Bob Hope, sex machine, ‘often cheated’ during his 69-year marriage

Bob Hope

Comedy legend Bob Hope was a prime star in vaudeville, on Broadway, on radio, in motion pictures, on TV and thru a long time of USO excursions world wide. He additionally had one of many longest show-business marriages on file — he was wed to singer Dolores Reade Hope for 69 years till his demise at age 100 in 2003.

Or was he? “Hope: Entertainer of the Century,’’ a brand new biography by Richard Zoglin out Nov. 4, not solely casts doubt on whether or not Hope was ever legally married to the previous Dolores DeFina (who died in 2011 at age 102) — it chronicles a protracted checklist of his rumored sexual dalliances, a few of which went on for years.

“No marriage license for Bob and Dolores Hope has ever turned up,’’ Zoglin writes. “The lack of any file of the Hopes’ marriage (not even a marriage photograph) led some Hope members of the family to take a position over time {that a} marriage ceremony could by no means have taken place.’’

The writer was capable of finding a divorce decree documenting Hope’s 1933-34 marriage to former vaudeville companion Grace Troxell, which Hope’s publicists denied ever befell when it was revealed in a 1993 biography. Zoglin’s guide reveals Hope “quietly despatched her cash within the years earlier than her demise’’ in 1976 at age 65.

Zoglin quotes former Hope author Sherwood Schwartz on Hope’s womanizing within the late Thirties: “We’d go to a lodge, I swear to you, exterior his room have been three, 4, 5 younger, lovely ladies, ready to be picked by him to return in . . . He was a star having fun with his stardom.’’

Mostly, the guide alleges, Hope loved one-night stands with showgirls and wonder queens — avoiding romantic entanglements with his lovely co-stars in motion pictures, who included such actresses as Lucille Ball, Jane Russell, Madeleine Carroll, Paulette Goddard, Joan Fontaine and Dorothy Lamour.

But a few of his affairs have been of longer length, Zoglin writes, and concerned higher-profile ladies, a number of of whom he labored with — and who typically met sad ends:

Doris Day

“Hope claimed to a buddy years later that he and Day had a short romantic fling whereas they have been touring collectively [raising funds for the March of Dimes, above] in 1949,’’ Zoglin writes. “When they returned dwelling to Burbank, Dolores was on the airport to greet them, giving Bob an ostentatious welcome-home hug. According to Hope, Day noticed the gesture as a spouse’s symbolic marking of her territory, and he or she ended the connection then and there. Day [now 90] by no means commented on the alleged affair.’’

Barbara Payton

Payton, a blonde femme fatale who starred in such noirs as “Bad Blonde’’ (above) and James Cagney’s “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye,’’ had a relationship with Hope that started within the spring of 1949 and lasted for a number of months, in response to the guide. Zoglin quotes her biographer as saying, “She adopted Hope across the nation, moved right into a furnished residence that he rented for her in Hollywood, and when the affair led to August, was paid off by Hope to maintain quiet about it. If so, it didn’t cease Payton . . . from promoting her story to Confidential journal in 1956, a uncommon breach within the wall of secrecy that surrounded Hope’s sex life.’’ Turning to medication and prostitution, Payton drank herself to demise, dying on the age of 39 in 1967.

Marilyn Maxwell

Curvy actress-singer Marilyn Maxwell was Hope’s girlfriend from round 1950 to 1954, in response to the guide, co-starring with him within the motion pictures “The Lemon Drop Kid” (above) and “Off Limits’’ in addition to touring with his vaudeville act and USO reveals. “Hope’s intimate relationship with Maxwell was well-known to most people who labored with him,’’ Zoglin writes. “On the street for a military-camp present, publicist Frank Liberman as soon as noticed Hope and Maxwell test in for the evening at an affordable motel . . . The two have been collectively so usually that folks on the Paramount lot started referring to Maxwell as Mrs. Hope.’’ Married thrice, she died of a coronary heart assault in 1972, aged 50.

Ursula Halloran

Hope had a “pretty open affair’’ with Halloran, a member of his publicity workers who accompanied him on a visit to Russia in 1958, Zoglin reveals. She was discovered lifeless of a drug overdose in 1963.

Rosemarie Frankland

After he topped the Welsh magnificence Miss World of 1961 (above), Hope “took Frankland on his 1961 Christmas journey to the Arctic, supported her when she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a movie profession and gave her a small half in his 1965 film ‘I’ll Take Sweden,’ ’’ Zoglin writes. Publicist Liberman advised the writer the affair went on for “practically 30 years,” and the comic known as her “the nice love of his life.’’ She additionally died of a drug overdose, in 2000.

Sandy Vinger

Hope’s final girlfriend was a author on his California Federal Savings commercials (like this one above) whom Zoglin reviews “was his frequent companion within the Eighties.’’ Sandy Vinger introduced a breach-of-contract go well with towards Hope in 1994, when he was 91, claiming he agreed to assist her for all times. It was settled out of court docket.

Dolores Hope

Zoglin writes that Dolores Hope, a religious Catholic who had adopted 4 kids with Hope [seen together in his native England in 1994, above], was “virtually definitely’’ conscious of his affairs. Asked by a reporter in 1978 if she thought her husband was “a hundred percent true-blue,’’ she replied, “I doubt it. I believe he’s completely human and common and all that.’’

Hope’s daughter Linda is quoted in “Hope: Entertainer of the Century’’ as saying, “I’m positive my mom knew what was happening. And she simply determined that he was price going by way of no matter she needed to undergo, to have the life and be Mrs. Bob Hope. But I don’t suppose any of the [other women] had the importance to him that she did and the household did.’’

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