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August 30, 2001 06:39 PM

Comedy icon Bob Hope, 98, was rushed to a hospital near his Toluca Lakes estate in Southern California over the weekend, his personal physician announced on Wednesday. Dr. Lee Kagan said that Hope, who remains physically strong despite some recent health setbacks typical of his age, was in serious condition with “mild pneumonia” Sunday night when the decision was made to take him to Providence St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Burbank. He was driven to the hospital, accompanied by his wife, Dolores, 93, and daughter, Linda, 62, and was initially placed in intensive care. The two women have been at his side throughout his hospitalization. By Wednesday, Hope was still being fed intravenously and receiving “supplemental oxygen,” Kagan said. “We anticipate he’ll be going home in a few days.” The English-born master of the one-liner, who entertained every U.S. President from Roosevelt (Franklin, not Teddy) to Clinton, was last hospitalized in June 2000 with a bout of gastrointestinal bleeding. At the time, doctors said he would continue to recuperate at home and undergo physical therapy to rebuild his strength.

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