RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) _ Comedian Bob Hope was out of bed and moving about his hospital room Saturday afternoon and his condition was upgraded from critical to stable as he recovers from gastrointestinal bleeding, a hospital spokeswoman said.

``He is progressing as his doctor predicted,'' said Lea Goodsell of Eisenhower Regional Medical Center. She said Hope is recovering quickly due to ``his overall good health and strength.''

The 97-year-old entertainer is expected to remain in a critical care unit overnight as a precaution, and his condition will be reevaluated Sunday morning. The hospital is preparing a private room. Hope is expected to return home later in the week.

Hope ate his favorite breakfast of oatmeal and fruit after an uneventful night, Goodsell said. His wife, Delores, remained by his bedside, reading and talking to her husband of 66 years.

Hope was able to move from his bed to a chair, Goodsell said, and is undergoing ``the standard physical therapy for someone who has been confined to bed.''

``We're starting to see the essence of Bob Hope emerge from all the treatments,'' she said.

The entertainer continued to receive faxes, e-mail and flowers from friends and fans, and Delores Hope has shared some of them with her husband, Goodsell said. Former President Ford and his wife, Betty, who have a home in Rancho Mirage, have phoned Hope and receive regular updates on his condition.

One fax from a retired Army lieutenant colonel said that he hoped his ``heartfelt thanks may serve to lift your spirits and speed your route to recovery.''

The venerable entertainer was taken to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs after waking up with abdominal pain Thursday. He was later admitted to Eisenhower Regional with gastrointestinal bleeding. It is not a life-threatening condition, according to his doctor, and is not unusual for someone his age.

The hospital sits on 100 acres that Hope donated in the 1960s and is located on Bob Hope Drive.

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On the Net: Bob Hope: http://www.bobhope.com