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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Bob Hope Remembered

Aired July 29, 2003 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Bob Hope's daughter shares intimate memories of her father. The world was his stage; his legacy, his laughter. Joining us for an exclusive conversation, Linda Hope. She worked for and with her dad and was there when he passed away Sunday, nearly two months after his 100th birthday. Later we'll be joined by Kathryn Crosby, the widow of Bob Hope's road movie pal, Bing Crosby, and a good friend of the Hope family. Plus, all-star entertainer and long-time friend of Bob Hope's Debbie Reynolds; "I Dream of Jeannie's" Barbara Eden, who did 21 Christmas specials with Hope and says he was her mentor; and in New York, another old friend of Bob's, TV personality, veteran fighter pilot Ed McMahon. All that and your calls next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Our opening segments will be spent with Linda Hope. We thank her very much for appearing with us tonight. She was Bob Hope's daughter, writer and producer. She wrote "Bob Hope: My Life in Jokes" with her dad, worked for and with him for 25 years.

Tell us about the last day of his life.

LINDA HOPE, BOB HOPE'S DAUGHTER: Well, the last day, actually, was something very special. You know, we knew in the morning that it was probably going to be -- it was probably going to happen that day. That was Sunday. And so we were called over. My mother called us and said...

KING: "We" being?

HOPE: "We" being the three children. And we went especially around -- well, I went to see him a little earlier in the day, around 10:00 or 11:00, and you could tell that he was having trouble breathing. And you know, I just gave him a kiss, and I said, I love you, Dad, and Thanks for everything. And...

KING: Was he blind and deaf at death?

HOPE: No, he wasn't deaf. He could hear you. You had to get right close to his ear and talk into it because, obviously, he wasn't wearing hearing aids at that stage. And his vision was minimal. He had -- he had difficulty seeing. But he could hear, and he used to enjoy, actually, listening to music, and particularly liked my mother's recordings and Bing's and his friend, Rosie Clooney. And those gave him a lot of joy and...

But on that last day, you know, as I said, I went up to see him. And then my mother called us back and said that the priest was going to come and say mass in his room and -- which was kind of a special thing. And so about 5:30, the priest came and said mass, and everybody was there, the family and...

KING: Bob was awake?

HOPE: No, he was slipping, at that point, and I don't think he was too cognizant of anything or anybody. But he had a very serene kind of look on his face and almost a little bit of a smile. And you know, I think he had a sense that people were there and -- and after mass, we went downstairs and had a little dinner, and my mother stayed up with him. And then probably about 8:30 or 9:00, I guess about 9:00, it became clear that his breathing was very labored and that it was, you know, really getting towards the end and...

KING: Did a doctor come?

HOPE: Yes, the doctor, his doctor came. And you know, he had a couple of nurses at that time that were around and...

KING: Did you -- did you watch him pass away?

HOPE: I -- no, I wasn't there at the actual moment, but I was there a couple of minutes after. I had just run home, oddly enough, to feed my dogs for a couple of minutes because I live nearby. And when I got back -- or actually, I got a call from the nurse that said that he's gone.

KING: When you live to be 100 and you are ill at the end -- how would you describe it? Was it very sad? It wasn't tragic.

HOPE: No, it wasn't very sad. In fact, it's -- and the interesting thing -- while we all miss, you know, Dad, and it's a big hole in all of our hearts because you don't have somebody around -- I mean, most people that are 64, which is my age, most of their parents are gone or have...

KING: Sure.

HOPE: ... you know, recently departed. And to have him that long has been such a rare privilege, and to have the quality of the life with him that -- that intense for so many years makes you really miss him, more than anything.

KING: How is your mom doing?

HOPE: Mother is doing amazingly well. She was...

KING: Because she was ill for a while, wasn't she?

HOPE: She was ill, and she's been having some pain. She's got kind of a sciatic problem, which really more than anything, I think, annoys her because it doesn't allow her to do the things that she normally likes to do. And she's been doing pool therapy and everything she can to get herself back, but it's taking a little bit longer to bounce back at 94, I think. But she's -- she's really accepted and knew that it was time and that it was going to happen. KING: And the other siblings?

HOPE: They're -- they're all -- everybody, I think, was really...

KING: Grandchildren?

KING: ... at peace, and grandchildren -- his grandchildren were there, and so it -- really, everybody was around, and it couldn't have been a more lovely thing. I just think a friend of mine had a friend that was killed in that terrible accident in Santa Monica...

KING: Oh, where the...

HOPE: ... where the man...

KING: ... old man drove...

HOPE: Yes. And this was a woman that just went in to do some shopping at lunchtime, or whatever it was, at a break time, and she was gone, no time to say good-bye. And we had the luxury of really sort of a long good-bye.

KING: Boy, did you.

HOPE: Yes.

KING: Do we know burial plans?

HOPE: We're keeping the burial plans quiet because, you know, I think we all need a little bit of time, and we have seen this tremendous outpouring of love and affection. And you know, we plan to have a memorial service a month...

KING: That's -- that date is known, right?

HOPE: Yes, the 27th...

