Bob Hope hospitalized for pneumonia, put on oxygen

— Bob Hope was hospitalized with a mild case of bacterial pneumonia Wednesday and was breathing with the aid of an oxygen machine, his doctor said.

The 98-year-old comedian was improving and could be released from Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in several days, Dr. Lee Kagan said.

Hope was conscious and taking potent antibiotics � and wasn't cracking any jokes. "We're waiting for it (the humor)," Kagan said.

Hope was taken to the hospital after he had trouble breathing Sunday at his nearby Toluca Lake home. He was diagnosed with "mild pneumonia."

He was given oxygen and is being fed intravenously, Kagan said.

Although Hope was admitted in serious condition, "he is in much improved condition and stable. I would say he is not serious at this point," Kagan said. "Left untreated, it could have been catastrophic."

The comedian's wife, Dolores, and daughter, Linda, have been by his side almost constantly, Kagan said.

Hope was hospitalized last summer with gastrointestinal bleeding.

Born Leslie Townes Hope on May 29, 1903, in Eltham, England, Hope immigrated with his family to the United States in 1907 and settled in Cleveland.

He began a career in vaudeville but soared to international fame with dozens of TV specials and films, most notably his "road movies" with Bing Crosby. Also known for his prolific stream of one-liners, Hope was a mainstay of overseas shows for U.S. troops.

Hope made his last overseas visit to entertain U.S. troops at age 87, stopping in Saudi Arabia in 1990 during Operation Desert Storm.


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