Three of the most famous – and funny – comedians of the 20th Century were George Burns, Jack Benny and Bob Hope. They and their wives adopted all their children.
November is National Adoption Month. November 11th is Veteran’s Day. Who else would make the perfect Spotlight?
Really? You want to know about Bob Hope? There have been as many words written about Bob Hope as there are miles he travelled entertaining the world. Okay, here goes:
Bob Hope, (born Leslie Townes Hope, May 29, 1903 – July 27, 2003) was an English-American comedian, vaudevillian, actor, singer, dancer, athlete, and author. With a career spanning nearly 80 years, Hope appeared in over 70 films and shorts. In addition to hosting the Academy Awards 19 times (more than any other host), he appeared in many stage productions and television roles and was the author of fourteen books. The song “Thanks for the Memory” is widely regarded as Hope’s signature tune.
Born in London, England, Hope arrived in America with his family at the age of four and grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. He began his career in show business in the early 1920s, initially on stage, and began appearing on the radio and in films in 1934. He was praised for his comedy timing, specializing in one-liners and rapid-fire delivery of jokes—which were often self-deprecating, with Hope building himself up and then tearing himself down. Celebrated for his long career performing United Service Organizations (USO) shows to entertain active service American military personnel—he made 57 tours for the USO between 1941 and 1991—Hope was declared an honorary veteran of the United States Armed Forces in 1997 by act of the U.S. Congress. He also appeared in numerous specials for NBC television, starting in 1950, and was one of the first users of cue cards.
He was married to performer Dolores Hope (née DeFina) for 69 years. Hope died at the age of 100 at his home in Toluca Lake, California.
The nation’s most-honored comedian, a millionaire many times over, was a star in every category open to him — vaudeville, radio, television and film, most notably a string of “Road” movies with longtime friend Bing Crosby. For decades, he took his show on the road to bases around the world, boosting the morale of servicemen from World War II to the Gulf War.
He perfected the one-liner, peppering audiences with a fusillade of brief, topical gags: “I want to tell you, I was built like an athlete once – big chest, hard stomach. Of course, that’s all behind me now.”
All four Hope children were adopted from The Cradle in Evanston, Illinois. A brief search of the internet is confusing: one site says Nora Hope was born in 1930 and another that she was adopted in 1946. This could make her 16 when she was adopted by the Hopes. Family photos dispute this. I will thus avoid dates:
Linda Hope is the holder of her father’s legacy – producing many of his last specials and controlling the releases of his work for home viewing.
William Kelly Francis Hope, an actor.
Anthony J Hope died June 28, 2004. He worked in Washington as an attorney.
Eleanora (“Nora”) Avis Hope.
“Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and how Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped” leads a couple through their days of infertility treatments and adoption. It is told with gentle (and sometimes not-so-gentle) humor from the perspective of a nerdy father and his loving and understanding wife.
Join Mike and Esther as they go through IUIs and IFVs, as they search for an adoption agency, are selected by a birth mother, prepare their house, prepare their family, prepare themselves and wait for their daughter to be born a thousand miles from home.
WINNER: 2015 Reader’s Favorite Book Award Finalist, Non-Fiction Humor
WINNER: Honorable Mention, 2015 New York Book Festival!
WINNER: Honorable Mention, 2014 Great Midwest Book Festival!
Abby’s Road is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and at Smashwords.
Copyright 2016 Michael Curry