|2011 Guests & Entertainers|
| Marion "Mimi" Swift || Roy "Dusty" Rogers|| Dustin "Roy"Rogers || Dodie Rogers-Patterson
| Raymond E. White || Trigger & Bullet || Art Postlethwait || Edward Faulkner
| Donna Martell || Jon Patterson || Col. Bill Sanders || Stella Stevens
| In Spirit - Dale Evans
|| Trigger & Roy
|| In Spirit - Roy Rogers
Born Francis Octavia Smith on October 31, 1912, in Uvalde, Texas. At age fourteen, Dale eloped with her high school sweetheart. A year later, she found herself in Memphis, Tennessee a single parent, pursuing a career in a field she had always loved, music! She landed a job with local radio stations WMC and WREC singing and playing piano.
She became a vocalist with a number of different "big bands" and was featured soloist in notable hotels in. She toured with Anson Weeks orchestra, but returned to Chicago where she was hired as staff singer for radio station WBBM, the local CBS affiliate.
Talent scouts from Paramount Studios discovered her and arranged a screen test in Hollywood.
Her agent showed her screen test to 20th Century Fox studios where she received a one-year contract. This resulted in only small parts in two pictures, "Orchestra Wives" and "Girl Trouble". Dale then signed with the top ranked "Chase and Sanborn Show" which was broadcast nationwide.
Republic Studios to sign her to a one-picture contract (Swing Your Partner) with a one-year option. Dale was cast in several contemporary movies and one John Wayne western in which her singing was featured.
Herert Yates, head of Republic, decided to expand the female lead in westerns and adopt this format for one of his biggest stars, Roy Rogers. Dale, had a large following and reputation as a singer and, being from Texas, could surely ride n' rope. History was made and destiny seemingly fulfilled in 1944 with release of "The Cowboy and The Senorita", the first of 28 films she and Roy would make together.
New Years Eve, 1947, this on screen team were married on the Flying L Ranch in Davis, OK. An instant family was formed. Dale had her son, Tom, and Roy had an adopted daughter, Cheryl, and birth children Linda Lou and Dusty, from his first wife, Arline, who had died after Dusty's birth. Roy and Dale had one child together, Robin Elizabeth, whose death from complications associated with Downs syndrome inspired Dale's classic book, "Angel Unaware". The family swelled with the addition of Mary Little Doe (Dodie), of Native American heritage: John David (Sandy), a battered child from an orphanage in Kentucky; Marion (Mimi), their foster child from Scotland; and Debbie, a Korean War orphan whose father was a G.I. of Puerto Rican ancestry. The family lost three of the children tragically: Robin (as mentioned above), Debbie, in a church bus accident when she was twelve, and Sandy of an accidental death while serving with the military in Germany.
In 1950, Roy and Dale developed their own production company and began producing their half-hour television series, The Roy Rogers Show (1951-1957).
The same is true of their movies. They have set appearance records in every major arena in the world, including Madison Square Garden in New York City, the Houston Fat Stock Show, Los Angeles Coliseum, Chicago Stadium, Harringay Arena in London, Toronto's Canadian National Exhibition, and many state fairs and rodeos.
Among the many honors of which Dale was most proud are: California Mother of the Year (1967); The Texas Press Association Texan of the Year (1970); Cowgirl Hall of Fame (1995); Cardinal Terrence Cook Humanities Award (1995); and her three stars on The Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Dale was truly one-half of an American Legend Duo and was one of the best known and most beloved persons in Christian ministry and the rich heritage of Western entertainment and culture.
She is buried along side her "King of the Cowboys", Roy Rogers at Sunset Memorial Park, Apple Valley, CA.
"Trigger, the Old Man", as he was sometimes referred to, was foaled July 4, 1934 on a small ranch co-owned by Bing Crosby
and was originally named for his breeder manager, Golden Cloud. On March 25,
1937, Golden Cloud, standing 15 hands high and registered with the Palomino
Horse Association and Stud Book Registry, was sold to Hudkins Stables, a
Hollywood provider of animals appearing on the silver screen. This was Golden
Cloud's first prance into stardom and his early resume included roles such as
Maid Marion's horse in the 1938 film The Adventures of Robin Hood where Olivia
de Havilland famously rode sidesaddle.
In that same year, before filming began on Roy's latest film Under Western
Stars, several of the stables that provided horses to Republic Studios brought
their best lead horses so Roy could select a mount. It's been said that the
third horse Roy got on was the handsome golden palomino, Golden Cloud, who
handled so well and reacted swiftly to whatever was asked of him. Reportedly
after riding the horse just 100 yards, Roy never looked at another, and
purchased Golden Cloud on a time payment plan for the amazing sum of $2,500. As
Roy recalled, "He would turn on a dime and he'd give you 9 cents change."
Trigger, a handle affixed to the animal once under Roy's ownership, was a name
credited to Roy's sidekick Smiley Burnette who upon seeing the horse running,
commented on how quick on the trigger he was. Roy agreed and decided that
Trigger was the perfect name.
