Dolores Hope

Happy 101 Birthday Dolores!

Dolores Hope, DC*SG (born May 27, 1909) is an American singer, philanthropist and the widow of actor Bob Hope

She was born as Dolores DeFina in New York City of Italian and Irish descent and raised in the Bronx. After the death of her father, her mother, Theresa, raised her.

During the 1930s, she began her professional singing career under the name Dolores Reade on the advice of her agent. In 1933, after appearing at the Vogue Club, a Manhattan nightclub, Reade was introduced to Bob Hope. The couple were married on February 19, 1934 in Erie, Pennsylvania. They later adopted four children from The Cradle in Evanston, Illinois: Eleanora, Linda, Kelly and Anthony (d. 2004).

In the 1940s, Dolores began helping Bob on his tours entertaining U.S. troops overseas and she would continue to do so for over 50 years. In 1990, she was the only female entertainer allowed to perform in Saudi Arabia.

At 83 she recorded her first CD, Dolores Hope: Now and Then. She followed this with three additional albums and also recorded a Christmas CD with Bob entitled Hopes for the Holidays.

On May 29, 2003, Dolores was at her husband’s side as he celebrated his 100th birthday; he died two months later on July 27, 2003.[2] The following year their son, Anthony J. Hope, died at the age of 63 on June 28, 2004.[1] On May 27, 2009, Dolores Hope became a centenarian herself, and her birthday was featured on The Today Show.

Dolores Hope is an Honorary Board Member of the humanitarian organization Wings of Hope.

Sources: Wikipedia, YouTube, First Hand Account

At first glance, you may wonder why I chose to include Dolores Hope as one of the featured artists. Well, for one thing, there is more about Dolores Hope than meets the eye. Before meeting Bob Hope, Dolores enjoyed a successful career as a night club singer. Shortly after meeting Bob Hope, the couple married. At the time, Bob Hope was already a major star and Dolores put her career on hold when the couple decided to adopt four children. When the war broke out Bob and Dolores toured together entertaining the troupes; something Bob continued to do as recently as the Gulf War in the early 90’s.

I first met Dolores at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage. I was performing at the Eisenhower Memorial in the Annenberg Theater. Betty Ford and Dolores Hope have been close friend for many years. Ms. Ford invited Dolores to attend one of my performances. I recall Betty asking me to include, “These Foolish Things” in the show, because it is Dolores’ favorite tune. One need only spend a moment with Dolores Hope to see that she is a remarkable woman. At the time, she was 82 years young, and full of life and energy. Two years later, she resumed her singing career and recorded a CD, “Dolores Hope, Now and Then.”

The following YouTube video was filmed in 1991, and is Bob Hopes farewell performance. Watch it all the way through, as Dolores and Bob sing a duet that is charming!

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2 Comments

  1. Touching. And amazing, she will be 101 in a few days!! What a lovely lady.
    My Goodness Paul, you’ve met them all! Thanks for sharing, I love this series of yours.


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