RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- Bob Hope was in critical condition today, but his doctor says he is expected to make a full recovery from a bout of gastrointestinal bleeding.

The 97-year-old entertainer was hospitalized Thursday and received blood transfusions to stabilize the bleeding, said Dr. Gary Annunziata, adding that the condition is common in elderly people and not life-threatening.Hope was listed in critical but stable condition Friday and was described as resting comfortably. He was in the critical-care section, which officials said is one step down from intensive care.

"For his age, he is in very, very good shape and has done very, very well," Annunziata told reporters outside Eisenhower Regional Medical Center.

Hope was expected to be transferred out of the critical care section in a day or so but remain in the hospital for a week. The lengthy stay is anticipated because of his age, Annunziata said.

"Both Mrs. Hope and daughter Linda are very optimistic and ask that everyone simply keep Bob in their prayers," hospital spokeswoman Lea Goodsell said.

Hope was hospitalized Thursday after he woke up with stomach pains. He had returned home to nearby Palm Springs on Tuesday after a trip east to open the Bob Hope Gallery of the Library of Congress. The comedian donated a collection of jokes as part of a $3.5 million contribution to the exhibit.

The entertainer attended the opening in a wheelchair and didn't speak during the ceremonies.

He celebrated his 97th birthday Monday in Maryland, where he visited a friend and went fishing, spokesman Ward Grant said.

Master of the one-liner, Hope starred in vaudeville, radio, TV and film, most notably a string of "Road" movies with Bing Crosby. From World War II to the Gulf War, he took his show to military bases around the world to boost the morale of soldiers.

On the Net:

www.bobhope.com