Roy Rogers, the "King of the Cowboys," sang, smiled and occasionally shot his way into the hearts of many fans.
From 1943 to 1954, when he was at the peak of his popularity, particularly among young fans known as Little Buckaroos, Rogers was ranked by theater operators as the No. 1 Western box office star.
In 87 musical Westerns for Republic Pictures and 101 television segments, he always played the good guy, the man in the white hat — the ever-honest one whose virtue always seemed to triumph over all odds in the end.
Rogers appeared in many motion pictures including "Hollywood Canteen" in 1944, in which he introduced Cole Porter's hit song "Don't Fence Me In"; Walt Disney's "Melody Time" in 1948; and "Son of Paleface" in 1952 with Bob Hope and Jane Russell.
The "singing" part of Rogers' other nickname, the Singing Cowboy, was based on solid musical achievement. From "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" in 1934, to Steve Nelson's "Here Comes Peter Cottontail" in 1948, to "Money Can't Buy Love" in 1970 and "Hoppy, Gene and Me" in 1974, Rogers sold records.
In 1991, he recorded a successful CD titled "Tribute," featuring several younger performers in duets with him, and a companion music video with Clint Black that led to appearances for Rogers on the Grammy Awards and Country Music Awards telecasts.
He last performed in public with his wife at a charity benefit May 17, 1997 — a few months before their 50th wedding anniversary. They sang their signature theme song, "Happy Trails," which Evans wrote decades earlier.