Dale Evans


Actor
Dale Evans

About

Also Known As
Frances Octavia Smith
Birth Place
Uvalde, Texas, USA
Born
October 31, 1912
Died
February 07, 2001
Cause of Death
Congestive Heart Failure

Biography

Dale Evans was the epitome of the hearty, Bible-thumpin', All-American girl made good. A radio singer, she went on to partner with her husband, Western star Roy Rogers, in two TV series, in which she would sing "Happy Trails to You" while riding her horse, Buttermilk, and smiling, smiling, smiling.Evans was born with a dream, although when she was already once widowed at age 17, things m...

Family & Companions

Thomas Fox
Husband
Eloped to Blitheville, Arkansas in January 1927 when Evans was fourteen years old; father of Thomas Fox Jr; divorced in 1929.
Robert Dale Butts
Husband
Pianist. Married in the late 1930s; divorced in 1945.
Roy Rogers
Husband
Singer, actor. Married on December 31, 1947; had one daughter together; adopted four other children.

Bibliography

"Her Story of Life and Love--Rainbow on a Hard Trail"
Dale Evans with Norman B Rohrer (1999)
"Dearest Debbie"
Dale Evans (1965)
"Salute to Sandy"
Dale Evans (1965)
"Angel Unaware"
Dale Evans (1953)

Biography

Dale Evans was the epitome of the hearty, Bible-thumpin', All-American girl made good. A radio singer, she went on to partner with her husband, Western star Roy Rogers, in two TV series, in which she would sing "Happy Trails to You" while riding her horse, Buttermilk, and smiling, smiling, smiling.

Evans was born with a dream, although when she was already once widowed at age 17, things might have seen pretty bleak. But her faith sustained her, she has always maintained, and she began singing on the radio in Texas, and performing with orchestras. She was nearing 30 when she migrated to Hollywood and broke into films with "Orchestra Wives" (1942), in which played pal to Ann Rutherford. Evans played opposite John Wayne in "In Old Oklahoma/War of the Wildcats" (1943). She might have been relegated to Poverty Row obscurity had it not been for her next film, "The Cowboy and the Senorita" (1944), in which she was Ysobel Martinez, trying to help her younger cousin hold on to a gold mine, and cast opposite Roy Rogers. The duo (who married in 1947) went on to appear in together in 20 consecutive films. In their movies, Rogers would play himself, while Evans would be given a different name, but the persona would be the same and the guy would get his gal. In 1951, they made their last film together "Pals of the Golden West," in which Evans sang several cowpoke tunes.

By this time, the encroachment of TV was wreaking havoc on all studios, and most of the lesser ones which had been churning out serials and Westerns for years switched to TV production and even sold their libraries to the new medium. Rogers saw the writing on the wall. An astute businessman, Rogers launched "The Roy Rogers Show" (NBC, 1951-57), a staple of Sunday evenings. The premise found Rogers and Evans based at the Double R Bar Ranch with Rogers and sidekick Ray Brady fighting for law and order while Evans crooned "Happy Trails to You" and rode her Buttermilk next to Rogers' Trigger with Bullet the dog following behind. In the 60s, CBS ran rebroadcasts of the show on Saturday mornings. Evans and Rogers made some guest appearances after the demise of their show and in 1962 had a brief variety show of their own on ABC, "The Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Show." They also hosted "Kraft Musical Hall" several times and appeared in televised specials from Nashville, the heart of their audience.

The pair had become wealthy and drifted away from Hollywood, basing their lives in the Apple Valley area of California, which they had helped to develop. Evans returned to TV in 1973 to do the "Saga of Sonora" musical fantasy for NBC. And, she hosted a talk show produced for Christian Cable services for several years. Still with the same spirit, energy and hair style, she talked about faith, home crafts, and raising a family or sang a song or two. And occasionally Roy Rogers dropped by for a quick "How do?."

