Name at birth: Leonard Slye
Roy Rogers was called the "King of the Cowboys" during his long career as a folksy singing hero of movies and TV. He was an original member of the cowboy singing group The Sons of the Pioneers, and in 1937 he signed on with Republic Pictures, replacing their departing star Gene Autry. He starred in more than 80 westerns with titles like The Arizona Kid (1939) and In Old Cheyenne (1941). He often co-starred with cowgirl Dale Evans, whom he married in 1947. Rogers's famous horse was Trigger, a Palomino stallion with flowing white mane who became a favorite with Rogers's fans. In the 1950s Rogers moved into TV with the The Roy Rogers Show. His theme song with Dale Evans was the gentle and cheery "Happy Trails to You."
Rogers was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame twice, as an individual in 1988 and with the Sons of the Pioneers in 1980… His is no relation to the blues guitarist Roy Rogers… It’s true: after Trigger’s death, the horse was mounted and put on display at the Roy Rogers Museum in Victorville, California. The museum (and Trigger) moved to Branson, Missouri in 2003… Rogers lent his name to the Marriott Corporation for the successful Roy Rogers chain of fast food restaurants; the first outlet opened in 1968.
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