Happy Birthday Bob Hope!

Hope_WWII_44

 

Leslie Townes Hope was born in England on May 29, 1903, and he died 100 years later. Could he have chosen a more traumatic century in which to live, with all its world wars and horrible violence? But it was those wars that brought out the best in Bob Hope, the comedian, dancer, and entertainer who often put himself in significant danger in order to bring a moment of enjoyment and a little bit of home to American and Allied soldiers during World War II, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War, plus hundreds of other occasions on military bases. He is the only person named by Congress as an “honorary veteran.” Bob Hope is one of very, very few performers to have had success in vaudeville, Broadway, radio, movies, and television.300px-Bob_Hope_and_Ann_Jillian

This is what he looked like in 1925 as a young hoofer in vaudeville.

This is what he looked like in 1925 as a vaudeville hoofer.

He got his start as a teenager in vaudeville, which is what got me interested in his story. I read several of his autobiographies (probably ghost written, but written with his help) and his official website, http://www.bobhope.com, and incorporated what I learned into his cameo role in my third mystery, RENTING SILENCE (due in 2015). He was still Les Hope when my story takes place in 1925 (he didn’t change his name until several years later), so I can’t call him Bob, but I hope readers will figure out who the young vaudeville “hoofer” really is. 

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Published in: on May 24, 2014 at 9:26 am  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thanks for a great post and on the right weekend, Mary. He did so much for our troops over many decades. I met Bob Hope and his wife when they came back for President Reagan’s first inauguration. He was a man of incredible energy. Folks far younger were having difficulty keeping up with him..

    • You met him? How exciting!

  2. The 20th century was one of horrible wars and violence, but it also had its share of highly talented comedians, musicians, dancers, actors and athletes.

    • Indeed it did. Do you suppose there is any correlation there?


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