Bob Hope in a press photo
The British-born comedian is known for his one-liners and rapid-fire delivery of jokes seen in his Road movies (1940-47), hosting the Academy Awards, and his many USO tours.
For 65 years until his death his primary residence was at 10346 Moorpark Street in Toluca Lake, a 3-minute drive from Bob's Big Boy Burbank, where he was not only a regular customer, but also an investor in Big Boy Franchises Inc.
Bob Hope eating a Big Boy hamburger
Hope appeared in The Big Broadcast of 1938, with W.C. Fields, Bob’s Big Boy Burbank Hall-of-Famer Martha Raye, Dorothy Lamour, and Shirley Ross. He sang "Thanks For the Memory" with Shirley Ross, a sentimental song about a divorced couple that encounters each other aboard a ship. It is widely regarded as Hope's signature tune.
Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour, and Bing Crosby
Bob Hope was known for his self-deprecating humor and his ad-lib routine with Bing Crosby, also a Toluca Lake resident, although the two rarely saw each other socially. The Road (1940-47) pictures with Dorothy Lamour barely gave audiences a chance to finish laughing at a Crosby line before Hope had topped it, and vice-versa. The AV Club regards Road to Morocco (1942) as the best in the series.
Bob Hope hosting the Oscars
Host of the Academy Awards ceremony a staggering 19 times, the most ever, his supposedly feigned desire for a gold statue became part of his act. While introducing the 1968 telecast, he quipped, "Welcome to the Academy Awards, or, as it's known at my house, Passover.” Hope was awarded five honorary Oscars.
Bob Hope entertaining the troops
Even greater than his record of hosting the Oscars, was his long career entertaining active duty American military personnel. He made a mind boggling 57 USO tours. The golf-club-wielding Hope was the stuff of legend at Da Nang (1969) and was always spending his Christmas with the troops. Bob Hope was declared an honorary veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces (1997).
“In a lot of ways it was probably the last performance those guys saw. In that regard that speaks volumes about the man,” said actor and honorary Bob's Big Boy Burbank cook Dennis Haybert.
Always one for one-liners, when asked on his deathbed where he wanted to be buried, Hope, 100 years old at the time, told his wife, "Surprise me." Presenting more of the man's witty one-liners.
"I don't feel old. I don't feel anything until noon. That's when it's time for my nap."
"You know you are getting old when the candles cost more than the cake."
"I do benefits for all religions. I'd hate to blow the hereafter on a technicality."
The entertainer nicknamed “Old Ski Nose” once had Burbank Airport named after him. The USNS Bob Hope is the name of a United States Naval Ship used for prepositioning of Army vehicles. NBC Studios, now Burbank Studios, named their Main Entrance (Gate 1) after Bob Hope. There is a Bob Hope Drive in Burbank, Palm Springs, and even El Paso. Bob Hope USO at LAX now resides in the historic, and architecturally significant Theme Building. And of course, The Bob and Dolores Hope Foundation serves to continue the mission of bringing “Hope” to those in need and those who have served their country.
Bob Hope's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is on 6547 Hollywood Blvd.
Hope with his '56 Chevy Convertible