Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Hope by, Richard Zoglin
Hope also defined celebrity for the generations to come. His hosting of the Oscars raised it from an industry event to a nationally broadcast capstone of the year in film that is analyzed, dissected, and bet on by people even outside the industry. He was a tireless self-promoter of himself and his movies, but, with his USO tours and other actions, gave back to his fans and drew attention to charitable causes.
He was also a shrewd businessman, investing largely in California real estate, negotiating large guaranteed contracts for himself, and was one of the first to see the potential of using television to run advertisements for movies.
Unlike many celebrities, he didn't drink or use drugs. He gave almost all his time and attention to his fans, but was cold and remote with his family. He was generous to servicemen and people he met, but could be miserly and cruel to those who worked for him. He was married to his wife Delores since 1934, but had several long running affairs.
Richard Zoglin's biography Hope does an excellent job capturing the life and times of Bob Hope. It details almost everything Hope did in his long life, but doesn't provide much insight into Hope's personality or his raison d'être. Given Hope's relationship to his family, this is not surprising.
It is a very well researched and written book that I recommend for any fan of Hope or anyone interested in the history of the entertainment industry.
Thanks for the Memory.