Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
July 27
Bob Hope July 27, 2003
Bob Hope dies

On July 27, 2003, the unthinkable happened: Bob Hope died. The British-born comedian was two months past his 100 hundredth birthday when he passed away, and over the course of his marathon career he had not only become one of the most beloved performers in the entertainment world but had made his adoring public believe – and, dare we say, hope – that he was invincible and would be around forever. Hope had been performing since he was a 12-year-old kid busking in Cleveland (his family moved to the U.S. from London when he was five), and he seemingly never stopped. While in the 40s he ruled the big screen with Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour in their highly successful series of Road movies, from the 1950s onwards he reached millions with his TV specials and USO shows, which he continued to do into the 1990s. In his later years, he was honored with a lifetime achievement award by the Kennedy Center and was made an honorary Knight of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II. (On accepting his knighthood, the newly dubbed Sir Bob joked, “I'm speechless. 70 years of ad lib material and I'm speechless.”) His health declined in his final years – he was hospitalized in 2000 and 2001 – but his sense of humor never failed him. (He was no doubt amused that premature obituaries were run by the Associated Press in 1998 and CNN in 2003.) On his deathbed, he was asked by one of his daughters where he wanted to be buried. His answer? “Surprise me.”


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27 July 1984
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In 1984, James Mason died at the age of 75 of a massive heart attack in adopted hometown of Lausanne, Switzerland.

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