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Legendary was Toluca Lake where Bob Hope decreed his stately joke vault.

Today, almost as legendary is Hope's high desert Xanadu, world's largest private pleasure ground, complete with a restricted 200-holer. Here, in the sweltering heart of Palm Springs, a private retreat was commissioned and successfully built in 1979. Unlike the pharaohs, Hope Spring's landlord leaves many canned laughs to mark his grave.

One hundred thousand cue cards, twenty thousand tons of makeup, and the lives of countless American servicemen and VC insurgents form the the brick and mortar of Hope's testament to himself. Contents of Bob and Dolores' palace: awards and commendations, portraits, stacks of unread scripts, discarded Metamucil packets, and furnishings the particle board foundation of many an IKEA — and a collection of jokes so big it can never be cataloged let alone comprehended, enough material for ten thousand network specials and supermarket openings - the loot of the world.

Hope went to his reward in 2003 at age 100. Mrs. Hope was 102 when she died last year. Dolores spent her remaining days alone in their 22,000-square-foot, six-bedroom Palm Springs pleasure palace, aloof, seldom visited, never photographed, an empress of new strength continued to direct her husband's once mighty empire.

Then last week, as it must to all mansions of dead, rich celebrities, Hope's oasis was put on the market. Cost: no man knows who -- in a failing housing market -- would have the temerity to put a $45 million asking price on even this behemoth.

Real estate agent David Mossler told mydesert.com, "the estate on Southridge Drive is listed through Partners Trust of of Beverly Hills for a 'rumored $45 million.'"

From what I hear they don't take cats and the water pressure sucks. Besides, other than a very old, not so funny, violently insane comedian and his trusty wife would want to live on the sun's anvil? I'm waiting for the Toluca Lake pad to open up so I buy, it invade it, secede from the union, and start my own country.

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Comments

SurfPuppy619 Nov. 19, 2012 @ 1:40 p.m.

Elizabeth aylors Palm Springs house was listed at $12 million, then dropped every month for the next 2 years until it sold for $2.9 MILLION! (I think it was $2.9)

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tomjohnston Nov. 19, 2012 @ 6:55 p.m.

You missed it by just a little bit, surfpuppy619. It was listed originally at $9.2 million and sold 2 1/2 yrs later, after only 3 price cuts btw, for $5.2 million. It was bought by an out of town couple who saw the for sale sign when they rode by it on their bikes. If you know PS, it's just off N Palm Canyon In the Old Las Palmas neighborhood, right across Palm Canyon/Indian Canyon from the Colony, and about 5 minutes from the home that Marilyn Monroe owned out there.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 20, 2012 @ 2:01 p.m.

I have been by it in person many times. Looked much different in person than in the pics online....walls and house too close to the street. I like CARY GRANT'S pad much better, which sits across the street from Ruth Hardy park.

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tomjohnston Nov. 20, 2012 @ 5:27 p.m.

Yeah it's a lot nicer. But you may not have thought so if you had seen it about 15 yrs ago. It was a disaster. The only reason it wasn't torn down is because Grant had lived there. A Dr from back east bought it and spent about 10 yrs and a ton of money restoring it. She had Leland Lee document the restoration. Some pretty cool Pics.

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Burwell Nov. 19, 2012 @ 11:09 p.m.

Bob Hope had no talent whatsover. I can't explain how he made so much money. He was not funny and could not act.

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tomjohnston Nov. 20, 2012 @ 7:51 a.m.

Well, everyone has their own tastes, burwell. But I think you have to put it in a certain context. Unless you are REALLY old, you didn't see Hope during the height of his popularity back in the 30's and 40's. He was extremely popular at the time and made a good deal of money, at least for that time. But Hope's real wealth, no pun intended, was in real estate. Bing Crosby got him into real estate back in the 30's. He owned land in LA, the Valley, Malibu, Palm Springs and Phoenix. He also had investments in a lot of oil wells in the LA area. How much would 80 acres of undeveloped land in Rancho Mirage be worth today? Hope bought a bunch of land in the PS area as far back as the 40's and donated 80 acres in the late 60's for Eisenhower Medical Center. I can't attest to the accuracy, but literally hundreds of times I have read or have heard that at one time Hope may have owned as much as 7500 acres in Malibu. Real Estate baby, real estate. That's where hope made his millions.

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Scott Marks Nov. 20, 2012 @ 10:02 a.m.

Didn't he have a brother who made the investments for him?