Amazingly, Roy never used his reins, never a whip, and never his spurs. Trigger
had been trained to respond to touch and hand movements so with just a gentle
pat on his neck, Roy would let him know just what he wanted him to do. They
worked so in step with one another that it seemed as though Trigger
instinctively knew just what to do and how to please the crowds. Roy once said
of Trigger that he "seemed to know when people were watching him and that he
recognized applause and just ate it up like a ham!"
Already a famous pair, Trigger accompanied Roy on his 1938 personal appearance
tour stopping in almost every major city in the U.S. over a three month period.
As Trigger's career progressed in show business, he became known as "The
Smartest Horse in the Movies," performing some 100 recognizable tricks:
Counting, doing the hula, untying ropes, shooting a gun, knocking on doors and
walking on his hind quarters. The horse was outfitted with an exquisite Edward
H. Bohlin gold and silver saddle and was even the focus of the movie My Pal
Trigger where Rogers' Character gives the name "Trigger" to a new born colt.
Trigger also appeared in the Republic Films sequel Trigger, Jr. and in all of
Roy Rogers 188 movies and the Roy Rogers Show on NBC from 1951 to 1957,
garnering his very own fan club.
The awards and accolades achieved by Trigger
were second to none. He shared the spotlight with his pal Roy at Grauman's
Chinese Theater in Hollywood on April 21, 1949 when both Trigger and Roy's
hoof/foot prints were forever mounted in concrete. In 1953, Trigger won the
P.A.T.S.Y. award (animal equivalent for the Oscar) for the Son of Paleface where
he upstaged Bob Hope. He also won the 1958 Craven award.
Entertaining the masses so thoroughly for over two decades, Roy Rogers and
Trigger were one of America's most recognizable duos, becoming instant classics
in people's eyes, hearts and imaginations. Trigger also reached legendary status
in his own right, and is undeniably one of the most memorable horses that ever
Trigger was such an integral part of Roy's life both on and off the stage
throughout the years. Together, they performed all over the country during World
War II raising millions in the sale of bonds to aid the war effort. And it was
Trigger that gave Roy his legs as he proposed to Dale Evans in Chicago during a
On July 3, 1965 at the Rogers ranch in Hidden Valley, California, Trigger left
this earth at the age of 30 (one day before he would turn 31), succumbing to old
age. Reluctant to "put him in the ground," Roy was inspired by the animals on
display in the Smithsonian. He decided to have Trigger mounted in his iconic
rearing position on two legs and put on display at the Roy Rogers - Dale Evans
Museum, then located in Victorville, California.
Born Leonard Franklin Slye on November 5, 1911, in Cincinnati, Ohio, he moved with his family on a house boat to Portsmouth, Ohio while still a baby. Roy's family built a modest home on Duck Run about twelve miles outside Portsmouth and moved there when he was about eight years old. Roy grew up there and attended McDermott Schools.
In 1930, while still a teenager, he and the family moved to California. After several jobs, he decided to try his luck as a western singer. He performed with several groups, and in 1933 formed the Pioneer Trio that became the Sons of the Pioneers in 1934. In their first recording session for Decca Records, they recorded 'Tumbling Tumbleweeds" which became their trademark theme song.
Republic Pictures signed Len Slye to a movie contract in 1937 for the sum of $75 a week. He changed his name to Roy Rogers in 1938 and went on to make more than 100 films, 87 for Republic.
Roy Rogers and Dale Evans first worked together in 1944. Roy and Dale were married in 1947. They rose to glory as one of America' most famous couples. They continued working together as a team in movies, live performances, and on television.
There was a great need for family value programs in the then new medium of television. Roy and Dale moved from movies to NBC Television in 1951 to become one of the first successful family oriented programs of the 1950s. They continued on NBC until 1957 and made more than 100 episodes. The program was put into syndication, and it is still seen today in the USA and several foreign countries around the world. Roy and Dale then moved to CBS and continued the show until 1961.
Roy starred in 87 musical Westerns for Republic Pictures, and for 12 consecutive years in the 1940s and ' 50s he was the number one Western box-office star.
His 16 TV Specials on NBC attracted higher ratings than his competition, the "Jack Benny Show" and the "Alfred Hitchcock Show."
His top rated half hour TV series ran on NBC for six and a half years and then moved to CBS where it ran for three more. It was then repeated through syndication for an additional three years and is still seen in American and foreign markets today.
His radio show on Mutual Network aired on more than 500 stations and was heard by more than 20 million people each week. In the 1950s, the Sears Catalog carried more than 400 Roy Rogers licensed products.
Roy and the Sons of the Pioneers rode the range and sang many great western songs around the campfire. The Sons were the first country and western musical group to achieve national stardom. At one time, Roy and the Sons were selling more than 6,000 records per week.
