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The Secret Life of Bob Hope: An Unauthorized Biography

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The son of the late Groucho Marx exposes the real Bob Hope in this shocking account. Hope ran a "casting couch" from his office at Universal Studios, and fired women who refused to sleep with him. Marx also reveals the true motivation behind Hope's trips to entertain the troops. Photos.


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The son of the late Groucho Marx exposes the real Bob Hope in this shocking account. Hope ran a "casting couch" from his office at Universal Studios, and fired women who refused to sleep with him. Marx also reveals the true motivation behind Hope's trips to entertain the troops. Photos.

30 review for The Secret Life of Bob Hope: An Unauthorized Biography

  1. 4 out of 5

    David

    I usually find that books about Hollywood celebrities are flat and boring even with juicy sex scenes or scandalous deceptions. Film stars are really only interesting in their alter-reality--the screen. And, it's on the screen that good ol' Bob should stay. After all, immortality is much more likely in the imagination of others than in the history of a rather typical life of a hard-working, talented, adulterous old gentleman in Hollywood, or Cleveland, or London. The book relates the scenes where I usually find that books about Hollywood celebrities are flat and boring even with juicy sex scenes or scandalous deceptions. Film stars are really only interesting in their alter-reality--the screen. And, it's on the screen that good ol' Bob should stay. After all, immortality is much more likely in the imagination of others than in the history of a rather typical life of a hard-working, talented, adulterous old gentleman in Hollywood, or Cleveland, or London. The book relates the scenes where Bob throws paychecks down to his devoted and groveling employees, or, being beckoned by some housewife while on a walk, he leaves his walking companion and goes into her kitchen and makes love to her, or has liaisons with almost every female lead that he worked with. However, from what I can tell, he was liked by many of his colleagues, presidents, generals, thousands of troops and of course loved by many women, not to mention the movie and television audiences. And, he made me laugh as a boy. So,while the book talks much about the sordidness of Bob's life, it helped me put one of my favorite fictional actors in the right perspective, which is his reality that stays on the screen and his infidelities in the enwrapped limbs of his many random lovers. If you like Bob, you'll appreciate the book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mediaman

    This is one of the rare books about a famous person that reveals the truth behind his vices. And it was written while Bob Hope was still alive, which is hard to believe because there are so many examples of Hope's sexual affairs, cheating his writers of money, and being a horrible person, that one can't fathom how it possibly could have been published without a lawsuit. The author is the son of Groucho Marx and wrote a few Hope films. While there isn't much insight about Hope's movies (some get s This is one of the rare books about a famous person that reveals the truth behind his vices. And it was written while Bob Hope was still alive, which is hard to believe because there are so many examples of Hope's sexual affairs, cheating his writers of money, and being a horrible person, that one can't fathom how it possibly could have been published without a lawsuit. The author is the son of Groucho Marx and wrote a few Hope films. While there isn't much insight about Hope's movies (some get skipped over completely), there are a lot of first-hand stories about Hope having dozens of women snuck into hotel rooms or his paying for their rent so he can bed them in the middle of the night. It's shockingly good gossip with names named. The biggest question that goes unanswered is how could the hundreds of women stay silent about this, how could the dozen of Hope employees that arranged the affairs seem to have no guilt, and why wasn't this story ever reported by the media when they all knew about it? The author seems to have a grudge against Hope due to a deal Groucho and Hope had about publicizing each other's books that Bob broke. So it's hard to say how distorted some of the evidence is, but the 400+ pages are filled with non-stop examples of Hope being a terrible guy. It's refreshing to hear a book tell it like it is. So many celebrity memoirs are just PR pieces and biographies are usually incomplete, mostly adoring portraits--but this one has almost too many examples, as well as needing some good editing to get rid of the repetitive stories and better organizing of the awkwardly-written material. There are also a number of unnecessary jabs at Hope's Republican politics, with the claim that the star was "ultra right wing," when in truth he was just a patriotic conservative who tried to do good. And, oddly, the book wraps up the last 15 years of Hope's life before publication in just a few pages, without explanation of not having more details. It's difficult to list all that you learn from reading this book but it's proof that a man's public image can be the opposite of who he is as a private human. The damage Bob Hope did to those in his family, the people who worked for him, and the women he took advantage of is shocking. One woman takes her own life, a couple people die early deaths due directly to the stress of his secrets, a number of them are abandoned and leave Hollywood due to Hope's broken promises, and virtually every person in his life is used by the comic for his own selfish good then tossed aside (even the government and military employees that authorize payment for his visiting the troops, which he ends up making money off of due to TV specials). While he raised large amounts of money for charities, he failed as a husband, refused to stay home to be around his kids, and mostly went off on charity trips in order to bed women while on the road away from his family. It's a must-read book for insights into a disgusting celebrity and proof that you can't believe the media image of anyone in Hollywood.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Marsha St.Claire-B

    The biography was a very clear and concise story that included personal as well as historical data about the actor. The personal parts made a lot of sense since Marx was someone within the circle of artists that came into contact with Hope. Was it salacious? Somewhat. Believable? Absolutely.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ralph R. Echtinaw

    Dishes the dirt on Bob Hope.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    #25 of 120 books pledged to read during 2019

  6. 5 out of 5

    Justin

    Set up as a trashy "real" look into Bob Hope's life as an adulterer, skinflint and all around not nice guy, the book really doesn't serve up the dirt it promised. Yes, he cheated on his wife. Not really a secret and it's no different than many, many other celebrities of the time (or now). Yes, he was a miser. This has also been covered in other books.

  7. 4 out of 5

    baggyparagraphs

    An interesting book. I've written and posted a review on my blog: http://baggyparagraphs.wordpress.com/... An interesting book. I've written and posted a review on my blog: http://baggyparagraphs.wordpress.com/...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jim Hendrickson

    Pretty much verified what I had heard from other sources about Bob Hope. Great read and as a big fan of old time radio it was great to read about his radio show and the process to get it on the air.

  9. 4 out of 5

    John

  10. 4 out of 5

    Angela Green

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

  12. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    I could not finish this. Too depressing.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jude Brigley

  14. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mean Nostalgist

  16. 4 out of 5

    Exapno Mapcase

  17. 4 out of 5

    Josiane

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tim Tango

  19. 5 out of 5

    Dan Eggleston

  20. 4 out of 5

    Valérie

  21. 4 out of 5

    Shari

  22. 4 out of 5

    Stansherman

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Hazen

  24. 5 out of 5

    Liane Ward

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bret

  26. 4 out of 5

    Don Shinkle

  27. 4 out of 5

    stan

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ken

  29. 5 out of 5

    Craig

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mary Ann Bishop

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