Friday, October 14, 2016


Bing Crosby and Bob Hope were the most popular movie comedy team in the 1940s. They appeared on each others radio shows and television specials. In recent years it has come out that Bing and Bob weren't that great of fans, but we will never know for sure. When Bing died on October 14, 1977 it did sadden Bob Hope greatly...

"In October of 1977 a good friend of both Bing and mine, Hugh Davis, dropped dead on the golf course at Baltusrol. I flew East to do a memorial benefit for Hugh at Summit, New Jersey. I was in the Waldorf Towers that afternoon when I got a phone call from Bill Fugazy. Bill told me that Bing had died that day on a golf course in Spain. The shock and the sorrow were so overwhelming I couldn't describe it. I got Alan King to do the show for me in Jersey, and I flew back to California that night. It was a long flight.

I knew that Bing, despite the fact he had still been very active, was not in the best of health. He had lung problems in 1974, which kept him hospitalized during his tournament, and a few years later had that terrible fall off the stage at the Ambassador Theater in Pasadena.

What happened was that as Bing was leaving the stage, at the end of his number, he fell through a hole in the stage and dropped twelve feet. He managed to break the force of the fall by grabbing on to a piece of scenery. I was in my dressing room at the time and when I heard all the commotion I rushed downstairs and he was lying there. Pearl Bailey was holding his head and Kathy was leaning over him. Bing opened his eyes and looked up at me. Then he smiled weakly an said, "Jimmy Dundee couldn't have done it any better." Dundee was our stuntman at Paramount.

Sometime after his death I heard that a doctor in England told him to play only 9 holes because of his heart. Bing had finished 18 that day, and was walking up the hill to the clubhouse, when he collapsed and died.

A part of my life went with Bing. I still miss him and always will, just like the rest of the world. I remember the good times with him, and they'll be with me always." (Confessions of a Hooker, Doubleday, 1985, pg. 129)

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