LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES
Bob Hope Dies at Age 100
Aired July 28, 2003 - 19:01 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: First, America is saying thanks for a century of memories.
Bob Hope is dead at the age of 100, and all day today he was remembered for a career in laughter that spanned from vaudeville to television, from Hollywood to Vietnam.
We have reports from Dan Lothian in Toluca Lake, California, where Hope died last night and from Jen Rogers in Hollywood, California, where Hope is being remembered today.
Let's start with Dan Lothian in Toluca Lake -- Dan.
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, Bob Hope's death was not unexpected. His family says that he was in failing health and things did not look good over the past couple of days or so.
Just two months ago he was celebrating his 100th birthday. And today in his death, his family wants everyone to celebrate his life.
LOTHIAN (voice-over): If laughter is the best medicine Bob Hope was the doctor of humor.
BOB HOPE, COMEDIAN: The Beatles have arrived by plane from England. They were 40 pounds overweight and that was just their hair.
LOTHIAN: Decade of unforgettable come by his friends say propel him to a different level, untouchable.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's one of a kind. I think they broke the mold had they made him.
LOTHIAN: His family was always part of the act, at least behind the scenes.
LINDA HOPE, BOB HOPE'S DAUGHTER: He would try the jokes out on us at the table and, you know, sometimes they would work and other times they didn't. And I think he used to say we were kind of a tough audience.
LOTHIAN: but the world was a receptive audience. One liners delivered to troops in war zones and next to presidents at the White House.
RONALD REAGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Bob, you look great, too.
HOPE: You do.
REAGAN: Well, I hope I look that good when I'm your age.
HOPE: Well, I hope I look that good when I'm your age.
LOTHIAN: born in England, Hope went from selling newspapers, shoes and beef to starring in 50 feature films. He also made his mark on television and radio, authored or co-authored 20 books.
JOHNNY GRANT, FRIEND: He would be a legend, a true Hollywood legend.
LOTHIAN: He won more than 2,000 awards but never an Oscar. He turned that into a joke.
HOPE: Welcome to the Academy Awards, or as it is known at my house, Passover.
LOTHIAN: Hope, married to Dolores for 69 years, was surrounded by his wife and children when he died.
L. HOPE: He gave us each a kiss and that was it.
HOPE: (singing) Thanks for the memories.
LOTHIAN: Hope's signature song, no doubt the theme for those celebrating his life.
LOTHIAN: Just a few minutes ago, someone walked by and placed some flowers at the gate to the estate here at Toluca Lake. That has been what is happening here throughout the day.
Now, the funeral will be a private event but there will be a more public memorial service at the end of next month -- Anderson.
COOPER: Dan, thanks for the report. So many memories to talk about tonight.
President Bush, in fact, issued a proclamation calling Bob Hope one of the nation's great treasures. Hope, was known as a friend of presidents, as Dan pointed out received tributes from many of them, including one who was also part of the Hollywood community.
Former first lady Nancy Reagan reacted to the death of Bob Hope, on behalf of herself and her husband, former President Ronald Reagan. Said Mrs. Reagan, "Bob Hope was one of our dearest friends for over 60 years. Losing him is like losing a member of the family. Ronnie always said that Bob was one of our finest ambassadors for America and freedom."
Well, today, as well there were tributes from millions of ordinary Americans, fans of the entertainer and there were many. Jen Rogers has heard a lot of them. She joins us from one of Bob Hope's four stars on the Hollywood walk of Fame -- Jen
JEN ROGERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, there, Anderson. That is certainly the case.
You know, in a sense it has been a sad day. But here it has also been a day of celebration.
You know, Bob Hope is really much more than a name on the sidewalk. Here in Hollywood, he was really a member of the community. Maybe different than some of the young stars you see going around Hollywood in their fancy cars these days. He was known as very low key and very down to earth.
In fact, when Johnny Grant -- he is the ceremonial mayor of Hollywood came today -- and he placed this pretty enormous red, white and blue flower arrangement, he told a story about Bob Hope, saying that he used to love to come to this part of town, that he had a favorite ice cream parlor that he would come to and get his favorite ice cream, which was apparently strawberry.
Fans today taking the chance, really, to reminisce and also to remember the man that made them laugh. Just in the last few minutes, I've been talking to people literally of all ages and from all over the world, people from Denmark, people from Nova Scotia, people from Australia, talking about the man, again that they remember from all those black and white movies.
And also saying one woman, she was videotaping the whole thing, I asked her what she was doing. She said she was doing this for her mother who she said is a Bob Hope groupie -- Anderson.
COOPER: I guess a lot of Bob Hope groupies, especially today. Jen Rogers, thank you for that report.
We're going to have a lot more about the life and career of Bob Hope later on in the program, including a talk with another legendary comedian, Don Rickles.
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