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A Century Of Hope

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, right, meets members of the Iraqi Army and Iraqi police during a visit to a joint security station in Baghdad on Saturday, June 16, 2007.
AP
Legendary entertainer Bob Hope celebrated his 100th birthday Thursday.

The date was also celebrated by many other Americans, and in several states, it was Bob Hope Day.

From stage to screen and from radio to television, Hope sang, danced and laughed his way into the hearts of Americans. The Early Show national correspondent Hattie Kauffman took a look back at a century of Hope.

A quick punch line may be the signature of Bob Hope, but his career encompasses much more than that.

After launching his career in vaudeville, Hope easily transitioned to radio, television and went on to make more than 60 movies.

But it was as an entertainer to the troops that Bob Hope really shined. From World War II to the Korean War to Vietnam, he was known for entertaining U.S. troops overseas.

A decade ago, Kauffman asked Hope if he was ever scared to travel to dangerous locations to entertain the U.S. military.

"No. It was pretty exciting," Hope laughed. "After the war started, the war in 1941, you felt, 'I was doing something for people.'"

When not performing for the men and women in uniform, he might poke at himself.

"He's a tireless performer," said United Service Organizations (USO) veteran Connie Stevens. "He's been in every field."

In honor of his 100th birthday, Universal Pictures has released a DVD collection of 17 of Hope's classic films, including his "Road" comedies with Bing Crosby.

Comedienne Phyllis Diller was another frequent sidekick and one of Hope's long-time friends.

"He knows I like to be teased," Diller laughed. "He was always telling me awful things about me. But, like he said, before I had my face lift, I was so ugly that a peeping Tom threw up on my window sill."

To honor the funnyman, Hollywood unveiled a special birthday star naming Bob Hop "Entertainer of the Century," acknowledging his incredible contributions of humor and service.

He says he won't retire unless he can no longer make people laugh.

One of the last times Hope appeared in public, he looked frail. But his daughter, Linda Hope, says his humor hasn't faded.

"He's hanging in there," Linda said. "He has his bad and his good days. But on his good days, he's the same old Bob Hope."