On Friday 13th July, Greenwich Heritage Centre will become the third institution to host the touring exhibition Bob Hope : A World of Laughter which has been painstakingly produced by the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum with the support of the Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation. Bob Hope: A World of Laughter will appeal to fans of Bob Hope, golf and comedy lovers, nostalgia and culture vultures and if you’re looking for an alternative to the “big games” that will be taking place in London, this is the ideal destination.
Bob Hope was born Leslie Townes Hope in Eltham, in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, South London on May 29 1903. At the age of four his family emigrated to America and the rest as they say, is history, as Bob Hope became one of the world’s most loved, endearing and enduring comedians, renowned equally for his one-liners, his films, his support of the American troops during several wars and of course, his love of golf.
Bob Hope: A World of Laughter will feature more than 170 artifacts including his KBE and CBE conferred on him by The Queen. The exhibition will also include Bob Hope’s honorary Oscar statuette, Honorary Veterans citation, and Congressional Gold Medal and his PGA of America money clip. More than 200 vintage photos and several video displays will tell the story about Hope’s early years as part of an immigrant family in the early 20th century, his rise as a star of stage, screen and radio, the relationships he had with U.S. presidents, his devotion to the men and women of the military and his love of golf.
Says Linda Hope, "The Bob Hope family is absolutely thrilled to have Bob back on the "Road" to his hometown, especially at such an exciting time. Dad loved The Olympics and I am certain that he will be catching some of the action along with enjoying being "home" again. He was born in Eltham and always looked forward to returning. The World Golf Hall of Fame has put together some amazing displays that illustrate his humor, his love of travel and his love of golf. I'm sure that this exhibition will be a fun experience for both young and old”.
Councillor Chris Roberts, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich said: “Bob Hope is a famous son of Eltham in the Royal Borough of Greenwich and we are immensely proud of our connection with him and all he achieved throughout his illustrious career. I hope the exhibition inspires people to visit our Royal Borough and enjoy some of the landmarks he used to grace.
“Bob Hope kept returning to Eltham throughout his life and always maintained an active interest in the local community. He managed to the save the Eltham Little Theatre from possible closure in 1982. His actions have allowed the venue to flourish as the renamed Bob Hope Theatre, which is one of the best equipped amateur theatres in South East London.
“I would encourage anyone interested in Bob Hope and his links to Greenwich to come to the Greenwich Heritage Centre to see the exhibition.”
He was awarded the Freedom of the Borough in 2000 aged 97, and died in 2003, aged 100. This award will be among many on display. In addition, never seen artifacts that tell the story of his roots in England, his returns to his homeland to entertain HRH, and his charitable endeavors through the Bob Hope British Classic will be included in this stop on the tour.
“Bob Hope is a transcendent figure not just in golf, but in twentieth century entertainment,” says Jack Peter, World Golf Hall of Fame Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “We are honored to have the support of the Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation in this exciting venture.”
“I left England at the age of four when I found out I couldn't be king.” Bob Hope on leaving England for America
The exhibition will be available free of charge to the public in the Berkeley Gallery at the Greenwich Heritage Centre from Friday July 13 through October 28, 2012. See