The regal nickname of Roy Rogers, the star of the popular 1950s western adventure THE ROY ROGERS SHOW/NBC/1951-57.
Born Leonard Franklin Slye on November 5, 1911, Roy Rogers spent his early years living in a small town near Portsmouth Ohio; working in a shoe factory with his father in Cincinnati; and then moving with his family to California in the depth of the Depression in the spring of 1930.
He began singing with the musical group the Rocky Mountaineers in 1932, founded his own group The Sons of the Pioneers in 1934 and then was discovered on the lot of Republic Studios by producer Sol Siegal. The rest is history.
Roy Rogers starred in 81 westerns for Republic Pictures and 100 filmed episodes for television. Once, New York Times critic Jack Gould said “Mr. Rogers is billed as the ‘King of the Cowboys’ but on the basis of the first film, he’s got a piece to travel before catching up with his rivals-Bill Boyd and Gene Autry” (excerpt review about THE ROY ROGERS SHOW premiere episode which aired December 30, 1951).
Despite his critics, Rogers became a heroic champion of good and justice to generations of children and adults alike. He put his boot-print in cement at Graumann’s Chinese Theater on April 21, 1949.
Memorabilia from his career can be found at the Roy Rogers Dale Evans Museum in Branson, Missouti (formerly in Victorville, California).
Roy Rogers died on July 6, 1998 at the age of 86.
See also – “Queen of the West”