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Interview With Ann Miller

Aired July 28, 2003 - 20:57   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: There was a familiar refrain today as word spread of Bob Hope's death: It is the end of an era. I'm joined now by two people who knew him well. Johnny Grant is the chairman of the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a former emcee of Hope's USO tours. And on the phone, one of Hope's friends, actress and dancer Ann Miller. Thank you, both, for joining us.
Ann, what do you want to share with our audience today about some of your favorite memories of Bob Hope?

ANN MILLER, ACTOR, DANCER: Well, this is a memory, I've known him 70 years and I love him so much. It was something that happened I believe it was in the '60s, and I thought people would kind of enjoy knowing.

I went overseas to Casablanca, Morocco, for the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) with Bob to visit (UNINTELLIGIBLE). And there were a number of stars on the show, and we waited in a wooden shack to wait to go out and rehearse our numbers before lunch. And the show was going to be at 5:00, on this big wooden stage that they built.

Somehow they ran out of time and said there wasn't time to rehearse my number, and I would just have to go out there and wing it. And I said, oh, no, I'm not going on until Les Brown (ph) and his orchestra and me can rehearse.

Well, the director got all upset. Bob found out, and he came over and he talked to Les (ph) and the orchestra, and he asked him, could you please give Annie 15 minutes of your lunch time to rehearse her. And, of course, Les (ph) was a great gentlemen, and the band, and they all agreed, and we did it.

Well, the number from "Kiss Me Kate" called "Too Darn Hot." And I danced in 120 degrees of heat, in front of 5,000 soldiers who were all sitting on the ground in the desert. Thanks to Bob, and Les Brown (ph), I somehow got that number rehearsed, and it just went great.

And about eight years ago, maybe it was 10 years ago, I ran into Bob at the Hollywood Bowl (ph) with his wife Dolores. And two men were sort of like holding him up so he could walk, but we saw each other and I said, "hi, Bob." And he looked at me and he said, "oh, I know you. You're too darn hot." Don't you think that's great?

ZAHN: That's a great story. Ann Miller, thank you for sharing that with us tonight, and John Grant had some great memories. They worked together on the USO. We're going to have to leave it there. TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT

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