Roy's picture appeared on 2.5 BILLION boxes of Post cereals. Roy Rogers comic books sold more than 25 million copies each year, and his newspaper comic strip reached more than 65 million readers each week.
Roy was the only performer to be elected the Country Music Hall of Fame twice. He has four stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one each for movies, radio, records, and television.
Roy's enormous popularity transcended all forms of entertainment, from live performances to movies, records, radio, and television. What was most important to Roy, "My God, My Family and my Country".
Roy is truly an American legend and was one of the best known and most beloved persons in the rich heritage of Western entertainment and culture.
He is buried along side his "Queen of the West" at Sunset Memorial Park, Apple Valley, CA.
| Roy "Dusty" Rogers
|| Jon Patterson
|| Dustin "Roy" Rogers
|As the only natural born son of Roy Rogers and raised by the famous western couple, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Dusty has been acting and performing since birth. As a small child, Dusty appeared in his parents TV series "The Roy Rogers Show" on NBC. He performed with his parents during their summer tours at rodeos and state fairs.
Dusty appeared in his parents' TV series, "The Roy Rogers Show", "To Forgive a Thief", for Cathedral Films and "Arizona Bushwhackers", for Paramount Films. He was a disc jockey for WBKC in Chardon, Ohio, and has made numerous radio appearances throughout the United States. Dusty had his own television show on WEWS out of Cleveland, OH.
Prior to assuming his music career full time, Dusty ran his own construction company. In 1986, he released his biography, "Growing Up With Roy & Dale". In 1989, he became manager for Roy Rogers. Shortly thereafter, Dusty served as President of the Roy Rogers-Dale Evans Museum?a California 501c(3) nonprofit until its closing in December 2009.
Dusty followed in the footsteps of his parents and launched his own recording career. He formed his own band, The High Riders, in 1982.
In 2003 and 2004, he had the distinct honor of performing at Carnegie Hall in New York City. 2003 through 2009, Dusty performed in his very own "Happy Trails Theatre" in Branson, Missouri, located inside the Roy Rogers-Dale Evans Museum. In 2010, Dusty moved his show to the Mickey Gilley Theatre in Branson where he continues to perform his live morning show. During the off season, they take the show on the road to perform at various venues, festivals and conventions. In spring of 2008, Dusty's son, Dustin "Roy" Rogers joined his father on stage to sing in the tradition of his father and grandfather before him.
You will appreciate his transparency as he shares with the audience stories of growing up with his famous parents as only Dusty can do. Dusty continues the legacy of Roy Rogers & Dale Evans by providing quality entertainment for the entire family. An honor of which he is very proud, FAME (Families Advocating Moral Entertainment) named Roy Rogers Jr. their 2009 and 2010 "Western Artist of the
With a loud roar and a bright flash, engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL, successfully completed the first round of development testing for the ullage settling motor ..... a critical element of the Ares I rocket, Oct 8, 2009. The Ares I is the first rocket under development for NASA's Constellation Program, a program tasked with the development of vehicles necessary to carry explorers on future journeys of exploration.
Jon is a space engineer at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL. They develop key space transportation and propulsion technologies including the Ares I crew exploration and Ares V cargo launch vehicles; manages space shuttle propulsion elements and aboard the International Space Station; and pursues scientific researh in space that will improve life here on earth.
The opposite side of the coin will find Jon playing music and singing some of his favorite tunes by a variety of different artists and styles. He performs with "The Natchez Trace Band", celebrating over twenty-five years of history and four-part harmony. The award-winning group was founded in 1982 and has performed with nationally known artists including Alabama, The Judds, Randy Travis, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Restless Heart, Neal McCoy, Collin Raye, and Jerry Lee Lewis.
Jon and his lovely bride are in the process of giving the "Gurley Hotel", an historical Civil War house in Gurley, AL, a makeover.
The above mentioned does keep him quite busy, but he finds quality time to enjoy his family and the company of his best girl and wife, Roy and Dale's youngest daughter, Dodie.
Website: Marshall Space Flight Center
Website: The Natchez Trace Band
|I am the son of Roy Rogers Jr. and Linda Rogers. I am the youngest grandchild of Roy and Dale. In fact there are great-grandchildren that are older than I am, but I won't name any names here.
I was born in southern California in 1976 and grew up with two, much older, sisters. Okay, they are not that much older, but I do love getting that in.
I graduated from Apple Valley High School in 1994 and went on to college to take Fire Fighter classes. I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a firefighter. I worked for the Apple Valley, California Fire Department as a paid per call firefighter while attending college. I graduated from the 17th Fire Academy, at Victor Valley College and continued with E.M.T certification as well as Fire Science classes. The first full time fire job I applied for, I was fortunate to get and that was at Fort Irwin, CA, which is the National Training Center for the Army.
On August 3, of 1996, I married my high school sweetheart, Julie, after dating for almost five years. So if you do the math, August 3rd of this year, we will be celebrating fifteen years of marriage.
