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Roy Rogers Biography

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Birth Name: Roy Rogers
Born: 11/05/1911
Birth Place: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Death Place: Apple Valley, California, USA
Died: 07/06/1998

In 1944, he appeared in "The Cowboy and the Senorita". Playing a supporting role was Dale Evans, a band and radio singer with only a few films under her belt. In 1947, Rogers and Evans were married and began to make more than 20 films together. But the rise of TV had killed the Poverty Row studios which had made Rogers a star, and he joined the gallop of other lucky Western matinee stars into the new medium. From 1951-57, he starred with Evans in "The Roy Rogers Show" (NBC), riding his horse Trigger while Evans rode her Buttermilk. Each week, Rogers would save the West from some evildoers, and Evans would sing "Happy Trails to You", the song she wrote for the show. Rogers character was stalwart, homespun, never really kissed a girl lest his legion of young male fans get cross, and he never misrepresented the Native American characters either. While it was never publicized--although Rogers never hid it--Rogers' father was a full-blooded Cherokee. America's 'King of the Cowboys' was one of those "mixed breeds" that were often stereotyped in Hollywood films. After original production of "The Roy Rogers Show" ceased in 1957, the show ran on Saturday mornings and afternoons for many years, thus generating new legions of fans. Rogers and Evans hosted "The Chevy Show," an NBC variety series a few times in the late 50s, then, in 1962, ABC gave them their own short-lived variety series, "The Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Show".

Rogers began spending more and more time in the Apple Valley area of California, where he owned a ranch and numerous business interests. His net worth was estimated to be well over $100 million in the 80s. He opened the Roy Rogers Museum in Victorville, and would often greet the many fans who came to see the exhibits. And, as often reported, his horse Trigger, who went to his last round-up in 1955, was stuffed and displayed at the museum. But Rogers had not completely retired from show business. He made a guest appearance on "The Beverly Hillbillies" in 1964, and appeared occasionally on variety shows and on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson". Beginning in 1962, he toured with a stage show that played fairs and rodeos, as well as the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, although heart surgery in 1991 slowed him down somewhat.

Rogers and Evans guest hosted several installments of "The Nashville Palace" (NBC, 1981-82), recalled the by-gone days on the syndicated retrospective "The Singing Cowboys Ride Again" (1982), and even played a drunk in a small role in "The Gambler III: The Adventure Continues" (CBS, 1983), alongside new western singing star Kenny Rogers. His last feature film role was in "Mackintosh & T.J." (1975), about a religious old cowboy and his rebellious son. In the 90s, Dale Evans hosted a talk show for Christian cable distribution and Rogers often joined in her ministry on TV.