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Scott Marks Nov. 20, 2012 @ 9:51 a.m.

As much as I ride Hope, his performances in "Son of Paleface," "The Lemon Drop Kid" and several of the "Road" pictures are timed to perfection and frequently hilarious. There is no denying that the man was capable of comedic greatness. Sadly, all hope of Hope reaching the level of Groucho or Jack Benny died with television. Bob became a personal deity when he signed on with NBC to produce some of the most noxious, forced "comedy" extravaganzas ever filmed. They guy actually had the balls to turn war into televised entertainment specials. Towards the end, all of the laughs were strictly unintentional -- he couldn't fart unless a cue card told him to -- and frequently funner than any of the so-called intentional humor. Personally, this is one cat who fascinates me. I'm in Burbank as we speak and have every intention of making a pass by Bob's Toluca Lake Earth Station later today. The power of Hope compels me.

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tomjohnston Nov. 20, 2012 @ 9:42 a.m.

Scott Marks, I don't recall that the Hopes ever lived in the Southridge Drive house. Bob hated the house. They owned a couple of others in the area and usually stayed at the Thunderbird CC house. In any event, Dolores rarely visited PS after Bob's death. After her stroke a couple of yrs before her death, I believe she didn't go back out to PS at all, she pretty much stayed at her Toluca Lake home which is where she was when she passed. Personally, I always preferred the William Holden estate, just down the hill. We saw it when it was being listed a couple of yrs ago. When last I checked, it was still on the marked at $2.25, which is less than half of what the bank originally was asking for it.

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Scott Marks Nov. 20, 2012 @ 10:01 a.m.

They lived on Southridge Dr. long enough to tape a TV special or two.

I make a run past the house on Ledge every day that I spend in Burbank. I sure hope they still put up the Christmas decorations even though Bob and Dotty are no longer around to enjoy them. It's always been my assertion that Hope never spent so much as one night in his Toluca Lake home. Between the one-night stands, supermarket opening, otehr assorted personal appearances, and the Toluca Lake "stabbin'-cabin" he rented for Marilyn Maxwell, etc., who had time for family?

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 20, 2012 @ 2:05 p.m.

What is the address of the william holden estate? Southridge is a gated street as I recall, right?

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tomjohnston Nov. 20, 2012 @ 4:53 p.m.

Google, surfpuppy619. It's not hard to find. Second house on the right as you go up the last section of Southridge. The gate is about 1/2 mile up from Palm Canyon. Updated info that I looked into this afternoon It was most recently owned by Alison Janney. She bought it 5 or six years ago. It wasn't in foreclosure when we saw it, she was just trying to sell it. Apparently it was in escrow around the first of the year but it fell out. It was finally foreclosed on about a month ago and put on the market.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 20, 2012 @ 5:35 p.m.

Surfpuppy is wayy tooooo busy to do a google search.........but his home is before the gate????

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 20, 2012 @ 5:50 p.m.

I was just checking out the Holden House, looks big, and the gate is different, they used to hvae a guard shack with a guard, now it is a security gate...Elrod house first one inside the gate....

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Burwell Nov. 21, 2012 @ 7:48 p.m.

I saw almost all of the great movies of the 1950s and 1960s at either the Frontier or Midway Drive-Ins when they first came out. Many critics believe that Taras Bulba is the worst movie ever made. The critics are wrong. I saw Son of Pale Face in Culver City around 1960 and it is clearly the worst movie ever made.

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Scott Marks Nov. 21, 2012 @ 11:37 p.m.

Makes "Citizen Kane" look like a masterpiece.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 22, 2012 @ 10:24 a.m.

Hahaha...that is blasphemy...I LOVED son of paleface. I was a kid when I first saw it though!.

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Burwell Nov. 22, 2012 @ 12:25 a.m.

Citizen Kane was a pile of manure too.

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Ghost_of_dolores_hope Dec. 5, 2012 @ 12:10 p.m.

You can buy a 'used' copy of 'Boy, Did I get a Wrong Number' for $69.99 at Amazon.

If DVD's were made of gold...

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dwbat March 1, 2013 @ 2:36 a.m.

Here's an update on the house: http://www.latimes.com/classified/realestate/la-fi-mo-hotprop-bob-hope-20130228,0,4916429.story

RE: "Today, almost as legendary is Hope's high desert Xanadu"

Palm Springs is not in the high desert. It's low desert. Palmdale is high desert.

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