Bob Hope dies at 100. His career spanned vaudeville, radio, movies, TV, and countless performances for the troops

By Gary Susman
Updated July 28, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT
Bob Hope: Newsmakers/Getty/NewsCom

Bob Hope, who turned 100 in May, died Sunday night, CNN reports. He succumbed to pneumonia at his home in Toluca Lake, Calif., his publicist told the Associated Press. The comic entertainer, whose career spanned more than eight decades and tens of thousands of one-liners, had been in frail health in recent years. As he joked on his recent birthday, ”I’m so old, they’ve canceled my blood type.”

Hope was born Leslie Townes Hope in England, but he was about as all-American as a performer could be. His career started in vaudeville and went on to encompass radio, dozens of movies (most memorably, the ”road” comedies he made with Bing Crosby), hundreds of TV specials over 50 years on NBC, and countless performances over half a century before U.S. troops at the front, from World War II to the first Gulf War. He’s listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for having earned more awards and honors (more than1,500) than any other performer. He also probably had the longest-lived marriage in showbiz; in 1934, he married singer/actress Dolores Reade, who survives him.