In 2001, we were blessed with our first born son, Tyler Roy and then in 2003 came our second born son, Wyatt Christopher. My boys are very active in sports and hunting. So far, I have been able to be their coach for all of it. We love to play and hunt together.
I currently sing with my dad in our show in Branson, MO.
I hold the position of Battalion Chief for Southern Stone County Fire Protection District and handle all of the bookings of our show on the road.
I find it a true honor to continue the legacy that Grandpa Roy and Grandma Dale set before us. In our world today, it is so important that we continue this and shout from the highest mountain that family values, morals, ethics and a love for God is alive and well and should be everyone's way of life. God Bless, and see ya soon.
| Marion "Mimi"Swift
|| Bullet & Roy
|| Dodie Rogers-Patterson
|I'm the daughter mom and dad, (Roy and Dale) brought
over from Scotland. In 1954, they were performing in Ireland and Scotland,
then joined Billy Graham in his first evangelical appearance in London.
Their shows were sold-out,( not even standing room) 2-3 months prior to
their arrival. When they arrived in Scotland a friend of the children's home
in which I lived asked them if they would come and visit. They agreed and
came to see us. Several of us performed some country dances for them and
sang our "party pieces." They, in turn, serenaded us with some of the tunes
from their show. Needless to say, we were thrilled. The matron of the home
and I were invited to have lunch with Roy and Dale, the following Saturday.
We watched their show from the wings. After the show, Dale asked if I'd
like to come to California for a visit, during summer vacation. I, of
course, said yes but figured she was just being nice, as it is rare for a 13
year old to be brought into a family. When Roy and Dale left for England,
reporters called the home and asked to interview me. They asked how I felt
about going to spend the summer with Roy and Dale. I thought, if it's going
to be in the paper it must be true.
I arrived in Los Angeles, July 1, 1954 and, although I was not eligible for
adoption, Roy and Dale worked with attorneys here and in Scotland, to see if
there was a way I could stay. After months of letters/telephone calls, they
were named my legal guardians, so I didn't return after summer vacation, for
which I'm most grateful. I've returned and visited my birth sisters and
brother but I'm always glad to come home to California.
I married my high school sweetheart, Daniel Eaton, and we had 3 children.
Dan, who was a Marine, was killed in an automobile accident, while on leave,
visiting his parents in Minnesota.
I met my current husband, Bill Swift, through his Aunt, who was a good
friend of Mom's. Bill adopted my three children: Our adult children Laurie
Woolery, Dan Swift, and David Swift live in the Palmdale/Lancaster areas,
about an hour away from Wrightwood, CA where Bill and I now live. We have
four adult grandchildren: Jenny Wynn, Travis Limon, Cameron Limon and Ian
Swift. Jenny and her husband Wes, have blessed us with three
great-grandchildren: Betty, Eli, and Peter Wynn and Travis and his wife,
Christina, will add to this number in October of this year. As you can see,
the Rogers family continues to grow. I remember when we'd get together, Dad
would look around at all of us kids and our kids and say, "Momma, look what
we started." Truly, God has blessed our family.
I will always be grateful to Mom and Dad for bringing me to America and
allowing me to become a part of their family. I feel that they instilled in
me the fact that "family" is special and praying for our families is one of
the most important things we as brothers and sisters, parents, grand-parents
and great grand-parents can do in this life.
Mom and Dad were and always will be, my heroes, I miss their wit and wisdom.
~Marion "Mimi" Swift~
Bullet was an AKC Registered German Shepherd originally given the name of
"Bullet Von Berge". He was billed as the 'wonder dog,' and made his debut in the
Roy Rogers film Spoiler's of the Plains in 1951, produced by Republic Pictures.
Bullet was a regular on The Roy Rogers Show on NBC television from 1951-1957 and
CBS from 1961-64. The big beautiful German Shepherd was the faithful companion
of Roy and Dale and helped the duo maintain law and order in the western town of
Mineral City where he was often filmed running alongside of Roy's horse Trigger.
In real life the German Shepherd that played Bullet had the same name, and was
also the family pet owned by the show's married stars, Roy Rogers and Dale
The Roy Rogers Show was an action-packed Western with plenty of things
for a good, honest, dog like Bullet to do. Bullet was a master at knowing who
the bad guys were, and always eager to bite a gun out of their hand or to tackle
them when his human pardners were outnumbered. He could run alongside Trigger
and always keep up but also got to ride inside Pat Brady's Jeep, Nellybelle, on
occasion. Bullet himself probably lost count of all the times he either led Roy
& Dale to the villains or untied them when they had been caught by the bad guys.
It's been noted that Bullet was almost in as many television episodes as his equine pardner and friend, Trigger was.
Whenever Roy and Dale were in a jam, or the going got tough, there he was to help save the day.
The love and companionship of a faithful canine is unconditional and lasts throughout their lifetime. Everyone knew how Bullet and Roy felt toward one another, you saw it in their eyes. In their case, the love and respect couldnt have been better.
