Dale Evans Biography
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Dale Evans Biography

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Dale Evans was the stage name of Frances Octavia Smith (October 31, 1912–February 7, 2001), a writer, movie star, and singer-songwriter. She was the wife of singing cowboy Roy Rogers. Born Lucille Wood Smith in Uvalde, Texas, Texas, her name was changed in infancy to Frances Octavia Smith. She had a tumultuous early life, eloping at age 14 with her first husband Thomas F. Fox. She bore one son, Thomas F. Fox, Jr. when she was 15 years old. Divorced in 1929 at 17, she married August Wayne Johns that same year, a union that lasted until their divorce in 1933. She took the name Dale Evans in the early 1930s to promote her singing career. She then married her accompanist and arranger Robert Dale Butts in 1935. After beginning her career singing at the radio station where she was employed as a secretary, Evans had a productive career as a jazz, swing music, and big band singer that led to a screen test and contract with 20th Century Fox studios. During her time at 20th Century Fox, the studio promoted her as the unmarried supporter of her teenage "brother" Tommy (actually her son Tom Fox, Jr.). This deception continued through her divorce from Butts in 1945, and her development as a cowgirl co-star to Roy Rogers at Republic studios. Evans married Roy Rogers on New Year's Eve, 1946. Rogers ended the deception regarding Tommy. Rogers and Evans were a team on- and off-screen from 1946 until Rogers' death in 1998. Together they had one child, Robin Elizabeth, who died of complications of Down's Syndrome shortly before her second birthday. Her life inspired Evans to write her bestseller Angel Unaware. Evans went on to write a number of religious and inspirational books. From 1951 to 1957, Dale Evans and her husband starred in the highly successful television series The Roy Rogers Show, in which they continued their cowboy/cowgirl roles, with her riding her trusty buckskin horse, Buttermilk (horse). In addition to her successful TV shows, over 30 movies, and 200 songs, Evans wrote the well known songs "Happy Trails (song)" and "The Bible Tells Me So". In the 1970s, Evans recorded several solo albums of religious music. The 1980s saw Roy and Dale introducing their films weekly on The Nashville Network. In the 1990s, Dale hosted her own religious television program. For her contribution to radio, Dale Evans has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6638 Hollywood Blvd. She received a second star at 1737 Vine St. for her contribution to the television industry. In 1976, she was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Oklahoma.
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  • Notable figures in Western films

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