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Roy Rogers: King of the Cowboys (1992)
Herself
South of Caliente (1951)
Doris Stewart
Pals of the Golden West (1951)
Cathy Marsh
Twilight in the Sierras (1950)
Deputy Patricia Callahan
Bells of Coronado (1950)
Pam Reynolds
Trigger, Jr. (1950)
Kay Harkrider
Down Dakota Way (1949)
Ruth Shaw
The Golden Stallion (1949)
Stormy Billings
Susanna Pass (1949)
Kay "Doc" Parker
Slippy McGee (1947)
Mary Hunter
The Trespasser (1947)
Linda Coleman
Apache Rose (1947)
Billie Colby
Bells of San Angelo (1947)
Lee Madison
Rainbow Over Texas (1946)
Jackie Dalrymple
My Pal Trigger (1946)
Susan Kendrick
Home in Oklahoma (1946)
Connie Edwards
Heldorado (1946)
Carol Randall
Roll on Texas Moon (1946)
Jill Delaney
Under Nevada Skies (1946)
Helen Williams
Song of Arizona (1946)
Claire Summers
Out California Way (1946)
Hitchhike to Happiness (1945)
Alice Chase, also known as Mary Kelly
The Big Show-Off (1945)
June Mayfield
Man from Oklahoma (1945)
Peggy Lane
Bells of Rosarita (1945)
Susan Farnum
Utah (1945)
Dorothy Bryant
Along the Navajo Trail (1945)
Lorry Alastair
Don't Fence Me In (1945)
Toni Ames
Sunset in Eldorado (1945)
Lucille Wiley/Kansas Kate
Casanova in Burlesque (1944)
Barbara Compton
The Yellow Rose of Texas (1944)
Betty Weston
Song of Nevada (1944)
Jenny Barrabee
San Fernando Valley (1944)
Dale Kenyon
The Cowboy and the Senorita (1944)
Ysobel Martinez
Lights of Old Santa Fe (1944)
Marjorie Brooks
In Old Oklahoma (1943)
"Cuddles" Walker
Here Comes Elmer (1943)
Jean Foster
The West Side Kid (1943)
Gloria Winston
Swing Your Partner (1943)
Dale Evans
Hoosier Holiday (1943)
Dale Fairchild
Girl Trouble (1942)
Ruth
Orchestra Wives (1942)
Hazel

Music (Feature Film)

28 Days (2000)
Song
Sleepless In Seattle (1993)
Song Performer
Roy Rogers: King of the Cowboys (1992)
Song Performer
Rio Grande (1950)
Composer
Saddle Pals (1947)
Composer
The Big Show-Off (1945)
Composer

Cast (Special)

The Women of Country (1993)
A Tribute to the Singing Cowboy (1993)
Bob Hope: The First Ninety Years (1993)
Holiday Greetings from the Ed Sullivan Show (1992)
Roy Rogers: King of the Cowboys (1992)
The Republic Pictures Story (1991)
Randy Travis -- Happy Trails (1991)
The 61st Annual Academy Awards Presentation (1989)
Performer
When the West Was Fun: A Western Reunion (1979)
Happy Birthday, America (1976)
The Mickie Finns Finally Present How the West Was Lost (1975)
Narration
Saga of Sonora (1973)
Narrator

Music (Special)

Holiday Greetings from the Ed Sullivan Show (1992)
Song Performer
Roy Rogers: King of the Cowboys (1992)
Song Performer
Randy Travis -- Happy Trails (1991)
Song
Randy Travis -- Happy Trails (1991)
Song Performer ("Happy Trails")
Microcops (1989)
Theme Song

Life Events

1942

Made feature film debut in "Orchestra Wives"

1944

First worked with Roy Rogers in "The Cowboy and the Senorita"

1951

Co-starred on "The Roy Rogers Show" (NBC)

1962

Continued singing "Happy Trails to You" on short-lived "The Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Show" (ABC)

1973

Co-starred in musical fantasy "The Saga of Sonora" (NBC)

1979

Appeared on ABC reunion special "When the West Was Fun"

1990

Hosted "A Date with Dale" aired on various Christian TV stations, including Trinity Broadcasting

1992

Suffered heart attack

1993

Appeared on special "The Women of Country" (CBS)

1996

Had a stroke; curtailed activities

1999

In October, suffered a mild heart attack

Photo Collections

Don't Fence Me In - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from Don't Fence me In (1945), starring Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.

