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Roy Rogers

Roy Rogers

Leonard Frank Slye, famous as Roy Rogers (November 5, 1911 - July 6, 1998), was a singing cowboy actor, massively famous in his time. He and his second wife Dale Evans and his horse Trigger were featured in countless TV shows and movies along with his sidekick Pat Brady (who drove a jeep called Nellybelle) and crotchety bushwhacker sidekick Gabby Hayes. He was known as the King of the Cowboys. For many Americans (and non-Americans) he was the embodiment of the all-American hero.

Roy and his first wife, Arline (Wilkins) had three children; an adopted daugher Cheryl, and two birth children Linda Lou and Roy Rogers Jr. Arline died of an embolism during the birth of Roy Jr. A year later Roy married his co-star Dale Evans. Dale and Roy had a daughter, Robin Elizabeth, who died of complications of Downs Syndrome at age two.

He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, his family lived on a house boat docked on the river at Cincinnati. They later moved the houseboat up river to Portsmouth Ohio. The house boat was destroyed in the flood of 1913 and the Slye family moved to Lucasville just north of Portsmouth where Leonard spent his boyhood. His first success was as a radio singer with the popular western cowboy music group, the Sons of the Pioneers, but his greatest renown came in western films. From his first film appearance in 1935, he worked steadily in film and TV until his death. Most of his films were in color in an era when almost all other B-movies were black and white.

The Sons of the Pioneers continued their popularity through the 1950s. Although Rogers was no longer a member, they often appeared as Rogers' backup group in films and on TV.

Rogers and Evans were also well known as advocates for adoption and as founders and operators of children's charities. They lost a child, which Evans wrote about in her book Angel Unawares, but adopted several children. Both were outspoken Christians. Universally admired, their home in Apple Valley, California is where numerous streets, highways and other municipal and county buildings have been named after them in recognition of their efforts to help the homeless and handicapped children.

Roy and Dale often sang duets. They are best remembered for their signoff duet from their 1950s TV show, Happy trails to you, Until we meet again....

Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.

Roy Rogers Facts

Birth NameLeonard Franklin Slye
BirthdayNovember 5, 1911
BirthplaceCincinnati, Ohio, USA
Date of deathJuly 6, 1998 (age 86)

Selected Filmography

The Bushwhackers
Friday Night Lights
Ranger And The Lady
Bad Men of Deadwood
Romance On The Range
Come On Rangers
The Man From Cheyenne
Heart of the Golden West
Continue » Find more details on the Roy Rogers Movies page