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Roy Rogers' Wife Was Fired from Their Films after Marrying Yet They Were a Life & Stage Duo for 50 Years

Oyin Balogun
Mar 18, 2022
02:40 A.M.
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Roy Rogers was fondly called the King of the Cowboys due to his style and fame as a Hollywood icon, but he is mostly remembered for his long-term relationship with Dale Evans.

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Roy Rogers and Dale Evans were one of the earliest Hollywood power couples. They appeared in over two dozen films together and recorded more than a hundred songs. It all began after their first meeting in 1944.

Rogers was with the music group, "Sons of the Pioneers," and they were about to begin a recording session when Evans walked into the studio. At the time, Rogers was the most popular of them and Evans was a lesser-known name in Hollywood. 

[Left]A much younger picture of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans; [Right] Roy Rogers And Dale Evans at a show. | Source: Getty Images

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The couple later reunited when Evans was cast to feature in Roger's "The Cowboy and the Senorita." The actress once recalled being impressed by Roger's caring nature and devotion to his craft.

At that time, they met; Rogers was married with two kids, while Evans was a single mom catering to her teenage son, Tom. The actress had eloped with her husband when she was only 14-years-old, but she was abandoned while Tom was still an infant.

Working together with Roger appeared pleasurable at first. The Hollywood hitman was described as courteous and knew how to make his colleagues feel at home. The duo had a great on-screen relationship and was often on tour together.

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Roy Rogers, the 'King of Cowboys', and his wife Dale Evans in 'Wild West' costume, waving as they arrive at London Airport, February 10th 1954. | Source: Getty Images.

"The Cowboy and the Senorita" was all Evans needed to fulfill her dream of being on Broadway. Her partnership with Rogers triggered the movie studio to sign her for an additional seven pictures together.

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Unfortunately, Rogers lost his wife in 1946 to an embolism after she welcomed their third child. He became single and later began to invite Evans to his house, where they would discuss family life. They remained friends for several years before romantic sparks were ignited between them.

Their friendship began to grow deeper as they spent more time together. In 1947, Rogers surprised Evans with a friendship ring, showing his appreciation of their time together.

Roy Rogers and Dale Evans pictured with his son. | Source: Getty Images.

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A month later, Rogers and Evans were about to enter the spotlight at the Chicago Stadium when he suddenly confessed his feelings for her and gave her a star ruby ring. Evans thought it was a birthday present.

Rogers then proposed with the famous song, “What are you doing New Year’s Eve?” Evans understood it was a proposal, but she thought he didn’t mean it. When she realized he did, she asked him to give her some time to pray and think about it. Later on, she gave him a yes!

Marrying Evans changed Rogers’s life in many ways. First, the actress was known for her stance on her evangelical Christian faith, and she soon transformed the cowboy king. 

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Rogers later embraced the faith, and this greatly changed his career. Evans encouraged him to overcome his fear of public speaking by praying before each speech. After prayers, Rogers realized he no longer feared the stage.

THE TRAGEDIES OF THEIR MARRIAGE

Actor Roy Rogers, the 'King of Cowboys', riding his horse Trigger in front of a group of school children at Harringay Stadium, London, March 20, 1954. | Source: Getty Images.

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Rogers and Evans had a simple wedding held at the location of their 17th movie, "Home in Oklahoma." Their agent, Art Rush, served as Roger’s best man, and his wife, Mary Jo, was the matron of honor.

Their wedding left many women heartbroken, as Rogers was one of the most wanted bachelors of the time. But despite the disappointment of his fans, Rogers was delighted with his new bride, and she retained his heart until their last breath.

Dale Evans and her husband, Roy Rogers at the taping of the Barbara Mandrell show where they celebrated their 50th anniversary in show business on the show on February 21, 1981, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images.

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The couple shared a strong bond and many interests. Their faith in God brought them closer and helped them overcome the many hurdles and tragedies that plagued their young family.

Rogers and Evans had nine children of their own, including four from their previous marriages and four adopted kids. The couple also shared a biological child, Robin, whose death broke their hearts. 

Robin was born with Down syndrome and a heart defect. Although the doctors advised the Hollywood stars to give up the child, which was a common practice at the time, the duo gave her the best care possible.

Roy Rogers And Dale Evans Arriving At The 1991 Oscar Show. | Source: Getty Images.

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Unfortunately, Robin died two days before her second birthday. She contracted mumps and died of complications caused by the infection. Robin’s death caused her parents to grow closer and care for their other children better. Evans wrote a book, “ Angel Unaware” detailing the story of her loss.

Evans and Rogers also lost their adopted daughter in a car crash that claimed the lives of seven other people. Rogers’ daughter, Deborah Lee, was only 12-years-old at the time of her death.

Despite the difficulties they experienced as a couple, Rogers and Evans stuck together for more than five decades, becoming one of the oldest couples in Hollywood.

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ROGERS’ FINAL DAYS AND WORDS

Roy Rogers (1911 - 1998) and his wife Dale Evans (1912 - 2001) pose circa 1986. | Source: Getty Images.

Rogers was known to his fans as a talented performer, but his kids remember him as a loving father. The late singer’s adopted child, Marion Fleming, recalled Rogers as a doting father who paid close attention to his children. 

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Fleming said Rogers and Evans were simply “mom and dad” to their children at home. The couple were described as warm, open-hearted, and lovers of children. Fleming passed on in 2021, aged 81.

Rogers continued living with his family and later turned into a businessman. Although his fame had declined from what it once was, the actor still made time to sign autographs for fans who still clung to memories of his golden days.

Roy Rogers poses on a street in Los Angeles, California circa 1940. | Source: Getty Images

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In 1998, six decades after the release of his first film, Rogers passed away aged 86. The singing cowboy died at his home in Apple Valley, near Victorville, California. 

Reports state that the cause of death was congestive heart failure. Rogers was a devoted family man, and he spent his last days with his family. The Hollywood icon had his wife of five decades, Evans, and other family members at his side before breathing his last. 

His son Dusy recalled that the movie legend stood up in his bed and said a prayer. He was buried at Sunset Hills Memorial Park in Apple Valley.

Singer and actor Roy Rogers and his wife Dale Evans pictured smiling with Rogers seated behind his wife with his arms around her USA, circa 1955. | Source: Getty Images

His death left a void in the hearts of his loyal fans, but for Evans, it was an unimaginable loss. Although they had been together for several decades, their bond remained intact. She died three years after Roger, at the age of 88.

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