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Hope grandson: Laughter until the end

Hope
Zachary Hope: "Pops. That's what we called him."

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(CNN) -- Entertainer Bob Hope's "amazing life" came to an end at age 100 before a final audience of family, his daughter said Monday.

Hope entertained millions of Americans at home and overseas in a career that spanned more than seven decades. He died Sunday night at his home in Toluca Lake, north of Hollywood.

Hope's grandson, Zachary Hope, joined CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien via satellite from Los Angeles on Tuesday to talk about the late entertainer.

O'BRIEN: Our condolences to you and your family. Although I have to tell you, as we've been talking to family members and friends, truly you get one-third of the way through the interview and you start laughing when you listen to the clips and hear the stories. What do you remember most about your grandfather?

HOPE: It's laughter until the end. We asked him where he wanted to be buried, and he said, surprise me.

O'BRIEN: What was it like to grow up with a grandfather who was also a gigantic Hollywood legend?

HOPE: To some extent I knew who Bob Hope was, but I was familiar from the time that he put me onstage at the age of 5 or 6, and he did the same with my sister Miranda, with "Pops." That's what we called him. And Pops is the kind of guy -- I think lots of people have someone like him in their lives who you just want to make him proud of you, whether it's a teacher or a coach, somebody who's got high standards, but when you really deliver, he notices, and he gives you the kudos, and it feels good.

O'BRIEN: I read that you also wanted to make him laugh. Anyone who could make Bob Hope, or Pops, laugh, really had definitely nailed the joke, right?

HOPE: Absolutely. That's absolutely right. And if he didn't hear something, he didn't hear the joke and he overheard laughter, he'd say, what am I missing? What am I missing? He always wanted to know what was funny.

O'BRIEN: It's really funny what we were reading yesterday, Bill [Hemmer] was reading some of his one-liners that we had printed out, and they were so funny, and some of them [were] 40 years old. His jokes really stood the test of time.

HOPE: Yes, a lot of them did. Of course, a lot of them were very current in terms of making fun of presidents and current events, and those are great for historical reference. And then others are just surprisingly clean, which a lot of, quote/unquote, old timers appreciate, and my grandmother certainly does.

start quoteIt was just recently that he said to me, you still running up the hill?end quote
-- Zachary Hope, Bob Hope's grandson

O'BRIEN: He was described, I heard someone describe him this morning, as an ambassador. Do you think that's a pretty good and pretty fair description of him?

HOPE: I think so. Doing naturally what you hope an ambassador would do, but without doing it like looking like an ambassador.

O'BRIEN: He was, we all know, in ill-health over the last couple of years. When was the last time you got to spend some time with him? And what were your final conversations like?

HOPE: I've been very close, even over the last few weeks. And it certainly wasn't unexpected, but Pops remembered things that impressed him from a long time ago about people. I remember, it must have been when I was in my early 20s, and I was training, because I was an athlete in college, and he saw me running up a steep hill -- a hill you would otherwise have to put your car in gear to get up when he was coming back from playing golf, and he couldn't believe that somebody in the midsummer in Palm Springs would be running up a hill like that. And it was just recently that he said to me, you still running up the hill?

O'BRIEN: He must have been an amazing person to have known so closely and, you know, I've got to tell you, we all miss him. Our thoughts go to your family today, because I'm sure all you miss him even more. Thank you for joining us and sharing. Appreciate it.

HOPE: Thank you, Soledad.


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