Hollywood: The Night the Stars Came Out

The stagehand told Bob Hope he had a minute and a half before it all started. "Thank you," replied Hope calmly. "Shall I pull my pants up or just go on?" A minute and a half later, pants pulled up, the comedian-master of ceremonies walked onto the stage at Santa Monica's Civic Auditorium and, for the eleventh time in 13 years, did his valiant, 21-hour best to pull up that most intractable of TV shows, the annual "Oscar" awards of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

"This is the night,"...

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