Roy Rogers Dies at age 86
The end of a stellar career that began in Studio City 50 years ago.



 
 


 
Born Leonard Slye in Ohio on November 5, 1911, the man proclaimed "King of the Cowboys" graced the side of every baby- boomers elementary school lunch box . Just about every kid in the 50's dressed in full cowboy gear emulating the man they watched ridding at full gallop astride the legendary horse Trigger with his dog Bullet running along side, in the weekly television show co-staring his wife Dale Evans.  Roy was the ultimate "good guy"
Roy was a relative unknown until one day in 1937 he heard of a casting call at Republic Studios
 

(Now CBS Studio Center) in Studios City.   They were looking for a new face to star in an upcoming feature and they had looked at almost every cowboy in town, but Roy, who was trying to make a living singing with his group the Son's of the Pioneers, had not been invited.  Hearing of the casting session from a friend, Roy sneeked past the guard and found his way to the production offices.  As soon as he appeared, they knew they found their cowboy.  The film, Under Western Stars was released in 1938 starring Roy as himself.  In the movie Roy is elected to congress with a crusade of exposing the blight of the  "dust bowl,"  a fitting roll for the man who left his family farm in Ohio1929 taking only his $20 guitar in an attempt to make a living during those though times.  The movie received an Oscar for the song "Dust" sung by Rogers.  He went on to star in over 60 pictures, clearly the King of the Cowboys, all produced here in Studio City at Republic Studios, including "San Fernando Valley" released in 1944.  In 1951 Rogers and wife Dale starred in "The Roy Roger Show" a half-hour TV show that shaped the dreams of childrenthroughout the country. His most famous song "Happy Trails" is an American anthem, and can not be sung with out invoking warm feelings even in the most cynical hearts. 

Rogers died monday July 6, at his house in Victorville California.
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