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Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Marriage Profile

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Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Wedding

Roy Rogers and Dale Evans on their wedding day in 1947. Dale wore a blue dress that matched Roy's tie.

Photo: Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Although Dale Evans' marriage to Roy Rogers was her fourth marriage and his third marriage, they broke the serial marriage cycle with a successful marriage that lasted fifty-one years.

News Updates:

7/14/2010: Trigger (1934-1965), Bullet, and other memorabilia from the collection of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans was auctioned off by Christie's. Trigger sold for $266,500 and Bullet sold for $35,000.

Born:

Roy Rogers aka Leonard Franklin Slye: November 5, 1911 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Dale Evans aka Frances Octavia Smith: October 31, 1912 in Uvalde, Texas. Some sources list her birth name as Lucille Wood Smith, but her gravesite lists her birth name as Frances Octavia Smith.

Died:

Roy: On July 6, 1998 Roy died of congestive heart failure in Apple Valley, California.

Dale: Dale died on February 7, 2001 in Apple Valley, California of congestive heart failure.

How Roy and Dale Met:

In July 1936 Dale attended one of Roy's performances when he was singing with the Sons of the Pioneers at the Texas Centennial in Dallas, Texas. They didn't actually meet until 1944 when Dale and Roy were both cast in The Cowboy and The Senorita.
" Late in 1947 they were appearing at the rodeo in Chicago. One evening as they were waiting for the announcer to introduce them, Roy turned to Dale and asked if she was doing anything on New Year's Eve. When Dale said she hadn't planned anything, Roy suggested they get married that day. Before Dale could reply, Roy heard his introduction, and he and Trigger went racing out into the arena. When Dale got to the center of the arena she smiled and accepted Roy's proposal. Roy always grinned when he said that Dale must have really loved him, because when she married him he had three young children and 34 coon dogs."
Source: Laurence Zwisohn. "Happy Trails: The Life of Roy Rogers." RoyRogers.com.

Dale's engagement ring was a gold ring set with a ruby.

Wedding Date and Info:

Roy and Dale were married on December 31, 1947 in Davis, Oklahoma on the Flying L Ranch where they had earlier filmed the movie Home in Oklahoma. Mary Jo Rush was matron of honor and Art Rush was best man.

Children:

Roy and Dale's home was graced by nine children. They had 16 grandchildren and 30+ great-grandchildren.
  • Thomas Frederick Fox Jr: Born abt. 1927 in Memphis, Tennessee. Parents - Dale, Thomas.
  • Cheryl Darlene Sly Rogers: Born abt. 1940, adopted in 1941 in Dallas, Texas when Cheryl was four months old. Parents - Roy, Arline.
  • Linda Lou Rogers: Born in 1943 in Los Angeles, California. Parents - Roy, Arline.
  • Roy Rogers Jr aka Dusty: Born in 1946 in Los Angeles, California. Dusty's mother, Arline Wilkins, died a week after his birth. Parents - Roy, Arline.
  • Robin Elizabeth Rogers: Born in 1950, Robin was diagnosed with Down's syndrome. Robin died from complications from mumps just before her second birthday. Parents - Roy, Dale.
  • Harry John David Hardy Rogers aka Sandy: Born in 1947 in Covington, Kentucky, Sandy was adopted in 1953. Harry died in his sleep in 1965 while stationed with the Army in Germany. Parents - Roy, Dale.
  • Mary Little Doe Rogers aka Dodie: Born in 1952, Mary was adopted in 1953 in Dallas, Texas. Parents - Roy, Dale.
  • Marion Fleming aka Mimi: Born in Scotland abt. 1941, Mimi spent the summer of 1954 with Roy and Dale and became their foster daughter in 1955 since they couldn't adopt her. Foster parents - Roy, Dale.
  • Deborah Lee Rogers aka Ai Lee Rogers: Born in 1952 in Korea, Deborah was adopted in 1956. She died in a bus accident a few days after her 12th birthday. Parents - Roy, Dale.

Residence:

Dale and Roy lived most of their marriage in Chatsworth in California's San Fernando Valley. They retired to Apple Valley, California.

Occupations:

Roy: Actor, singer, guitar player, horseman, restaurant owner, producer.

Dale: Singer, actress, author, songwriter.

Previous Marriages:

Roy had two previous marriages.
  • Lucille Ascolese: Roy and Lucille met in Long Beach, California in 1932 when he was on tour. Lucille and Roy were married on May 8, 1933 in Santa Ana, California by a Justice of the Peace. The couple separated in 1934, and divorced in 1935. Their divorce became final on June 8, 1936.
  • "Lucille couldn't adjust to life with a musician husband ... she worked days as a beauty operator, and he kept late night hours performing ... Lucille was jealous to the point that she couldn't stand for him to dedicate a song to female listeners as he emceed their radio show, and she was reading his mail."
    Source: Robert W. Phillips. Roy Rogers: a biography, radio history, television career chronicle. pg. 13.

  • Grace Arline Wilkins: Arline and Roy met in Roswell, New Mexico in 1933 after he mentioned on a radio show that he was homesick for his mom's lemon pies. Arline and her mother appeared at the studio with the lemon pies. Roy and Arline corresponded by mail and were married in Roswell on June 11, 1936 by the Reverend D.B. Titus. Arline's parents were the witnesses at their wedding. Arline died from an embolism on November 3, 1946.
Dale had three previous marriages.
  • Thomas Frederick Fox: Dale and her high school sweetheart Thomas Fox eloped in 1927 when she was 14 years old. The marriage ended in divorce in 1929.
  • August Wayne Johns: Dale and August Johns married in 1930 in Tennessee in the Bellview Baptist Church when she was 17. They divorced in 1936 on grounds of cruelty.
  • Robert Dale Butts: On September 20, 1937, Dale married Robert Dale Butts who was her arranger and accompanist. Their wedding, officiated by Rev. A. Paul Dougherty, took place in Dallas, Texas at the Greenville Avenue Christian Church. Their marriage ended in 1946 in an amicable divorce. R. Dale Butts was born in 1910 in Lamasco, Kentucky and died on January 30, 1990 in Santa Monica, California.

Quotes About the Marriage of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans:

Dale: "We hit it off together because he's so much like my brother. I mean, Roy's like I am, and that's it."
Source: Imdb.com

Dale: "When I first met Roy, I thought he was rather shy -- quite good looking, but rather shy."
Source: "Interview With Dale."

Raymond White: "The magic of Rogers and Evans's relationship, apparent from their first appearance together in 1944, intensified when the couple married in 1947. continuing their fictional roles while living and developing domestic and professional realities became a pattern for their half century of marriage. Truly, the merger of their personal and professional lives achieved a level of success that few performing couples attain."
Source: Raymond E. White. King of the Cowboys, Queen of the West: Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. pg. 23.

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