KING: That's of August.

HOPE: ... of August, yes. And...

KING: That's a -- open to the public?

HOPE: Well, on a limited basis. I mean, I think if everybody came that we've heard from and all of that, there wouldn't be room, but...

KING: What are you going to use, the Kodak Center or...

HOPE: No, actually, we're going to have it at the Television Academy.

KING: Good idea.

HOPE: And you know, there'll be a mass at the church, and those will be for invited guests that are really friends of his over the years. And then at the Television Academy, it'll be a little larger venue, and they'll probably...

KING: I see.

HOPE: ... tent (ph) and allow as many people as can to come to that.

KING: The president says that all flags will be at half-mast at all public buildings -- overseas, as well -- on the day of burial. So you're going to have to let the government know, right?

HOPE: Oh, well, no, they know -- it will probably be, you know, in the next day or two, when they will be advised, so...

KING: And that's strictly private...

HOPE: It is, yes.

KING: ... and family, right?

HOPE: It is...

KING: Is that what he wanted?

HOPE: I think that is what he wanted, although when my mother used to prompt him and ask him, you know, Bob, we've got to know what's going on. What would you like to do? Do you have any ideas? And he said, Surprise me.

(LAUGHTER)

HOPE: So...

KING: They will rest together, I hope?

HOPE: They will, yes. That's the plan.

KING: What kind of father was he?

HOPE: Oh, gosh. He was...

KING: Absent a lot.

HOPE: Absent a lot, and probably the absence was felt even more because of the quality of the time when he was there. And he was one of those people that say, you know, it's not the amount of time that you spend with people but the quality of the time that you spend. And we had some really quality, fun, interesting -- it was never dull with him. And in many ways, he was almost more like one of us than he was "the parent."

KING: He was child-like?

HOPE: Well, he was -- his sense of fun and mischief was -- was... KING: He was mischievous, right?

HOPE: ... very much like a child. Oh, yes.

KING: Yes.

HOPE: He really was. And he had that little kind of pixie look, I think, you know...

KING: Yes.

HOPE: ... that you never -- you knew things were going on in that mind.

KING: Where are you in the age range?

HOPE: I'm the eldest.

KING: The eldest.

HOPE: Yes.

KING: So you're first-born?

HOPE: First one.

KING: Were you very much Daddy daughter?

HOPE: Yes, I think we were very close, and I -- you know, I have a picture he used to have up on his desk, with he and I -- I must have been about 4 or 5, and we'd gone back on the train to New York, and it was kind of the first time I realized about snow. And he -- we had a big snowball fight in Central Park. And so I love that picture.

KING: We'll be right back with Linda Hope on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. We'll be including your calls later, as well. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - "COLLEGE SWING")

BOB HOPE: Now, you've never signed our little contract.

GRACIE ALLEN: How do you know I didn't sign it?

B. HOPE: How do I know? There's no signature on it.

ALLEN: Well, if there's no signature on it, how do you know I didn't sign it? Maybe somebody else didn't sign it.

B. HOPE: Look, Gracie, I have to have this contract signed to show my good faith.

ALLEN: Oh, that's all right. I take your word for it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - JUNE 4, 1990)

B. HOPE: Let me ask you something. When you walk into a party today -- you've been around a while -- and you hear a lot of laughs over in this corner, where do you go? You don't go to the other corner, do you.

KING: You go to the laughs.

B. HOPE: You go right to where the laughs are. You want to join that because that's the positive side of life. And that's the great -- that's why George Burns is 94...

(CROSSTALK)

KING: ... member of your group.

B. HOPE: And I'm a few years younger than God.

(LAUGHTER)

B. HOPE: Anyway...

KING: So you still have this need -- what I'm getting at here, Bob, is your need to hear laughs, right?

B. HOPE: I got to hear laughs. I got to hear laughs. In fact, I have all the servants in my house, I line them up (UNINTELLIGIBLE) give me three or four laughs.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Linda, how did you come to work with him?

HOPE: Well, actually, when I was -- I got out of college and got married, and I had a son. And when the marriage dissolved, I was looking for something to do. Although I had had a background in film -- I had studied it at SC and UCLA and then in Paris and made documentaries and all of that. And he had a production company. And I said, Dad, let me come and work for your production company. He had a deal with NBC to develop things. And he said, OK, come on. And I started that way and did development and read scripts and all of that and...

KING: Worked with him how many years?

HOPE: Well, gosh, I think I started back in, like -- it would have been about '77 or '78, something like that.

KING: Wow.

HOPE: So for a long time.

KING: All right. What was he like to work with?

HOPE: He was demanding. He was a perfectionist. He wanted things the way he wanted. And he was unpredictable. In other words, I would -- we would have a show that was -- you know, we had a tape date and stars locked in and all of that. And I would get a call from him, and he'd be on the road some place, and he'd say, How's everything going? And I said Dad, it's great, but we -- you know, we need to sit down and go over some stuff and -- Well, I'll be there. I'll be there. Don't worry about it. Just do what you're supposed to do and get it in order.

