LOS ANGELES, April 16 (UPI) -- Hollywood honored legendary entertainer Bob Hope Tuesday, naming him "Citizen of the Century" in ceremonies along the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The USC marching band played "The Star Spangled Banner" and Hope's theme song "Thanks for the Memories," as an all-star line-up including Kelsey Grammer, Dennis Miller and Hope's longtime colleague Phyllis Diller took turns praising Hope -- who will turn 100 on May 29.
"I am simply here as a grateful fan of Bob Hope," said Grammer. "For the better part of the last century he has made us laugh. He has given us the gift of laughter and has given support to our American troops wherever they were. It is for that I attend today."
Miller said no one ever made him laugh more than Hope did.
"I think the reason that Bob Hope has lived to be 100 is that, quite frankly, we need him so much," said Miller. "I have known him my entire life, but I have just yet to meet him."
Commenting on the weather forecast -- which had called for a chance of rain -- Diller pointed out with some satisfaction that the rain had not come.
"Heard it was going to rain today and I said , 'Oh no, not today on Bob Hope's day,'" said Diller.
The ceremony featured the dedication of a special plaque at one of Hope's four stars on the Walk of Fame. Johnny Grant, the honorary mayor of Hollywood, unveiled a 6-foot replica of the world-famous Hollywood sign with a yellow ribbon around it.
"I have a special message for our troops in Iraq," said Grant. "I want you to know that you have a huge support group here in Hollywood. We applaud your incredible achievements in such a short time. Your performance has been Oscar-worthy."
The ceremony is one of several planned this spring to celebrate Hope's 100th birthday.
Universal Studios Home Video released "The Bob Hope 100th Birthday Tribute Collection" -- DVDs of 12 classic Hope movie comedies -- on Tuesday.
NBC will air a two-hour TV special on Sunday, "100 Years of Hope and Humor" -- chronicling Hope's career in vaudeville, Broadway, radio and TV.
Hope's daughter Linda said public celebrations are planned in several major U.S. cities -- including Chicago, Cleveland and Los Angeles.
"We're expecting that there will be proclamations from every state, honoring Bob Hope Day and that sort of thing," she said in a conference call with reporters Tuesday. She also said the family is planning its own, private, celebration.
"We've got family flying in from all over the country," she said.
Except for a few photo-ops -- such as occurred during his 2001 hospitalization for pneumonia -- Bob Hope has been out of the public eye since traveling to Washington, D.C., in 2002 for the dedication of the Bob Hope Gallery of American Entertainment at the Library of Congress.
His daughter said he is thrilled about his upcoming birthday.
"He's determined to be 100," she said. "Every once in a while, as older people do, he gets an infection or pneumonia, but he pulls out of it."
Linda Hope said her father's mood is good, even though he is not able to be as physically active as he had been for most of his life.
"He's a very content old man," she said. "There is a grace and, really, a beauty to his last years. I like to think that all the good that he's put out there -- the laughter and the positive vibes -- have come back to him. He is just as he always has been, basically a happy person."