Bob Hope Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1903 - 2003 *** Full Name: Leslie Townes “Bob” Hope *** Occupation: American Comedian, Singer, Actor, Vaudevillian, Dancer, Athlete and Author *** Date of Birth: Bob Hope was born on May 29th 1903 *** Place of Birth: Bob Hope was born in Eltham, London, England *** Family background: His father was William Henry Hope, a stonemason originally from Weston-super-Mare in Somerset and his mother was Avis Townes and she had been a light opera singer who originated from Wales. During 1908 aboard the SS Philadelphia the Hope family emigrated to the United States and settled in Cleveland, Ohio *** Early life and childhood: He grew up in America *** Education: Bob Hope attended the Boys’ Industrial School in Lancaster, Ohio *** Bob Hope died on July 27, 2003
Bob Hope Fact 1: Bob Hope was born on May 29th 1903 and during the 20th century period in history when he saw so many wonderful and terrible events shaped a New World. World War I and World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Cold War but also such marvels as advances in medicine, technology, travel, the expansion of car travel and air travel and a massive change within what would become his own industry, entertainment.
Bob Hope Fact 2: He earned extra money as a boy from around twelve years old by busking, singing and dancing as well as performing comedy.
Bob Hope Fact 3: Using the name Lester Hope he even won a prize for impersonating Charlie Chaplin in 1915.
Bob Hope Fact 4: His first job out of school was working as a butcher’s assistant as well as that of a linesman working for the electric company.
Bob Hope Fact 5: Once Bob Hope had decided he wanted a career in show business, together with his girlfriend they took dancing lessons and later started a partnership with a fellow classmate, Lloyd Durbin. In 1925 they were spotted by Fatty Arbuckle, a silent film comedian, who was able to find them work in Hurley’s Jolly Follies a touring troupe.
Bob Hope Fact 6: By 1929 he had started to call himself Bob choosing Bob as a stage name as it was a cheerful kind of name.
Bob Hope Fact 7: In 1930 having applied for screen test with Pathe, a French film production company, he was “surprised and humbled” that he failed the test.
Bob Hope Fact 8: By 1934 Bob Hope was performing on radio stations and made the switch to television as that medium grew in popularity during the 1950’s.
Bob Hope Fact 9: Between 1941 and 1978 Bob Hope would host the Academy Awards a total of fourteen times and although never nominated for an Oscar himself he inevitably made a wise crack along the lines of “Welcome to the Academy Awards, or, as it’s known at my house, Passover.”
Bob Hope Fact 10: During his very long and varied career Bob Hope also began an acting career motion pictures firstly with Educational Pictures and six short films, the first of which was Going Spanish in 1934 but he told Walter Winchell he was not happy with the final product and commented “When they catch John Dillinger, they’re going to make him sit through it twice.”
Bob Hope Fact 11: His contract was dropped and he signed with Warner Brothers before moving to Hollywood where he signed with Paramount Pictures.
Bob Hope Fact 12: One of his most successful pairings was with Bing Crosby and the “Road” movies they made between 1940 and 1962 including Road to Singapore, Road to Zanzibar, Road to Morocco and Road to Bali. Bob Hope Fact 16: Bob Hope worked with Bing Crosby on many projects over the years together on radio and television as well as in films and on stage, they even had business ventures together but outside of work they did not meet socially.
Bob Hope Fact 13: During the second World War to organized many tours with the United Service Organizations who arranged live entertainment for troops away from home serving their country.
Bob Hope Fact 14: One particular leading lady, Dorothy Lamour, during the filming of Road to Bali, would arrive on set ready for her day of filming with all her lines prepared only to find between Bob Hope and Bing Crosby the scripts had been completely rewritten or the two men would just ad-lib their dialogue.
Bob Hope Fact 15: Dorothy Lamour and Bob Hope would become firm friends and was amongst many wonderful leading ladies he had the pleasure of working with such as, Lucille Ball, Rosemary Clooney, Katherine Hepburn and Jane Russell.
Bob Hope Fact 17: By 1972 his film career was coming to an end, although he appeared in cameo roles up until the 1980’s.
Bob Hope Fact 18: Bob Hope was also an avid gold player, in 1960 the Bob Hope Classic was founded and Hope made history in 1995 when he was part of a foursome with Presidents Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton teed off for the opening round.
Bob Hope Fact 19: When Bob Hope was ninety five years old he made an appearance alongside Sid Caesar and Milton Berle at the Primetime Emmy Awards and two years later he was also present at the Library of Congress for the opening of the Bob Hope Gallery of American Entertainment.
Bob Hope Fact 20: On May 29, 2003 Bob Hope celebrated his one hundredth birthday and remarked “I’m so old, they’ve cancelled my blood type.”
Bob Hope Fact 21: Bob Hope died on July 27, 2003 at his home in Toluca Lake, California of pneumonia two months after his one hundredth birthday. His body laid to rest at the Bob Hope Memorial Garden at San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Los Angeles.
Influence & Legacy: By any measure Bob Hope has been the most popular character in all mediums of entertainment from vaudeville to Broadway, on radio, live concerns and recordings, from films and throughout the life of television. As a performer Bob Hope died on July 27, 2003 was still making appearances on television into his ninety fifth year.