And it was always -- it's a funny thing. I think the live audience was the sort of siren song for him. It was the thing that always lured him. And he -- the television, even though he had a live audience there, it wasn't the big audiences that he got when he was doing the public appearance shows and all of that. So that was his first interest, and so it was hard to pull him back into to deal with tech rehearsals and all of that kind of stuff.

KING: Do you know why he did so many charities? And by the way, a thing not very well known about Hope, often, he would do a charity, of course, for free, and write a check to the charity.

HOPE: Yes.

KING: Do you know why?

HOPE: I think that the bottom line is that he was very grateful for what this country had given him and the opportunities. And you know, he always kind of impressed us with that thought and that it was important to give back and to reach out to other people. And that's just the kind of guy he was.

KING: For a born Britisher, he really understood America better than most Americans, didn't he.

HOPE: I think he did. And I think -- he also had an ability to, you know, jump into the other kind of mindset. And he loved British humor and, you know, I think, in some respects, those were his roots, although, really, he grew up in this country and he was as American as almost any...

(LAUGHTER)

KING: He had a little British attitude.

HOPE: Yes. No, he did. And that kind of little...

KING: The way he walked on stage...

HOPE: ... cocky swagger and...

KING: ... swaggered on.

HOPE: Yes, he did.

KING: Was he loving?

HOPE: Very loving.

KING: He was.

HOPE: He was...

KING: Affectionate?

HOPE: ... very affectionate and sweet and, you know, always with the hug and you know -- I would say he was very affectionate.

KING: Let's take a call for Linda Hope. She'll be with us through most of the program. Brookfield, Illinois. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Linda.

HOPE: Hello.

CALLER: I wanted to know -- do you think that your father had any knowledge of the influence he had on our younger generation now, his patriotism and his clean comedy?

HOPE: I don't know whether he did or not. I think that he probably didn't really have a sense that he had reached down to a younger generation. Certainly, you know, he had a lot of feedback from people, starting with the World War II vets and their offspring and Vietnam and all of that. But I think he felt a little bit like those people -- maybe the kids maybe saw his "Road" pictures and things on television and...

KING: Like he was an old-timer?

HOPE: Well, I don't know whether old-timer, but he wasn't -- you know, he wasn't the stuff that kids were listening to.

KING: Aiken, South Carolina, for Linda Hope. Hello.

CALLER: Hello. Yes, Linda, we want to send our condolences to you and your family.

HOPE: Thank you.

CALLER: What we want to know is, when you say the funeral services are going be private, does that mean the immediate family or the immediate family and his Hollywood friends? Exactly what does that mean?

HOPE: Well, private actually means really just the immediate family, and it also means that, you know, there are going to be a few very long-time friends of my parents that will be there...

KING: At the funeral.

HOPE: ... at the funeral.

KING: And burial.

HOPE: And burial.

HOPE: But at this...

KING: And then there'll be two other events.

HOPE: Yes. At these two other events, the net will be cast much wider and a lot of the people that are his fans will have an opportunity -- certainly not everybody, but we're hoping that there will be a service in a couple of other venues, like Washington, D.C., and his home town of Cleveland, Ohio, and probably Palm Springs and -- I don't know.

KING: He'd have liked the whole show.

HOPE: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: Linda Hope remains with us. And when we come back, we'll be joined by Kathryn Crosby, the widow of Bing Crosby, Debbie Reynolds, Barbara Eden and Ed McMahon. More phone calls later, too. Don't go away.

(VIDEO CLIP - "ROAD TO RIO")

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - JULY 17, 1985)

KING: How good a boxer would you have been, if you stayed with boxing?

B. HOPE: I was known as -- I really worked under the name -- boxed under the name of Rembrandt Hope, I was on the canvas so much. And I would have won my last fight, but the referee stepped on my hand.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: Were you good? Seriously, were you good?

B. HOPE: Fair. Fair. Fair. My last fight, a guy hit me so hard, I bounced right into dancing school. Didn't miss a beat.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: That was from one of our interviews with Bob Hope. This Friday night, we're going to present highlights of all the times I've interviewed Bob on television. I've interviewed him many times on radio. That's this Friday night.

Linda Hope, Bob Hope's daughter, remains with us. And we are now joined by Kathryn Crosby, the widow of Bing Crosby, a good friend of the Hope family. Bing and buddy Bob Hope made seven "Road" pictures. The first was "The Road to Singapore," the last "The Road to Hong Kong." Debbie Reynolds, long-time friend of Bob's, appeared with Bob on TV, presented or performed at two Oscar ceremonies he hosted, and was one of the early queens (ph) of the Bob Hope Chrysler Desert Classic Golf tournaments. Barbara Eden, the actress and entertainer, beloved as the star of "I Dream of Jeannie," has called Bob Hope her mentor, did more than 20 Bob Hope Christmas specials, was part of his USO tour family and queen of the 1970 Bob Hope Chrysler Desert Classic Golf Tournament. And in New York, Ed McMahon, television personality, friend of Bob's, former fighter pilot. The day before Bob Hope died, Ed emceed a Defense Department tribute to veterans of the Korean war, which included vintage film of Bob Hope entertaining the troops.

