Born on May 29, 1903 in England, Bob Hope (who is sometimes affectionately referred to as "Old Ski Slope"), turned 100 yesterday. From his early days in vaudeville (where he and a partner were once the opening act for Fatty Arbuckle), Hope went on to legendary status as a comedian working on radio, film, and later, television. While Hope is unable to attend the public celebrations being held in his honor due to his poor health, hundreds of gifts and letters descended on his compound in Toluca Lake, California, where he has lived since 1939. Several states declared his birthday "Bob Hope Day" (including New Hampshire and California), and the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage has been offering cookies decorated with an image of his distinctive profile the entire week. Many of the cards and letters arrived from former and current members of the Armed Forces, which is not surprising considering Hope's many junkets to entertain troops overseas during the past sixty years.
The first link leads to a CNN.com special report on Bob Hope's long entertainment career, and includes a nice interactive filmography that chronicles his six-decade career in film, including such comedy gems as "The Lemon Drop Kid" and "The Paleface." The second link leads to an article from the Boston Globe by Joseph Kahn about the celebrations in honor of Hope's birthday. The third link leads to another story from the Los Angeles Times about the many gifts and letters sent to Hope on his birthday. The link also includes some fine audio clips (such as his signature song, "Thanks for the Memories"), and film clips from "Road to Morocco" and "Spies Like Us." The fourth link takes visitors to the official Bob Hope Web site, which contains an extended biography of Bob Hope and details his many accomplishments and his life-long passion for the sport of golf. The fifth link takes visitors to a fun online exhibit developed by the Library of Congress featuring the many renderings (such as sculptures, drawings, and neckties) of Hope's unmistakable visage. The final link takes visitors to an online museum containing a host of visual and written material about the life and career of Mr. Hope's longtime friend and cinematic partner, "Der Bingle," or as most might call him, Bing Crosby.
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