In 1933 Bob Hope was appearing in his first Broadway show. One of his fellow cast members talked him into a night on the town. During a stop at the Vogue Club Bob saw a pretty girl singing “It’s Only a Paper Moon.” Bob was entranced with the dark beauty named Dolores Reade.
Bob made it a point to get to the club every night, and soon was escorting Dolores to her hotel after her shows. The couple married in April of 1934, and Dolores joined Bob for a short time on the vaudeville circuit.Duffys-Tavern-440425-Crosby-and-Hope–OTRCAT.com
As Bob’s career took off, Dolores spent more time taking care of their home and their four adopted children. She continued to sing on a small scale, and during the 1940s she began accompanying Bob on his USO visits to entertain troops. Carol Channing would state “She was the first lady of the USO.” Bob’s last Christmas show for the troops was in 1990 during Operation Desert Storm. Dolores was the only woman entertainer approved to appear in Saudi Arabia.
Dolores spent much of her later years in charitable pursuits. She served as President and Chairwoman of the Eisenhower Medical Center in Palm Springs, CA, and has been an honorary member of The Wings of Hope Humanitarian organization.
Dolores was at Bob’s side during his 100th birthday on May 29, 2003. Two months he passed away.
Dolores died at the age of 102, of natural causes at her home in Toluca Lake, Ca, on Sept 19, 2011.
Pete Kelly (Jack Webb) fronts the house band, the Big Seven, at a speakeasy in the roaring ’20s is a world of jazz, gangsters, gun molls, g-men, bad booze and desperate people trying to save their skins.
Enjoy this episode broadcast today 60 years ago titled “Dr Jonathan Budd”:
Beulah first appears at 79 Wistful Vista on Jan 25, 1944. At her first utterances there are peals of laughter from the studio audience, almost before she has said anything funny. Fibber McGee and Molly hire Beulah for one day a week. On Tuesdays Beulah will cook, clean, wash, and respond to Fibber’s wise cracks. The McGee’s are so pleased with Beulah’s services that they intend to do more entertaining on Tuesdays. Tuesday is of course the night that they are on the air.
The new domestic help is in her 30s, perhaps a little over fond of her own cooking, a little bit man crazy, and tends towards short skirts and high heels. When she speaks for the first time during an episode, she gets more than her share of laughs. When she is called she replies with “Somebody bawl fo’ Beulah?” and answers McGee’s witticisms with “Love that Man!”
Beulah deserves most of the laughter for her comic lines and delivery. Many of the laughs are the studio audience’s surprise at seeing Beulah in the flesh for the first time. This black lady is played by a white male actor, Marlin Hurt.
Beulah became popular enough to be spun off to her own program, The Marlin Hurt and Beulah Show in 1945. Hattie McDaniel was the first black actress to play the part on the renamed Beulah Show beginning Nov 24, 1947. The NAACP praised the selection of McDaniel. When McDaniel became ill in 1952 she was replaced by Lillian Randolph, who would in turn be replaced the next season by her sister, Amanda Randolph.
Beulah was adapted for TV in 1950 for three seasons. Along with the TV version of Amos ‘n’ Andy, the program was criticized for perpetuating stereotypical black characters. Actress Lillian Randolph, who along with Beulah played Birdie Lee Coggins, the cook for The Great Gildersleeve, replied to the criticism in the pages of Ebony magazine. It was Randolph’s contention that the roles were not harmful to the image or opportunities of African Americans; the roles themselves would not go away, but the ethnicity of those in them would eventually change.