We'll start with Kathryn Crosby. And before we talk with Kathryn -- I asked Bob Hope once about him and Bing getting together. Here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

B. HOPE: We played the Capital (ph) Theater in New York, which was a big picture house. And Bing and I were featured. Abe Lyman (ph) was orchestra. And we did three and four shows a day, and it got kind of boring, me just introducing him, so we started to ad lib. And we worked up this routine. Now, when I got out here in '37, Bing invited me down to Delmar (ph), and we did the routine down there. And somebody saw it and went right back to Paramount, said, You got to put these guys together. They didn't know that we had rehearsed it five years before.

KING: In retrospect, Bob, as you look at it, what do you think was the magic with the two of you?

B. HOPE: I don't know, Larry. I think it was the fact that we had great respect for each other and we both understood how to feed each other. And it was more fun. I've never had that much fun anywhere, making a picture. It was just -- and you never knew what was going to happen because we used to rat out on each other and steal a punchline before he was supposed to take it. He'd do the same thing to me. And it was -- it was -- it was a shambles all the way. It was fun.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: I mentioned last night, Kathryn, that Bob told me once that he was disappointed about not being in the will to go to the funeral. He did go to Bing's funeral, though, right?

KATHRYN CROSBY, BING CROSBY'S WIDOW: Oh, he...

KING: You invited him.

CROSBY: Well, I wasn't invited to the funeral in the will. But Bob...

KING: How did you get to go, then?

CROSBY: I had to arrange it, you know? It was my secret. We arranged it. And of course, Bob and Dolores got there at 5:30 in the morning and were absolutely so important in my life.

KING: Did you become very friendly with the Hopes?

CROSBY: I've always been very friendly with the Hopes. I met Bob before I met Bing, just as Dolores met Bing before she met Bob. I interviewed Bob during "Casanova's Big Night" at Paramount Pictures. And I guess I was not a very good interviewer because the story that Bob just told you, he's the one who told me. I didn't know how they had met, how they started the road shows.

KING: You were Kathryn Grant (ph), right?

CROSBY: I was Kathryn Granstaff (ph), then Kathryn Grant, then Kathryn Crosby.

KING: Debbie, how did you get together with Bob?

DEBBIE REYNOLDS, ACTRESS: Well (UNINTELLIGIBLE) ever, you know? He lived in Toluca Lake, and I was living in the Valley. And I used to sell Girl Scout cookies there. And he...

KING: You're kidding?

REYNOLDS: No, no, no. You know, Linda, you've always lived in the same place and...

KING: You mean, you went along selling Girl Scout Cookies?

REYNOLDS: Yes, with my little cart. And I would go...

KING: Did he buy any?

REYNOLDS: Yes, he did.

(LAUGHTER)

REYNOLDS: Well, all the secretaries did, and they -- at that time, they had a little guard, and he would buy my Girl Scout cookies. This was long before I was in show business, so that's how I first met Bob Hope.

KING: What was it like to work with him?

REYNOLDS: He was really great because he's a Vaudevillian, and he loved laughter, as I do, we all do. And if the people laugh, that's it. You're in. And that's what he loved more. And people used to always tell the story of that house -- of course, it's very (UNINTELLIGIBLE) that house in the neighborhood. And if you had a joke, you would take it and throw it over the fence, tied to a rock.

(LAUGHTER)

REYNOLDS: And then, if he liked it, he'd pay $20, if you were a writer. You know, that's what the -- that's how he used to do it, right, Linda?

KING: Really?

REYNOLDS: Well, unknown writers -- you know, they couldn't get through to see Bob Hope.

KING: How to get through, yes.

REYNOLDS: He'd say, Well, if you got a joke for me, you throw it over the fence. If I like it, I'll send you 20 bucks.

KING: Why do you call him your mentor, Barbara?

BARBARA EDEN, ACTRESS: I don't know if he knew he was my mentor, but I learned from him. I learned a great deal.

KING: Like?

EDEN: I learned that you don't sweat the small stuff. He was always very much balanced. At least, my perception of Bob was he was so balanced. Every time we worked, whether it was in front of a live audience or it was in the Persian Gulf or it was on television at NBC, he didn't -- you know, so many comics are kind of out of control. They're extremely talented guys, but they're a little...

KING: Yes.

EDEN: ... schizoid, you know? Not Bob. He was very centered and very -- and wonderful to work with.

KING: And to you, Ed McMahon, what was special?

ED MCMAHON, TV PERSONALITY: Special about working with...

KING: Knowing, working with Bob Hope, yes.

MCMAHON: Well, you know, when he'd come out on "The Tonight Show," you know, the -- he'd come around the proscenium arch, and sometimes we never knew that. You know, he would -- he lived down the street, so he'd just show up if he was plugging a special or something else. There he is. He'd walk right out and say hello. But it was like a monument coming at you. You know, here was the biggest thing in life, Bob Hope. Here he is, you know?

And I think it's so fitting -- I want to mention something. I think it's so fitting that he left us on the day that I was honoring the Korean war veterans. Being a Korean war veteran myself, I was at the great memorial down in Washington, laying a wreath, along with General Paste (ph) of the Marine Corps and Paul Wolfowitz. We brought a wreath out, as part of the 50th celebration of the conclusion of the war. And Bob Hope, being so attached to the military and so loved by Marines and all other military figures, I thought it was kind of a -- you know, like a special thing that that was the day he said good-bye.

KING: I'll take a break, pick up with our panel. More questions for Linda Hope and more of your phone calls. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - "THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON") JOHNNY CARSON: You ever thought of running for political office?

B. HOPE: No.

CARSON: Have they ever come to you and said...

B. HOPE: They have, yes, but the money's not right.

(LAUGHTER)

B. HOPE: And I wouldn't want to be the president. I wouldn't -- you know, Dolores wouldn't want to move to a smaller house.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: What made servicemen, in your opinion, a better audience? They are still just men.

B. HOPE: Because they are sort of incarcerated, you know? They are in that camp and when you go to them and bring it like this, we just went over and did a thing in...

KING: I saw that.

(CROSSTALK)

B. HOPE: At Tempelhoff (ph) and Frankfurt, you know, and Meldenhall (ph), and now you would think those kids would have freedom and everything, and they were so wonderful, because they are a little lonesome, and when they see somebody from home -- you know, I didn't believe it, though, they stood up for everybody in the show.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Linda, do you think, look at Berle, look at your father, look at Burns -- do you think comics live longer?

HOPE: I think there must be something...

KING: Caesar is past 80, Buddy Hackett lived past 80.

HOPE: I think there is definitely something to that. I mean, I think Dr. Norman Cousins (ph) has done a study and saying that laughter is the best medicine, and I think that all of those positive vibes that come up from people having fun and all of that energy comes back up and comes to the performer. And you know, in dad's case, I think he got an awful lot of it, and I think it kept him going for a long time.

KING: Was Bing fun to be married to? CROSBY: Oh, yes.

KING: He had that -- you talk about casual.

CROSBY: Yes. He was laid back.

KING: Slightly.

CROSBY: But he had kind of energy, too. And about the laughter, Bob came to the Crosby tournament in Winston-Salem for 16 years, and my father was five years older than Bob only, and they rode around in the cart, and everybody said, isn't that nice, that old man is riding that. They expected Bob to play 18 holes when he was 94 and 95.

KING: He was a golf freak.

HOPE: He was. That was his real passion.

KING: What was his ability -- we're going to take some calls in a minute. His ability, what did he have that comics didn't have -- you're a comic?

REYNOLDS: As I say, it's the hearing of the laughter, but it's mostly you know you are making those people happy and they are giving you back an awful lot of love. And I think that is what Bob and every comic feels that. You know, it's the love that we get back.

KING: But he never looked like he needed the love, he never looked like he needed to be worshipped or held.

REYNOLDS: Oh, I think that he did.

KING: You think so?

REYNOLDS: Oh, I think we all do, you know, everybody wants to feel love in whatever form, and his was for the love of...

KING: But he had an attitude.

REYNOLDS: Well, he did because he came up the hard way, you know, came from after all London or came from Wales or wherever he was from.

HOPE: London, actually, Eltham.

REYNOLDS: And he did five shows a day and seven shows a day. When I did vaudeville when I was 17, I did five shows a day. So you just learn how to work hard and you pick your audiences. And that's when you're more joyful.

KING: You say, Barbara, he made you a better performer?

EDEN: I think so. I learned from him. I truly did. I'll tell you something about Bob, my opinion, he made people feel good. There aren't many entertainers who do that. You enjoy entertainers, but he made you feel really happy. KING: By the way, the movie clips you are seeing tonight are from movies now available on Universal Home Video.

Ed McMahon, you had a wonderful suggestion yesterday on CNN that they should build a statue of Bob Hope in front of the Kodak Theater where they do the Academy Awards.

MCMAHON: I think that's a great idea. And I would love to have your help and everybody's help. We'll have to get it cleared with Linda and the Hope family, but I think him in his tails, he looked so elegant in tails, he really made that work. And then holding the Oscar, he loved to get so much, he finally got one. I think that would be a destination point for people coming to Hollywood, right in front of where they are doing the Oscars now, the man that did the show 18 times and did it so beautifully, I think that would be a fitting monument, and I think all of the military people would come to California and want to see that and have a picture taken. It would keep Hope alive forever.

KING: Linda, what do you think?

HOPE: I think it's a dynamite idea. I love it.

MCMAHON: Thank you.

KING: I think it's a great idea. Ed, maybe we ought to get together on it.

MCMAHON: I would love to. Yes, sir.

KING: Let's go to some calls. Montreal, Canada for Ed McMahon, Barbara Eden, Debbie Reynolds, Kathryn Crosby and Linda Hope. Hello.

CALLER: Wow. Hello, Larry.

KING: Hi.

CALLER: Condolences, Linda.

HOPE: Thank you.