I am the youngest of Mom and Dad's nine children. Six are still living; Tom, Cheryl, Marion (Mimi), Linda Lou, Dusty and me.
After Mom and Dad's two year old Robin died, they still had to fulfill many commitments and go on tour. My parents told me the story of going through Dallas, TX and thought they would stop once again at Hope Cottage, where my sister Cheryl was adopted. They had been through there a couple of months before and looked at babies, but it was painful. This time, as Dad told me, he didn't even have the car completely stopped, before Mom was out of the car and going up the steps. She told me she remembered me and wanted to see if I was still there. I was, and she rushed in and scooped me up. The personnel were so shocked and said that it was against the rules to pick up the babies. I was already spoken for, but Mom was insistent, saying she had just lost a child and needed me, and, I needed her. Fortunately, Dad had Native American blood, and the same tribe as I am, Choctaw. An emergency meeting was held with the Board of Directors and Mom was given the okay.
Dusty has tells about me in his show. Dad had called, letting him know he was bringing a present for Dusty's birthday. Well, I don't know if he considered it a present or not, because on that tour, Mom and Dad had also adopted a new brother for us kids, Sandy, from Covington, KY. Mom and Dad stepped off the airplane with "two new children in tow"!! Brad and Angelina still have a ways to go to catch up!!
We lived on a ranch growing up and I loved the land, the outdoors, animals, and exploring. I always tried to follow my brothers, whether it was on the roof of the house or the rock cliffs. Naturally, I wasn't quite as surefooted. I tried to follow my brother Dusty once on the face of a rockcliff that Dad had made into a waterfall, but got stuck. Dusty had to help me down.
Dad and Mom use to take us out on the property in his jeep and we'd have picnics or pretend some of the downed trees were horses. We had a lot of acres. Mom was in great shape and we use to go for hikes. I remember once we hiked to the top of the property to the fence, and by the time we got up there, I was gasping for breath and was so exhausted; while Mom was saying it was so invigorating!
I have lived in the area of Huntsville, AL for ten years. I have a daughter, Kristen Faro and three grandchildren; Andrew, twenty-three, Tessa, twenty, and Tala nineteen, who live here in Alabma. Andrew has moved back to California.
I am a great-grandmother. My granddaughter Tessa has a son, Jackson Wayne Verley, three years old, born August 15, 2008, and Aston, One and one-half years old. My grandson Andrew and his wife, Jenny have a son, Andrew Jacob Wrey Faro, age three, born August 8, 2008. Tala and fiance, Eric Smith, are due to have their first child in November of this year.
I am married to Jon Patterson, who works for NASA, at Marshall Space Center in Huntsville. I have two step-children, Wes, nineteen and Rosalyn, sixteen.
We are rejuvenating an historical, old Civil War house, called the "Gurley Hotel", in Gurley, AL. We have about seventy-four acres of beautiful rolling hills and a nice pond for fishing. We have five horses, and of course, one of them is a "palamino"! We have three dogs and three cats. I have always loved animals!
I have taken stained glass classes in Huntsville and now I like to dabble in that.
I have always admired my parents for their caring of children, healthy and those born physically or mentally challenged, and also their fellow man. They worked very hard during their lifetime and appreciated those that did. I am so blessed to be able to call them "Mom" and "Dad".
| Raymond E. White
|| King of the Cowboys, Queen of the West
|| Raymond E. White |
|Raymond (Ray) E. White is a freelance writer and retired history professor from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana; as chair of the history department.
Ray White is a premier authority on western stars Roy Rogers and Dale Evans and on low-budget western movies that they and other cowboy stars made in the 1930s and 1940s. The University of Wisconsin Press published his book, "King of the Cowboys, Queen of the West: Roy Rogers and Dale Evans"
Mr. White has also published essays on Roy and Dale and low-budget westerns in several books dealing with American popular culture. He has written articles for "Western Horseman", "American Cowboy", "The Horseman's Pro-Am News", "Favorite Westerns", "Indiana Libraries", "The History Teacher", "Progressive Farmer", and the "Southwestern Historical Quarterly". His first book, "Fifty Years of Beneficence: The Ball State University Foundation", 1951-2001, appeared in print in 2001.
Belmont Award - 2005: Best book on country music, given by Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee.
Association for Recorded Sound Collections Award - 2006: Excellence for Best Research in Recorded Country Music.
Certificate of Recognition - 2007: Literary and artistic achievement, by Hamilton County, Ohio "Committee of the Ohioana Library Association" and the "Public Library of Cincinnati" and "Hamilton. County.
|Ray grew up in the small south Texas towns of Luling, Beeville and Goliad. After graduating from Texas State University in San Marcos, he attended the University of Texas, Austin, where he earned masters and doctoral degrees in American history. He taught in colleges in Texas, Missouri and Indiana for nearly forty years, retiring in 1996. At Ball State he taught American frontier history and, for eighteen years, a course on the history of the low-budget western movie. He is currently researching a book on movie producer Paul Malvern and b-western cowboy, Charles Starrett.
