This week our spotlight is on the famous comedian Leslie Townes Hope, better known as Bob Hope. From the Biography Channel website:
(born May 29, 1903, Eltham, near London, England—died July 27, 2003, Toluca Lake, California, U.S.) British-born American entertainer and comic actor, known for his rapid-fire delivery of jokes and one-liners and for his success in virtually all entertainment media. He was also known for his decades of overseas tours to entertain American troops, and he received numerous awards and honours for his work as an entertainer and humanitarian.
Hope was the fifth of seven sons of a stonemason and a former Welsh concert singer; his family immigrated to the United States when he was four years old. He grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, manifesting the first signs of his vocation at age 10 when he won a Charlie Chaplin imitation contest. After a series of odd jobs, including amateur boxer, Hope during his late teens embarked on an entertainment career and later performed with a succession of partners in vaudeville. He first appeared on Broadway in The Sidewalks of New York (1927), and after additional work in vaudeville and a failed Hollywood screen test, he landed his first substantial stage role in the Jerome Kern musical Roberta (1933). During the mid-1930s he starred in a series of comedy shorts and found increasing success in radio, a medium well-suited to his loquacious style. Hope made his feature-film debut in The Big Broadcast of 1938 (1938), in which he first sang his signature tune “Thanks for the Memory,” and he launched the long-running The Bob Hope Show on radio in that same year. By the end of the decade, Hope was one of America's most popular comics.
Hope went on to Hollywood fame and is known as an American icon. You can read more about him on his website.
Here's one of my favorite Bob Hope moments: