Bob Hope

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Bob Hope
Leslie Townes Hope
BirthplaceEltham, London, England, UK
NationalityEnglish-born American
Actor, comedian, author, athlete

Hope, Bob,

1903–2003, American comedian, b. London as Leslie Townes Hope; he came to the United States at the age of five. Famous for his "ski-jump" nose, topical humor, superb timing, brashly irreverant attitude, and rapid-fire delivery, Hope enjoyed immense popularity. He began his show-business career as a vaudeville dancer and later appeared in plays and film, on radio and television, and in concert. In addition, he hosted the Academy Awards ceremonies a record-breaking 17 times over 38 years. Hope made more than 50 films, including seven "Road" pictures, a comic series that began with Road to Singapore (1940), which introduced his long partnership with crooner Bing CrosbyCrosby, Bing
, 1903–77, American singer and film actor, b. Tacoma, Wash., as Harry Lillis Crosby. He sang with dance bands from 1925 to 1930 and in 1931 began work in radio and films.
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 and actress Dorothy Lamour, included Road to Morocco (1942), and ended with Road to Hong Kong (1962). Among Hope's other movies are Monsieur Beaucaire (1946), The Paleface (1947), The Seven Little Foys (1955), and How to Commit Marriage (1969). He also wrote books on various topics, including his overseas travels and his love of golf. After 1972 he left movies but continued as the host of numerous television variety specials. A master of the monologue and the mildly salacious one-liner, he was an indefatigable entertainer of U.S. troops overseas from the 1940s into the 1990s.


See his autobiographical Have Tux, Will Travel (1959) and his Bob Hope: My Life in Jokes (2003); biography by R. Zoglin (2014).

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Hope, (Leslie Townes) Bob

(1903–  ) comedian; born in London, England. Emigrating to Cleveland at age 4, he joined the Fatty Arbuckle review in his teens, doing songs, patter, and eccentric dancing. Featured on Broadway in Roberta (1933), where he met his wife, Dolores Reed, he made his first film the following year. His ski-slope nose, lopsided grin, and impeccable timing endeared him to audiences. He hosted The Bob Hope Pepsodent Show on radio (1939–48) while acting the cowardly braggart in a string of films (1940–62) including the classic "Road" films with Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour. He put his boundless energy to good use, entertaining the troops overseas in every U.S. war since World War II and golfed for charity, sponsoring the Bob Hope Desert Classic. A star on television, with frequent network specials, he was the jester to presidents and the author of nine humorous books. In 1985 he won the Kennedy Center Honors for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.