Ray and his late wife Kay moved to Muncie in 1967. He has two children and four grandchildren.
| Stella Stevens
|| Edward Faulkner
|| Donna Martell
|Stella Stevens is a writer - comedienne - producer - director - actor - star. She was voted #27, as one of the sexiest women on the planet by Playboy.
One of Stella's early films was "Girls! Girls! Girls!, with Elvis Presley. Like Elvis, Stella was born in Mississippi, then lived in Memphis Tennessee. In her case it was Yazoo City, in the year of the tiger, October 1, 1938. She is the only child of Tom and Estelle Eggleston. The family left Yazoo City when she was four years old. Her schooling in Memphis, included a couple of years at Memphis State University, where she was noticed in the school play, "Bus Stop". The Press Scimitar review of that performance in Memphis sparked her career.
She was groomed for stardom by Twentieth Century Fox, Paramount, and then Columbia. At Paramount after "Li'l Abner", she did "Deadslock", with Jeffrey Hunter and David Jansen; "Girls!Girls!Girls!" with Elvis Presley; and Too Late Blues" with Bobby Darrin. Then a loan-out to MGM for "Advance to the Rear" with Glenn Ford and "The Courtship of Eddie's Father", with Glenn Ford and Ron Howard, and back to Paramount for "The Nutty Professor", with Jerry Lewis. At Columbia she did "The Silencers" a Matt Helm spy spoof with Dean Martin; "The Rage" with Glenn Ford, "Synanon" with Edmond O'Brien and Alex Cord; "How To Save A Marriage and Ruin Your Life"" with Dean Martin, and "Where Angels Go, ... Troube Follows", with Rosalind Russell.
She has starred in three films that are considered classics in their genres. First, the classic disaster movie, "The Poseidon Adventure"; second, the classic comedy, "The Nutty Porfessor"; and third, the classic western "The Ballad of Cable Hogue".
She played the zany Phillis Blake, in "Santa Barbara", and was NBC's first madam on a series, as Lutie Mae in "Flamingo Road.
Some of her latest credits include "Blessed", starring James Purfoi and Heather Graham; and "Strip Mall", a comedy TV series with Julie Brown. Stella also appeared in a Western movie for Showtime, with Richard Crenna called "By Dawn's Early Light".
Stella has shown her talents in an endless display of work. Some of the recent highlights are: Flora, owner of the LA Kings, in an episode of "ARLI$$"; the highly acclaimed, Thelma" in the CBS movie, "In Cold Blood", and the title role of the woman who rose from the dead in, "The Granny", a comedy-horror film.
Other films include "Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold", with Tamara Dobson, "The Mad Room", with Shelley Winters, and "The Longshot", with Tim Conway and Harvey Korman, and "Slaughter" with James Brown.
Director Henry Hathaway said of her, "Stella Stevens was born to be in movies...and to drive men crazy!"
Stella has directed two films: "The American Heroine" and "The Ranch".
Her first novel, "Razzle Dazzle", published by Tor/Forge Books, came out in July 1999. She co-authored the book with William Hegner. Razzle Dazzle is a sexy romp through the dazzling decades of the sixties, seventies, and eighties. Stella thinks it would make a colorful and funny musical.
In June 2002 she sang and danced in the star-studded production of Stephen Sondheim's "Follies" at the Wadsworth Theater in Los Angeles, CA. She played Dee Dee West, a showgirl, and also Margie, the dream girl.
Her new movies on DVD are "Pop Star", "Glass Trap" and "Hell To Pay".
Stella has two Quarter Horses, and passionately loves to ride the high desert country hills and canyons. She also plays tennis, shoots, skates, and skis. She enjoys walking, camping, fishing, swimming, river-rafting, archery, and fencing. She likes to watch baseball, football, basketball, boxing, track and field events, and winter sports, especially ice skating. She loves to roller skate at the beach.
Fielden Edward Faulkner, II was born on February 29th, l932 (leap year!) in Lexington, Kentucky. His father owned and operated a prominent building supply company in Lexington; his mother was a retired piano and music teacher. He was the youngest of two children; his sister (deceased) was nearly 19 years his senior when he was born.
As a youth he fascinated with the art of magic at the age of eleven. He enjoyed performimg for friends and family and by the time he was nearly thirteen he was performing a full fledged magic show for children's birthday parties, service clubs and other gatherings where this type of entertainment might be enjoyed and eventually used the services of a small local talent agent, who immediately increased the fees for his act which he continued to do through college.
He teamed up with a friend in high school and together, they initiated a comedy song and dance routine, billed as 'Faulkner & Seeley-The Sunshine Twins', performing at numerous high school events and service organizations in Lexington for two years.