CALLER: From Canada. My question is with regard to your father, his British status, did he retain that citizenship through the years? And did he maintain family ties with the family members in the old country?

HOPE: He retained a warm, affectionate connection with his British relatives. However, he did not carry a British passport. He had only an American passport.

KING: Became an American citizen?

HOPE: Absolutely.

KING: Corona, California, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Linda. My condolences to you and your family.

HOPE: Thank you.

CALLER: Your father had many accomplishments, but what is it that you think is his greatest accomplishment and what is it do you think he'll be remembered for most in years to come?

KING: I would like all of the panel to answer that. Linda.

HOPE: I think obviously his love and devotion to the military will probably be the thing, that and the laughter.

KING: Patriotism would be the first thing you think of?

HOPE: Patriotism and laughter.

KING: Kathryn?

CROSBY: He kept his friendships going forever. He even wrote the memorial in my book about Bing. He kept that friendship alive until now, which is wonderful.

KING: Debbie.

REYNOLDS: The love of his audience, the laughter, and the way that the public felt about him. It was family. They knew Bob Hope as a friend.

KING: Barbara.

EDEN: I think his patriotism, and the fact that the servicemen loved him so.

KING: Ed?

MCMAHON: I think the love of the military, she said it right, they loved him. I stood in the rain for two hours in Athens, Georgia in preflight school and hoping he'd do another show. He wasn't supposed to, he was just in for a quickie and on to another base, but he stayed there, and 8,000 cadets went in with those khakis soaking wet for two hours and watched the second show. It was one of the highlights of my life.

KING: San Diego. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry, I sure enjoy your show.

KING: Thank you.

CALLER: A quick hello to Debbie, my all-time favorite. But my question is for Linda. Condolences, of course, first of all, but do you have any plans to put any of his old shows on like TV Land or Nick at Night? I sure would love to see some of those old shows.

KING: Where are all of those tapes? HOPE: Actually, dad owns all of his shows, which was sort of a unique thing, and we have a collection of DVDs of some of the best of his shows that are available now, and they can check our Web site. And we're seeing if somebody has interest, we're interested.

KING: Are you disappointed that NBC didn't do something special?

HOPE: Not really. NBC has been really dynamite, and they -- for his 100th birthday, they played not once but twice the special that we did with Gary Smith (ph) and -- "100 Years of Hope and Humor," and no, I'm not at all disappointed.

KING: And you think they'll do something else now?

HOPE: I think so.

KING: North Bethesda, Maryland.

CALLER: Hi, Linda.

HOPE: Hello.

CALLER: We want to send our condolences to you and your family. I know your dad was in many movies and he enjoyed them all immensely, but which do you think was his favorite?

HOPE: Well, he used to say that "Monsieur Beaucaire" -- aside from the "Road" pictures, of course, but just -- "Monsieur Beaucaire" was really one of his all-time favorites. He had great fun with that, and he used to single that out and talk about it as one of his favorites.

KING: Did Bing have a favorite "Road" movie with Bob?

CROSBY: Oh, yes, "Road to Morocco" was very good.

KING: On the road to Morocco -- I love that song.

CROSBY: Yes!

KING: Debbie, do you have a favorite Hope movie? Woody Allen said he was the funniest film comedian ever.

REYNOLDS: I loved "Monsieur Beaucaire" because so much physical comedy he did was unusual, and I have his costume from that film...

KING: You do?

REYNOLDS: And Joan Caulfield, for the museum. You know, we hoped to always save our great greats, and I'm one of those that likes that idea.

KING: Barbara, do you have a favorite Hope movie?

EDEN: I do, and I can't remember the title, but it's the one where he first sang "Thanks for the Memory." (CROSSTALK)

EDEN: I saw it on television a few nights ago, and I just love it. He was so good.

KING: Another song he introduced was "Buttons and Bows."

HOPE: Jane Russell.

KING: Jane Russell.

HOPE: "Paleface."

CROSBY: "Paleface."

KING: Do you have a favorite movie, Ed?

MCMAHON: Well, I love the "Road" pictures and I love that line in "Road to Morocco," the closing of that song, they say, "like Webster's dictionary, we're Morocco-bound."

KING: That's a great line. Vancouver, British Columbia. Hello.

CALLER: This is Vancouver, USA.

KING: USA. I'm sorry. Go ahead.

CALLER: Yes, Larry. Linda, my deepest sympathy. I would like to know if you know anything about the memorial that is supposed to be built from the veterans? I heard about it several months ago, where the veterans or their families were supposed to send in $1, and no corporate funds? And this was to be made especially from the veterans for him?

HOPE: Yes, that's correct. They are planning to do something down in San Diego, actually they have the property and they're collecting the funds now and it is grassroots veterans thing that we have said would be absolutely wonderful. But one of the things that dad wanted was while it would be a tribute to him it was really a salute to the veterans. He wanted to be sure it wasn't just for him but it was the veterans that he loved.

KING: All sorts of things named after him now.

HOPE: I think probably there will.

KING: Streets. Like there will be institutions, things in Cleveland.

HOPE: Yes.

