When Dale Evans worked with 20th-Century Fox Studios, she was often featured on the Edgar Bergen/Charlie McCarthy show. While working with the company, she was promoted as an unmarried woman who financially helped her teenage brother “Tommy”. The only problem was that Dale Evans was indeed married, and Tommy was actually her son, Tom Fox, Jr.
Dale would later regret helping the studio lie about her relationship with her son. Luckily, she worked for a few years and managed to find herself acting as a cowgirl beside hubby Roy Rogers, and we all know where that lucky combination led. Throughout her life, Dale was always a very religious person.
Robin Elizabeth Inspired the Rogers
Roy Rogers and Dale Evans only gave birth to one biological child. Her name was Robin Elizabeth, and she died less than two years after being born, due to complications caused by down syndrome. In those times, when a baby was born with defects and disabilities, the parents’ response was usually to give it away to a foster home or dispose of it in whatever means available. Following their daughter’s early death, Roy and Dale were inspired to help change that reaction throughout the nation and educate parents on how to take care of children with different born defects.
Roy and Dale wrote the book 'Angel Unaware', which became a best seller throughout the United States. The couple made it their goal to become role models for other parents, and subsequently opened various foundations and charities whose goal was to improve the lives of children. Part of their love for children came from the family’s deep religious beliefs, which were often felt in Roy’s songs and in Dale’s writing.
Behind Dale’s Career and Honors
Dale Evans began her career singing at a radio station, even though she was officially working there as a secretary. There she was discovered by 20th Century Fox studios, which led to a work contract. The talented singer loved to mix jazz, swing and big band music. She began to appear in films in 1942 and continued all through 1951, during which period she appeared in over 20 movies. Dale received two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, for her contribution to radio and her work in TV and film.
Evans was inducted into the Texas Trail of Fame just four years before her passing. After she died of congestive heart failure in 2001, her daughter Cheryl co-authored a book titled "Cowboy Princess: Life with My Parents, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans", in her memory.
Religious Public Speaker
In 1964, Dale Evans was invited to speak at a rally that held 2,500 people, called "Project Prayer", at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The rally was hosted by actor Anthony Eisley, who is best known as Tracy Steele, from the show 'Hawaiian Eye'. Rally attendants hoped to make prayer mandatory in schools, after a decision in 1962 that it was in conflict with the First Amendment of the United States and therefore couldn't be enforced.
The most important and best-remembered line from Dale's speech was: “It's high time that all America stood up to be counted. Let our children learn of the Lord and be free.” Evans was a huge supporter of the movement and even recorded several religious albums in subsequent years, followed by the actress-singer hosting her own religious TV show.
Evans will forever be remembered by fans for her work in film, music and the various non-profit organizations she helped found with Roy Rogers. Dale inspired and changed the nation through her many ventures, from the book “Angel Unaware: A Touching Story of Love and Loss” which helped raise awareness for children with special needs, up to the Happy Trails Children's Foundation, a non-profit which helped thousands of abused boys find a proper home.
The actress also inspired millions of young girls to go after their dreams and achieve their potential through her many roles as the Queen of the Cowgirls. Her most popular and inspiring quote is: "Cowgirl is an attitude, really; a pioneer spirit, a special American brand of courage. The cowgirl faces life head-on, lives by her own lights and makes no excuses. Cowgirls take stands. They speak up. They defend the things they hold dear."