Frances Langford

Frances Langford

According to Bob Hope, the biggest laugh he ever heard from an audience occurred in 1944 at a USO show for young Marine troops on a remote South Pacific island. When Frances Langford sang the first line of her song, "I'm in the Mood for Love", a Marine in the audience stood up and shouted, "You've come to the right place, honey!".

Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald S. Smith, pg. 51-53 (article titled "The Bickersons"). New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387

During one of their USO tours, she and Bob Hope were forced to leap out of a jeep to avoid fire from a German fighter plane. They both jumped to safety in a culvert, with Frances landing on top of Bob. Another time they spent the night in the basement of a hotel in Algiers as bombs burst above them.

Former daughter-in-law of actor Felix Locher.

Frances was very fond of fishing and enjoyed her last years on a 57-acre estate in Rio, Fla. She and husband Harold spent much of their time on a yacht called "The Chanticleer." Among her many charitable causes included the Florida Oceanographic Society on Hutchinson Island, where a visitor center is named for her.

Her steamy rendition of "I'm in the Mood for Love" (from her movie Every Night at Eight (1935)) was her trademark, and captivated soldiers when she was part of Bob Hope's USO tours during World War II.

In 1953, Frances again entertained troops with the USO, this time in Korea.

She divorced first husband Jon Hall but they remained friends until his suicide in 1979; she was left a widow in 1986 by second husband Ralph Evinrude, whose family made the famous outboard motors; third husband Harold Stuart, a former assistant secretary of the Air Force under President Truman, survived her. She had no children.

She gave her last public concert in 1966 during a tour for the US forces in Vietnam.

She was awarded 2 Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Radio at 1525 Vine Street and for Motion Pictures at 1500 Vine Street in Hollywood, California.

Teamed up with Don Ameche on radio and on record albums as a battling married couple in "The Bickersons".

Teamed up with Don Ameche on radio and on record albums as a battling married couple in the "The Bickersons" (called "Drene Time" when program was sponsored by Drene Shampoo [1946-1947]).