During his junior year in high school, he became very aware of a tall, slender, lovely and extremely pretty brunette class mate named Barbara Baldwin who had transfered from her high school in western Kentucky. Fortunately for Ed, they were cast in their Senior class play as the leads of Thornton Wilder's classic "Our Town" as 'Emily' and 'George' and were married in real life after they both graduated from the University of Kentucky in June of 1954.
Prior to earning a B.S. degree in the Business College at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, he attended the University of Virginia for two years majoring in Civil Engineering. However, while attending the University of Kentucky, his acting abilities were further stimulated by three leading roles in the University's outstanding Guignol Theater; "The Dover Road," as Harry Brock in "Born Yesterday" and the detective in "Detective Story" in 1954 with his wife Barbara portraying the detective's wife. No thoughts of becoming a professional actor occurred to him since service in the United States Air Force was required after being commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on completion of Reserve Officer Training Corp at U.K. and was awarded his wings as a single engine jet fighter pilot.
After two years of service in the military and returning to civilian life to fulfill his family obligation of managing the building supply business he quickly learned that because of age and serious health problems, his father could no longer actively participate in the business. After his father's death in 1957, he discovered that two former employees had compromised the business into a financial situation that could not be remedied and dissolution of the company was the best option of those available. It was at this juncture in time when the idea of becoming a professional actor became a career option. After several discussions with the Professor of the Drama Department at the University of Kentucky about the feasibility of going to 'Hollywood' he was encouraged to do so and at least 'give it a go.' So in the spring of 1958 and with the full support of his wife, Barbara, they and their daughter moved to Beverly Hills, California to test the unknown waters of Hollywood!
Through friends, he was fortunate to be introduced to Andrew V. McLaglen, son of the well known character actor and Academy Award winner, Victor McLaglen. At that time, Andrew was a staff director for CBS directing such notable western TV series such as Have Gun-Will Travel, Gunsmoke and Rawhide. As the primary director for Have Gun and aware of Richard Boone's (Paladin) interest in cultivating young unknown actors, introduced Ed to the prominent star. After a 'reading' with Boone and with the domination of TV western series at that time along with the potential skills he saw as an actor, the physical attributes of being 6'3" and 185 pounds and knowledge of horsemanship, Boone became his coach and mentor along with McLaglen and was cast in an episode of Have Gun-Will Travel within a month of arrival in California! His new career had begun!
Over the next 18 plus years he became a journeyman actor appearing in over 250 television programs and some 30 motion pictures and feature films made for television and perhaps best remembered for his appearance in top featured roles in six films with John Wayne, two with Elvis Presley and working with such prominent actors as James Stewart, Jack Lemmon, Dean Martin, Maureen O'Hara, Doris Day, Jean Arthur, Brian Keith, Rock Hudson, Jim Hutton, Vera Miles and Kathrine Ross.
Mr. Faulkner continues to stay busy doing voice overs and occasional guest appearances on TV and in October 2008, he filmed a two hour interview for Turner Classic Movies Archive Files to be aired at appropriate times on TCM.
Since 2004 he has been a guest at numerous, predominately western film festivals, across the United States and was recently honored at the 2007 Western Legends Round-Up in Kanab, Utah with presentation of a plaque on their 'Little Hollywood Walk of Fame.'
In early 2010, Mr. Faulkner was signed to direct the six remaing episodes of the 'Elf Sparkle' animated films produced by Beth Roose Films. This is a series of children's Christmas cartoons, utilizing the voices of well known professional actors, to be aired on the Nickelodeon TV Network. Later in the year, Mr. Faulkner agreed to direct additional series currently in production as well as pending pilot projects.
The Faulkners have been married 57 years and reside in Palm Desert, California. They have three daughters, a son and five grandchildren.
|Donna Martell was born Irene De Maria to Italian-American parents. She was seventeen years old when a fellow student at Los Angeles City College introduced her to Hollywood talent agent Wallace Middleton of the Donaldson-Middleton Agency. Upon interviewing for Middleton, Donna was signed on the spot.
Six weeks later, she was doing the ingenue lead opposite Roy Rogers and Dale Evans in Apache Rose (1947).
A few years ago, during a questions and answers spot with other guest stars present, Donna answered, "Roy and Dale were wonderful to me. Roy taught me how to play gin rummy." Dale took me under her wing as though she was one of her own kids. She would take her over to Ventura Boulevard to the costume outfitters, and she would have them make some special costumes and dresses for me to wear".
When republic studios offered Donna a contract, her agents suggested she refrain from signing with Republic having felt it was too early in her career. Her next feature film was Robin Hood of Monterey (1947); another ingenue lead with Gilbert Roland. After signing with Universal International, Donna's first film there was yet another ingenue lead opposite Bud Abbott and Lou Costello in Abbott & Costello Meet the Killer (1951) which also starred Boris Karloff. While at Universal, Donna appeared in a number of musical featurettes with Tex Williams and his Boys. Her fellow contract players at the time were Rock Hudson, Piper Laurie, Tony Curtis, Richard Long, and James Best.
