Dolores Hope Dies At 102

by J-Stacknik

Dolores Hope died on September 19, 2011 at the age of 102 years.

Dolores Hope was most famous for being the wife of comedian Bob Hope, but she had her own singing career before she met Bob. it was in 1933 when Bob was appearing in his first Broadway show Roberta that his cast mate George Murphy persuaded him to visit the Vogue Club to “hear a pretty girl sing”. Her name was Dolores Reade and her rendition of It’s Only a Paper Moon entranced the young comedian.

They married on February 19, 1934, she quit working night clubs and joined his vaudeville act. Shortly after that she retired she said, “Bob was the hot thing in New York then. I thought I’d better stay home and take care of Bob.” They moved to Hollywood in 1938 so Bob could persue his film career, and Dolores stayed home and raised four children that they adopted: Linda, Anthony, Kelly and Nora.

Dolores continued to sing at parities, and in the 1940s she began accompanying Hope on his Christmas trips to entertain U.S. troops. This continued until they did their last show together in 1990 in Saudi Arabia. “She was the first lady of the USO,” said Carol Channing. “They didn’t come any more patriotic, caring or talented than Dolores.”

She was born Dolores DeFina in 1909 in New York’s Harlem to an Italian father and Irish mother. Her father died when she was very young and her mother raised her and her sister, and as Dolores said “I always like what General Eisenhower said, ‘We were poor and didn’t know it.’”

She began singing early, worked as a model and a Ziegfeld showgirl and at 20 sang with George Olson’s band. She took the name Dolores Reade. She revived her singing career when she was in her 80s recording three albums of old and new standards and appearing at New York’s Rainbow and Stars as a guest with Rosemary Clooney.

Bob Hope died in 2003 at the age of 100 and is buried in the San Fernando Mission Cemetary. Dolores will have the plot beside him.

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Dolores Hope, wife of Bob Hope, dies at 102

 

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