- NAME: Dale Evans
- OCCUPATION: Film Actress, Television Actress, Songwriter, Singer, Television Personality
- BIRTH DATE: October 31, 1912
- DEATH DATE: February 07, 2001
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Uvalde, Texas
- PLACE OF DEATH: Apple Valley, California
- Originally: Frances Octavia Smith
- Nickname: "Queen of the West"
- AKA: Dale Evans Rogers
- AKA: Dale Evans
Best Known For
Dale Evans was the longtime screen partner and wife of singing cowboy Roy Rogers. She wrote several hit songs, including "Happy Trails to You."
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Evans and Rogers tried to recapture their earlier television success with The Roy Rogers & Dale Evans Show in 1962, but the variety show only lasted a season. Still the public adored Evans and Rogers, and they appeared together on television throughout the 1960s, '70s and '80s. The couple opened up a museum to share their collection of memorabilia in the late 1960s. The Roy Rogers-Dale Evans Museum, originally in Victorville, California,
was moved to Branson, Missouri, in 2003. After more than 40 years in operation, the museum closed its doors in 2009.
When she married Rogers, Evans found herself with a new, larger family. In addition to her own son, Tom Fox, she became a stepmother to Roy Rogers Jr. and his two sisters Linda and Cheryl. In 1950, Evans gave birth to her only biological child with Rogers—a daughter named Robin. Sadly, Robin died in 1952, shortly before her second birthday, of complications from Down syndrome.
Evans and Rogers adopted or fostered four other children, but they experienced two more wrenching losses in the next decade, as their daughter Deborah died in a bus accident in 1964, and their son John David (Sandy) choked to death while serving in the U.S. Army in Germany in 1965.
Evans compiled an impressive portfolio of songwriting credits, including the top-selling single "Aha, San Antone." She also made 30 children's records, most notably Happy Birthday, Gentle Savior, which featured her own songs. Deeply committed to her Christian faith, Evans also penned the 1955 gospel song "The Bible Tells Me So," which remains popular today.
Sharing her life experiences as well as her religious beliefs, Evans wrote numerous books over the years. She told the story of her beloved daughter Robin in 1953's Angel Unaware, a book that has been republished several times over the years. Evans also offered advice to others, from the very young in Cool It or Lose It (1972) to the senior set in Grandparents Can (1983). In 1994, Evans and Rogers published Happy Trails: Our Life Story, a memoir of their years together.
Evans lost her husband Roy Rogers in 1998. He was 86 years old, and his death meant the end of one of the most famous relationships in pop culture. Evans herself struggled with health problems. She suffered a heart attack in 1992 and a stroke in 1996, but she remained active. In 1996, Evans began hosting her own show, A Date With Dale, on the religiously oriented Trinity Broadcasting Network.
Reflecting on her later life, Evans published the autobiography Rainbow on a Hard Trail in 1999. On February 7, 2001, she died at her home in Apple Valley, California, at the age of 88. Evans was laid to rest next to her late husband at the local cemetery. She and her husband have remained a part of the national culture, living on as icons of the western films they helped make popular. They still have a devoted fan base, and Evans' stepson Roy "Dusty" Rogers Jr. continues to perform Evans's songs and other western classics. And in 2012, the town of Apple Valley held a two-day celebration to mark the centennial anniversary of the famous western star's birth. Family members greeted fans and tours were given of the Rogers former residence as part of this special event.
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During the 1930s, partly to avoid the hillbilly image and partly owing to Hollywood's romance with the West, country music headed to the range. Western fringe and cowboy hats turned up on many singers onstage, while Gene Autry and Roy Rogers hit the country charts as "The Singing Cowboy" and the "King of the Cowboys," respectively. Autry made it big in Hollywood and on the radio, singing favorites like "Here Comes Santa Claus" and "Frosty the Snowman." Rogers and his wife, "Queen of the West" Dale Evans, also straddled the worlds of music and movies with their Wild West personas.
The association of country music with the wide open spaces of the western United States made such a deep impact on popular culture during this time that it never quite faded from the public perception of the country genre. To this day, Cowboy Country music serves as a reminder of our continued yearning for a life that's beautiful, pastoral and—ultimately—more simple.
Cowboy Country Singers 3 people in this group
In entertainment, where the line between fiction and reality is often blurry, names are a crucial part of a celebrity's image. Stage names are often chosen to make an actor or musician's name easier to pronounce or remember, or simply to make it sounds more attractive. Here are famous celebrities who have changed their names.
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Got chaps? Their cowboy and cowgirl personas are tough, rugged, and wild—just like the frontier in which they come from—and in turn, they elicit the nostalgia of The Old West with its fierce individualism and sense of golden opportunity. From the indomitable swagger of John Wayne to the intimidating scowl of Clint Eastwood, explore our Wild West Film Actors group.
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