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Roy Rogers was an American actor and singer best known as the “King of the Cowboys” for his heroic roles in musical westerns. His sidekick palomino, Trigger, and dog, Bullet often appeared with him.
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Roy Rogers was an American actor and singer born on November 5, 1911 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Known as the “King of the Cowboys” for starring in musical westerns, he appealed to fans for his good-guy hero image. They also loved his sidekick palomino, Trigger, and dog, Bullet. Rogers appeared on TV, radio, records and film from the 1930s-50s. Film highlights included Under Western Stars (1938), King of the Cowboys (1943), Sunset in El Dorado (1945),
My Pal Trigger (1946) and The Golden Stallion (1949). Rogers died on July 6, 1998 from congestive heart failure.
Actor and singer Leonard Franklin Slye was born on November 5, 1911, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to parents Andrew and Mattie Slye. Known best as a singing cowboy, Rogers, with his trademark horse Trigger, appeared in nearly 100 films during the 1930s, '40s and '50s, many of them featuring his second wife Dale Evans.
In the late 1920s, Rogers' family relocated to California, where Rogers held various jobs, including fruit picker and factory worker. He got his start in the music business with his cousin Stanley, playing at square dances and local theaters. Shortly after, Rogers met Bob Nolan and Tim Spencer, and the trio began to play together, calling themselves the O-Bar-O Cowboys. The band went through various incarnations, performing as the Pioneer Trio, and the Sons of the Pioneers, and even appearing in several motion pictures.
Throughout his career, Rogers changed his name more than once. At the time of his stint with the Sons of the Pioneers, he was calling himself Dick Weston—the name he was credited with in his first film, Slightly Static (1935). In 1937, he became "Roy Rogers" after Republic Studio offered him a seven-year film contract. His big break came when he was cast to replace Gene Autry (following a contract dispute) in the starring role of Under Western Stars (1938). The film was a major hit with audiences, and Rogers went on to star in an average of seven singing B-Westerns every year until the early 1950s, all of which featured his trusty palomino, Trigger (which he purchased from the studio), and his dog, Bullet.
While Rogers was known as a singing cowboy, his rivalry with the better known Gene Autry was a boon to the careers of both men, even though in later years Rogers did surpass Autry at the box office. In an era when the musical Western was a popular film genre with audiences, Rogers became known as the "King of the Cowboys" after appearing in a film of the same name. Other films he made included Sunset in El Dorado (1945), My Pal Trigger (1946), and The Golden Stallion (1949). Espousing patriotism and heroism, he gained an enormous following of mostly young fans. With his endorsement of a multitude of products—from children's toys to cereal brands—Rogers, with Evans and Trigger, evolved into pop cultural icons.
In 1944, Rogers appeared in his first film with actress Dale Evans.
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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.
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The United Service Organization was founded in 1941, as a way to provide morale to service members through entertainment. Hollywood was happy to promote its patriotism (and its stars), and sent entertainers to combat zones, often in danger, to perform for the troops. From Marilyn Monroe to Stephen Colbert, many of the biggest names in showbiz have put on shows for the American service members around the world. Check out these famous USO entertainers.
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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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