Happy Trails, Roy!
Happy Trails, Roy!
Rogers: Hollywood's top cowboy from 1943-54
Roy Rogers rides into sunset....AN era of double-creased white stetsons and fine polished boots ended yesterday when Roy Rogers, "King of the Cowboys", died in California aged 86.
Rogers died of heart failure at his desert ranch after more than half a century as one of Hollywood's most beloved cowboys. In 87 films and countless small-town rodeo appearances, he also became an American archetype - loyal, God-fearing and hugely successful in business.
Rogers, who was once described as having "a drawl like Gary Cooper and a smile like Shirley Temple", was best-known for westerns such as Springtime in the Sierras, Billy the Kid Returns and Song of Arizona, made mainly during the war years when he became the senior screen cowboy at Republic Studios.

The horseman whose dashing looks belied his homespun values was also a country and western singer, a television star and the mascot for a chain of nearly 600 fastfood restaurants that bear his name.
He died in Apple Valley, east of Los Angeles in the southern Mojave Desert, after a long struggle with heart disease. Survived by his wife, Dale Evans, who co-starred with him in 35 westerns such as Queen of the Cowgirls, he is likely to be remembered as much for his animal companions and family life as for his acting.
Hired in 1938 as the "Singing Cowboy" in Under Western Stars, he became part of an unchanging package that made him Hollywood's top cowboy from 1943 to 1954. The formula included his guitar, his two six-shooters, his dog Bullet, his horse Trigger, and an uplifting storyline in which good triumphed over evil without sex or violence.

He never shot a rival dead, only shooting the gun from his hand, and never kissed his love interest on screen. "It was a clean era ... the kids saw us as real heroes," he said.
Trigger died in 1965. Against his wife's wishes, and those of the Smithsonian, which wanted the horse for the nation, Rogers had his mount stuffed and put on permanent display at his own museum.

Official Homepage:
Roy Rogers "KING OF THE COWBOYS": November 5, 1911 - July 6, 1998