Videos

Movie Clip

Golden Stallion, The - Night On The Prairie Roy Rogers, now re-united with Trigger, Stormy (Dale Evans) and Pepi (Estelita Rodriguez), leads Night On The Prairie, by Nathan Gluck, Anne Parentean and Aaron Gonzales, but bad guys lurk, in The Golden Stallion, 1949.
Cowboy And The Senorita, The - What'll I Use For Money? All friends now, Roy Rogers, Dale Evans ("Ysobel"), Mary Lee (her sister "Chip") and The Sons Of The Pioneers, together for What'll I Use For Money by Ned Washington and Phil Ohman, in The Cowboy And The Senorita, 1944.
Golden Stallion, The - Time For A Song Stormy (Dale Evans) and Pepita (Estelita Rodriguez) preparing the bunk-house, trilling There's Always Time For A Song by Sid Robin and Foy Willing, and meeting Roy Rogers and sidekick Sparrow (Pat Brady), early in The Golden Stallion, 1949.
My Pal Trigger (1946) - Livin' Western Style Opening scene, narration from the star (playing, as ever, himself) and the first song, moving on to meet "Susan" (Roy's wife-to-be Dale Evans) and her dad "Gabby" (ever-present George "Gabby" Hayes), in My Pal Trigger, 1946.
My Pal Trigger (1946) - Harriett Neighbor rancher Scoville (Jack Holt) with dinner introductions, then the star (Roy Rogers) cajoled into a song with "Susan," (Dale Evans, soon to become Mrs. Rogers), in My Pal Trigger, 1946.
Home In Oklahoma - I Wish I Was A Kid Again Reporter "Connie" Evans (really "Dale") rolls into Hereford Heaven, finding cowboy journalist (!) Roy Rogers singing I Wish I Was A Kid Again , by Jack Elliott, mostly to himself, in Home In Okalhoma, 1946.
Home In Oklahoma - Cowboy Ham And Eggs With an introduction from George "Gabby" Hayes, Roy Rogers and the Sons Of The Pioneers, "playing themselves," offer Cowboy Ham And Eggs by Tim Spencer, in Home In Oklahoma, 1946.
Don't Fence Me In - Opening Credits Opening Credits for Don't Fence Me In 1945
Don't Fence Me In - Dude Ranch Roy Rogers explains to reporter Toni Ames (Dale Evans) that she needs reservations at the dude ranch in this scene from "Don't Fence Me In 1945

Family

Thomas Fox Jr
Son
Born on November 28, 1927; father, Thomas Fox.
Robin Elizabeth Rogers
Daughter
Born on August 26, 1950; died on August 24, 1952; born with Downs Syndrome.
Mary Little Doe Rogers
Daughter
Adopted with Rogers in October 1952; three-quarter Choctaw.
John David Rogers
Son
Born in 1946; adopted by Evans and Rogers in 1946; name changed from Harry; died in Germany on October 31, 1965.
Marion Rogers
Daughter
Born c. 1943 in the United Kingdom; adopted by Evans and Rogers in 1954.
Debbie Rogers
Daughter
Korean-born; adopted by Evans and Rogers in 1955; killed in a bus accident on August 17, 1964.
Cheryl Darlene Rogers
Step-Daughter
Born in 1941; mother was Rogers' first wife.
Linda Rogers
Step-Daughter
Born on April 18, 1943; mother was Rogers' first wife.
Roy Rogers Jr
Step-Son
Born on October 28, 1946; mother was Rogers' first wife.

Companions

Thomas Fox
Husband
Eloped to Blitheville, Arkansas in January 1927 when Evans was fourteen years old; father of Thomas Fox Jr; divorced in 1929.
Robert Dale Butts
Husband
Pianist. Married in the late 1930s; divorced in 1945.
Roy Rogers
Husband
Singer, actor. Married on December 31, 1947; had one daughter together; adopted four other children.

Bibliography

"Her Story of Life and Love--Rainbow on a Hard Trail"
Dale Evans with Norman B Rohrer (1999)
"Dearest Debbie"
Dale Evans (1965)
"Salute to Sandy"
Dale Evans (1965)
"Angel Unaware"
Dale Evans (1953)