Dale Evans Biography
Claim to Fame: Singer, Songwriter, Actress (The Yellow Rose of Texas, the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Show)
DOB: October 31, 1912
Died: February 7, 2001
Diabetes Type: 2
Lucille Wood Smith was born in Uvalde, Texas on October 31, 1912; however, her name was soon changed to Frances Octavia Smith. Frances's childhood was cut short after she eloped with Thomas F. Fox at the age of fourteen. In 1929 they were divorced and Frances was left with a son. She would be remarried two more times before finding her final husband of 51 years, Roy Rogers.
Frances took the name Dale Evans in the early 1930's to promote her singing career and landed a job with a local radio station in Memphis, Tennessee singing and playing piano. This led to a one-year contract with 20th Century Fox studios where she gained a lot of exposure and opportunities, one of which was a contract with Republic Studios. Dale was featured in "The Cowboy and The Senorita," a western film in 1944 where she starred opposite Roy Rogers. This would be the first of 28 films that the two would make together. They would also develop their own production company in 1950 where they would produce their hit television series, "The Roy Rogers Show."
Dale Evans and Roy Rogers were eventually married in 1947 on the Flying L Ranch in Davis, Oklahoma. They had one child together, Robin, and they also took in many children that were not there own, most from orphanages or foster homes. Unfortunately they lost three of their children; Robin due to complications associated with her Down's syndrome, Debbie in a bus accident, and Sandy while serving in the military.
Shortly after Debbie's death in 1964, Dale was diagnosed with diabetes. Her mother and two of her aunts had suffered from the disease as well, so Dale was no stranger to it. A little less than 40 years after her diagnosis, Dale transitioned to using insulin. Dale's struggle with diabetes among the many other tribulations throughout her life provided her with strength and inspiration, a great place for her to draw from creatively.
Since 1942, Dale has starred in 41 films and 4 television series. She has written 26 books along with the classic hit single "Happy Trails". She has one star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to radio and another for her contribution to the television industry. Dale was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame and the Cowgirl Hall of Fame. She won the Cardinal Terrence Cook Humanities Award in 1995 and ranked #34 on CMT's 40 Greatest Women in Country Music in 2002.
Dale Evans died of congestive heart failure on February 7, 2001.
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Reviewed by dLife staff 12/13.
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