KING: Nebraska, hello.

CALLER: Hello. Sorry to hear about Bob, Linda.

HOPE: Thank you. CALLER: My question is, who was his favorite actor?

KING: Did he have a favorite...

HOPE: I would be hesitant to say. I know he loved, you know, so many of them and...

KING: He loved working with Cagney.

HOPE: He loved that.

(CROSSTALK)

HOPE: He work so hard on that.

KING: The dance at the Friar's Club.

HOPE: He loved that. And Cagney said the only way he would do it if dad would agree to really rehearsed. So, they worked for three weeks getting that number done.

KING: One of the great.

HOPE: It was.

RENOLDS: He really hoofed. He was great. Yes.

KING: New York City, hello.

CALLER: Hi. This is for Linda. Condolences, of course, to you and your family.

I was wondering, besides family members, when your dad got to heaven, who do you think he would be most happy to see?

HOPE: Again, I think that's hard. He's got a whole big group up there, but you know, I thought it was a bit of irony that Katharine Hepburn went just a week or two before he did and they did a picture together. But I know Bing, and his friend Rosemary Clooney and so many people up there. George Burns. I mean he's going to be having a great time.

KING: Nevada, hello.

CALLER: Yes, Linda, sorry to hear about your dad. And he entertained me in Greenland when I was in the air force. And just I wonder if he'll be -- you think about burying him in Arlington with all of the rest of the troops that he entertained?

HOPE: Well, that had occurred as a possibility and we thought about it. But I think that we sort of selfishly would like to him nearby. So, I think he'll be buried here in the Los Angeles area.

KING: Linda has to leave us. I thank you so much.

HOPE: Thank you. Thank you, Larry. KING: The rest will remain. We thank Linda Hope, certainly, for giving us all this time the day after he died.

We'll be back with more calls and comments from Katherine Crosby, Debbie Reynolds, Barbara Eden, and Ed McMahon. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

B. HOPE: If there is ever a walk definition of shipshape, you're it.

EDEN: Thank you, Bob. Does that mean you like my port and starboard?

B. HOPE: Not to mention your bow and your stern.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CALLER: I want to tell you how much I enjoyed the humor between and Bing Crosby.

And my question is, how much of the films that you did was ad lib and how much was really that you keep to the script?

B. HOPE: Boy, we did a lot of ad lib. I had a wonderful writing staff (UNINTELLIGIBLE). And I used to give them the road scripts and write things on margin and I would meet Bing and say what do you think this?

And he would say, let's do that. And we ad libed so much that one of the writers, Hartman and Butler wrote the scripts and they wrote great scripts, but Hartman heard we were ad libing so much and came on the set. And I yelled at him, I said Don if you hear one of your lines, yell bingo. And he got mad, he got mad and walked off, and was really mad until it came out and first preview and then kissing and dancing all over the studio.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Told the story well, didn't he, Katherine?

CROSBY: Yes.

KING: By the way, Debbie Reynolds, will be appearing at the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas, August 13 through August 17. If you have never seen Debbie in person, you have a real treat.

What was it like being on stage with Bob?

REYNOLDS: Well, competitive. I mean, he was great fun because it was like being in a circus. You know, he would ad lib and would you go with him. And we once played a scene which played baby doll, this is on the television show, you did sketches, so you always did a character.

KING: But he gave a lot, he wanted you to be funny?

REYNOLDS: He wanted -- yes. He would give you funny lines and ad lib and you just go along with him. That's the fun of comedy, not to be nailed.

KING: He would often, as you said, just walk on to "The Tonight Show" set?

REYNOLDS: Yes

MCMAHON: Yes, he was welcome whenever he wanted to do it. And he would call up Fred (UNINTELLIGIBLE) the producer, and maybe not even tell Johnny and walk out and there he was. I remember that great night when he walked out as a surprise to the audience, we knew he was coming that night. And then Dean Martin was walking down the hall and he heard all this laughter. And he said to somebody, hey, "Pally (ph) what is all that laughter in there"? He said, well, Bob Hope surprised Johnny Carson. He said, I'm going to surprise.

So, you know, around came Dean Martin, a drink in one hand, cigarette in the other in jog suit. And he came out and sat down. Now the next guest was George Gobel. The three of them were brilliant, Hope, Dean. Poor Gebel had to follow them, sat down and looked at the Dean, he looked Hope and he looked at Johnny, he said, Johnny, did you ever have the feeling that the whole world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes? That's the funniest line in the 30 years of "The Tonight Show."

KING: Bing, didn't do a lot of interviews?

CROSBY: He interviewed when he needed to.

KING: Different era now.

CROSBY: If you were in sports he would talk to you. If you were asking about early musicians, he wanted to share memories.

KING: He loved that.

CROSBY: He loved stories.

KING: And horse racing.

CROSBY: Racing! The most exciting time was 6:00 to breeze in Paris (UNINTELLIGIBLE). And I got (UNINTELLIGIBLE) breeze. Once the race started I never found him. But to see 6:00 in the morning...

KING: He built Del Mar.

CROSBY: I asked him do you like horses?

