updated 04/16/2003 AT 1:00 AM ET
•originally published 04/16/2003 AT 1:20 PM ET
Dennis Miller, Kelsey Grammer and veteran comedian Phyllis Diller – whose career in the early ’60s was greatly encouraged by Bob Hope – paid tribute to the legendary entertainer at a ceremony on Hollywood Boulevard Tuesday.
Hope, who turns 100 on May 29, was named “citizen of the century” on a special bronze plaque that was mounted on the famed Walk of Fame, reports Reuters.
As the tributes were pouring in, even wise-guy Miller, 49, said that the ski-nosed comedian, who traveled down several roads with Bing Crosby (in their “Road” pictures of the 1940s), was “a man you show up for and honor.”
Besides the many years Hope spent entertaining American troops in combat, Miller also noted Hope’s trademark technique. “He taught me something that I’ve always used as a stand-up comedian,” said Miller. “He had an insouciance about him that I would find fascinating, where he would tell a joke and just stand there for a second.”
Hope, who was home resting at his seven-acre Toluca Lake spread (near Universal Studios) while the ceremony took place, was represented by his elder daughter Linda, who said her family would be watching most of the tributes to her father on TV with him.
This Sunday, Easter, NBC is airing a two-hour birthday special, “100 Years of Hope and Humor.”
Other commemorations of his landmark will include the release of a DVD Tribute Collection box-set; the naming of the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street as Bob Hope Square; a reception in the Bob Hope Gallery of Entertainment at the Library of Congress; street namings for him in Toluca Lake and Cleveland – where he grew up, after being born in England.
There will also be a Bob Hope Day at the Cleveland Indians’ Jacob’s Field. Hope once owned the team.