red, Hot and Blue with Jimmy Durante and Ethel Merman.
Bob Hope and the USO
Hope had a long relationship with the United Services Organizations (USO), starting during the Second World War and continuing until the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Congress named him an 'Honorary Veteran' in tribute to his tireless work for the USO. He performed 60 tours and when overseas always performed in army fatigues as a sign of support for the troops.
His long career with the USO led to the phrase, "Where there's death, there's Hope".