I saw the wall in his dressing room, said do you like horses?

He said, yes, didn't know he built Del Mar. Didn't know any of that.

KING: Pleasanton, California, hello.

CALLER: Yes, good evening everyone.

Being a Vietnam veteran, of course, I think Bob Hope is a true saint, and my question is, does anyone know if he was very religious?

KING: Was he? They said he had a mass at the end.

Do you know, Barbara?

EDEN: I'm not sure. But I know Dolores is, so I would imagine Bob was right along with Dolores.

KING: Debbie, do you know?

REYNOLDS: I think his love and religion was humor. And Dolores was the religious one but of course bob went along with all that, it was definitely in the home and the children were instilled Catholicism.

KING: Ontario Lake, hello.

CALLER: Yes, good evening there Mr. King.

KING: Hi.

CALLER: I enjoy your program.

KING: Thank you.

CALLER: My question is for Mr. McMahon.

KING: Yes?

CALLER: I'd like to know in his memory bank, what was one of the funniest thing that Mr. McMahon and Mr. Hope shared together? Thank you.

MCMAHON: One of the funniest things we ever did together or....

KING: ...or on "The Tonight Show," yes.

MCMAHON: Yes. Well, it really was off "The Tonight Show."

He played in golf tournament I had , Larry, up in the Quad Cities and you know, you wonder where the man would come up with these ideas and this energy. And we were driving around before the tournament and we went by a building. He said, "What's that?" I said, "I think the John Deere Auditorium." He said, "See if it's open Saturday night. We'll do a show."

So I called up, they were open. We got the auditorium. We got everybody who was playing golf on the show and he did a show for the Eisenhower Hospital. Now here's a man that traveled, you know, all over the world constantly. He had to do a show. You know, and it was just -- here I am in the Quad Cities and he had, you know, 13 jokes. It was wonderful.

KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments with our panel. on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go way.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HOPE: You know, how many years of math have you had, Goober?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you thought he was stupid.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Miami, hello.

CALLER: Bob, hi. I would like to know if you ever met Marilyn Monroe and what you think of her.

KING: Oh, Marilyn Monroe. Toured with you, didn't she?

HOPE: Sure I do. Sure. Absolutely. Had her on my show from Camp Pendleton and there were 800 kids came down from the Roosevelt's Raiders out of the mountains after training and she walked out and she said, "Hello." That's all. They went right to the ceiling and I was with them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: By the way, that interview and others that I've conducted with Bob Hope will all be repeated in a special we're going to do this Friday night.

Dubuque, Iowa, hello.

CALLER: Yes. Hi, Larry.

KING: Hi.

CALLER: My question is for Barbara Eden. How many USO shows did she do with Mr. Hope?

EDEN: I did one. I went to the Persian Gulf with him. But it was -- I'll tell you something. I have never seen an audience roar as much for anyone. I mean, there were a lot of pretty girls in that show but Bob got all of the roars.

KING: And Debbie, you were telling us he knew how to nap, right? And that added to his energy.

REYNOLDS: It didn't matter how tired he was. We had just done a show for victims of a hurricane. I mean, the whole town fell part. And I was really tired but I couldn't sleep. But I looked over and here was Bob, out like a light. Ten minutes he would grab, 10 minutes and he would be ready to go. OK. What? What? What happened? What happened? He was also able to cut off the world. He could single- minded.

KING: Bing was only in his 70s when he died, right?

CROSBY: Yes.

KING: Seventy what?

CROSBY: 74.

KING: He died on a golf course, right?

CROSBY: Yes, he played 18 holes.

KING: Overseas?

CROSBY: In Spain. In Madrid. And he won $10.

KING: Milwaukee, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. My question is for Barbara Eden. Barbara, how long have you known Bob Hope and when did you first meet?

EDEN: I first met Bob Hope when I was four-years-old. My parents took me to see the Pepsodent Hour radio show in San Francisco. And I had the happiest feeling and it never left me about Bob. Every time I would see Bob I'd remember meeting him and doing that.

Then later when I worked for him in 1968, I think it was, I did my first Christmas special with him, I was just so in awe. I could only remember that little 4-year-old kid who had shaken his hand.

KING: Can we thank you -- I can't thank you enough for sharing these memories tonight for joining Linda Hope. Kathryn Crosby, I've been such a grade admirer of yours.

CROSBY: Well, thank you. I am the biggest admirer of Dolores'. She has kept everything together.

KING: She kept it together.

CROSBY: So much love. That's why he was able to give love to everyone and she was the woman who sang "White Christmas" at the end of the last shows that he did overseas.

KING: Kathryn Crosby; Debbie Reynolds -- she'll be in the Orleans Hotel in Vegas August 13-17; Barbara Eden, the beloved star of "i Dream of Jeannie" and our old friend; Ed McMahon, the TV personality, former anchor "The Tonight Show."

Back to tell you about tomorrow night right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: Christopher Reeve is in Tel Aviv, Israel. He's our special guest tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE. And Bill Maher makes his semi-annual appearance this Thursday night.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com




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