Roy Rogers Remembered Tuesday
Legendary cowboy star Roy Rogers was born on November 5 in 1911. His given name at birth in Cincinnati Ohio was Leonard Franklin Slye.
Slye moved to California to become a singer. After four years of little success, he formed the Sons of the Pioneers with Bob Nolan and Tim Spencer, a Western cowboy music group, in 1934. The group hit it big with songs like “Cool Water” and “Tumbling Tumbleweeds”.
From his first film appearance in 1935, he worked steadily in western films, including a large supporting role as a singing cowboy while still billed as “Leonard Slye” in a Gene Autry movie. In 1938, when Autry temporarily walked out on his movie contract, Slye was immediately rechristened “Roy Rogers”.
Rogers became a major box office attraction. Rogers was an idol for many children through his films and television shows.
He appeared in more than 100 films, starring in 87 of them. He also starred in his own NBC-TV series for six years from 1951 to 1957, with his wife Dale Evans. Here are some Roy Rogers facts:
- He was the only man voted in the Country Music Hall of Fame twice. He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1980 as a member of the Original Sons Of The Pioneers and in 1988 as an individual artist.
- The first movie Roy appeared in was “Way up Thar” in 1935.
- Through the 40′s and 50′s Roy Rogers was the number one western star at the box office for 12 straight years.
- At one time Roy Rogers was second only to Walt Disney in souvenir sales and licensing. Roy’s estate was once valued at over 100 million dollars.
- It was while making the 1944 film “The Cowboy and the Senorita” that Roy first met Dale Evans. They would marry three years later, 14 months after the death of Roy’s first wife, Arlene.
- Roy wasn’t allowed to kiss Dale in the movies.
- His horse Trigger appeared in all the films and TVv shows Roy Rogers starred in. In 1965 when Trigger died at 33, Roy had him stuffed and put in Roy and Dale’s museum.
- Roy died at age 86 in 1998, and Dale passed in 2001 at age 88. Roy and Dale appeared in 35 movies together, plus their TV show and were together for 51 years.