Sunday, May 29, 2011

Happy Birthday, Bob Hope

May 29, 1903, was the day Leslie Townes Hope was born in Eltham, England. His family moved to Cleveland about five years later. Young Bob started as a street performer at age 12, eventually branching out into vaudeville, legitimate theater, radio, movies, television, and armed forces venues around the world.

His signature theme song was "Thanks for the Memory." He introduced it in "The Big Broadcast of 1938" as half of a formerly married couple who run into each other and reminisce fondly. It should be seen in its original incarnation as a reminder of what a great song it is. No wonder Hope hung on to it for the rest of his life!

Of course, all those years prior to Hollywood doing whatever the audiences wanted made him more than just an actor. In "The Seven Little Foys," he and another former song-and-dance man get to show their stuff.

There's plenty more to Bob Hope, but perhaps the most important thing he did was his shows for the troops. And perhaps that is what he is best remembered for.

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