Dale Evans, known as the “Queen of the Cowgirls,” died of congestive heart failure Wednesday (Feb. 7) at her home in Apple Valley, Calif. The movie star, songwriter and wife of Country Music Hall of Fame member Roy Rogers was 88.
Evans co-wrote the duo’s famous theme, “Happy Trails to You,” and starred in 35 movies with her husband. The couple met on the set of the 1944 film The Cowboy and the Senorita. After moving to television, Evans co-starred with Rogers in The Roy Rogers Show on NBC from 1951-57 and The Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Show in 1962.
Rogers died in 1998 at the age of 86. He was twice inducted into the Hall of Fame, as a member of Sons of the Pioneers and as a solo artist. The couple recorded 400 songs during their 50-year marriage. Their last album together, Many Happy Trails, was recorded in Nashville in 1985.
Although Evans and Rogers had a total of four children from previous marriages and later adopted four others, they had only one biological child together. Their daughter, Robin, had Down syndrome and died shortly before her second birthday. Evans expressed her grief in the best-selling book, Angel Unaware.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Roy Rogers-Dale Evans Museum, 15650 Seneca Road, Victorville, CA 92392 or to Sunset Hills Memorial Park, P.O. Box 1223, Apple Valley, CA 92307. A memorial service will be held Saturday.