EXPIRED: 09/16/11 – Dolores Hope, 102, was born a DeFina in Harlem back when it was mostly poor Irish and Italian immigrants living there. When the family got a little bit of money they moved to the somewhat nicer suburbs of the Bronx.
She started singing professionally in the 30’s, and after a gig at Manhattan’s tony Vogue Club, she was introduced to fledgling comedian Bob Hope. The couple fell in love and were married less than a year later, adopting a total of 4 kids. Family came first and Dolores gave up her career to let Bob Hope concentrate on his.
But she was always in the sidelines. In the 1940s, Dolores began helping her husband on his tours entertaining U.S. troops overseas and she would continue to do so for over 50 years. In 1990, she was the only female entertainer allowed to perform in Saudi Arabia.
At age 83, she recorded her first compact disc, Dolores Hope: Now and Then. She followed this with three additional albums and also recorded a Christmas CD with Bob entitled Hopes for the Holidays.
In 2003, Dolores was at Bob’s side as he celebrated his 100th birthday; he died two months later. On May 27, 2011, she herself turned 102.
And while she has a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, there’s a street in the Bronx named after her which probably holds a bit more of what Delores DeFina is all about.