Donna went on to appear in Kipling's Kim (1950), opposite Johnny Shefield in Elephant Stampede (1951), Hills of Utah with Gene Autry, Love Is A Many Splendored Thing (1955) as the sister of Jennifer Jones, afterwards receiving Photoplay's Gold Medal award. Donna's motion picture credits continued with Ten Wanted Men (1955) with Randolph Scott, Last of the Desperados with James Craig, Give A Girl A Break (1953), The Egyptian (1954), and Hell On Devils Island (1957) with Helmut Dantine.
During the fabulous 50s and into the 1960s, Donna kicked up dust with many of television's top name western stars appearing as the lovely dark haired female lead opposite Ray Milland in Markham, Dale Robertson in Wells Fargo, Gene Barry in Bat Masterson, Clint Walker in Cheyenne, Bill Williams in Kit Carson, Jock Mahoney in Range Riders, Barry Sullivan in The Tall Man, Michael Landon in Bonanza (her last tv show appearance), as well as the memorable Gene Autry. Donna felt quite fortunate to have worked with Gene Autry on his westerns. She enjoyed working out at Melody Ranch and Corriganville,
Donna starred in a number of classic television westerns during the 1950s and 1960s. "Range Riders," "Cheyenne," "Wells Fargo," and "Bat Masterson" are among the most memorable.
"I adored Clint Walker on Cheyenne. What a guy. My best memory of Dale Robertson is when we both did a kissing scene together on Wells Fargo, and the director had to call 'Cut' a few times because we couldn't stop kissing!
Donna worked with Robert Conrad just before he landed his famous part in "Wild Wild West." Conrad was a bit discouraged and thought his career was taking off a bit too slowly and if something didn't happen, he was going to give it up. Something must have happened, as shortly there ever, he got the part.
Project Moonbase is considered to be among the earliest excursions into outer space. It's roots in early 50s' television perhaps explains its unusual appeal to devotees of vintage sci-fi televisiProject Moonbase offers a story of interstellar espionage on an orbiting space station. The astronauts look as though they are preparing for a trip to the beach instead of a walk on the moon. Directed by stuntman-turned-director Richard Talmadge, Project Moonbase may seem awfully camp to some, but to Donna Martell and to 50s' sci-fi cadets, it will continue to age gracefully and remains a fond experience.
Donna was married to baseball player Gene Corso. In later years, she did a variety of TV commercials. And most recently, Donna has been attending some of the film festivals and conventions.
(Photograph courtesy of Michael Neilson © The Daily Jeffersonian)
Say Howdy to Art Postlethwait, a genuine, All-American Cowboy. He's a former international and national pro rodeo champion and performer; a former rodeo promotor and rodeo producer. He's had the honor and previledge of being a rodeo mentor to many up and coming, young rodeo performers around the country and abroad.
Art started out in his rodeo career in the 1960s. At age sixteen, this young man started competing in rodeos. During this time, he received lots of advice and guideance from some of the top-notched cowboys in the country. With some experience under his belt and the knowledge he had learned, he started winning numerous competitions. It wasn't until he turned twenty-two, that Art entered the pro rodeo circuit. He competed in the International Pro Rodeo Association (IPRA) and Mid-States Rodeo Association (MSRA). Through his hard work and determination, Art earned the honor of becoming a life-time member of the MSRA.
During his rodero career, Art received many awards and honors. His performance and competition earned him dollars enough, to feed and clothe the family. He attained some mighty handsomme trophies, nice looking belt buckles, and even some expensive, high-dollar saddles.
In the IPRA, Art achieved the top honors of being the "All Around Cowboy" more than once. He won the "Saddle Bronc of the Year - 1992" through the MSRA and a few years later, he did it once again. He received the "Saddle Bronc of the Year - 1997" through the MSRA. For a period of time, Art was also a pro rodeo clown.
In 1979, Art had to take a short break from competition. He suffered bodily injuries, including a broken neck in 1979. His last performance and competiton was in 2004 when he received non-reversible injuries that ended his rodeo career as he knew it.
Art didn't get out of "the rodeo business" entirely. His son, Raymond Postlethwait has followed his dad's lead and is a rodeo performer and competes mostly closer to home in the MSRA circuit. Raymond "Bummp Bump" Postlethwait (I hear there's a great story behind that nickname) is pretty good from the stats over on their web site, www.midstatesrodeo.com. He's won several competitions and some are quite impressive!
Art's love for his cowboy culture and way-of-life has stayed with him since before his rodeo days. He has owned and managed stables, produced western shows and have conducted rodeos. He's organized exhibits and special events. He recently acquired a authentic Western Transportation Stagecoach. It was featured in the "Western Days" parade in Cambridge, OH, of this year. Thousands of spectators and riders have seen Art with his stagecoch, his carriages and unique wagons; along with his magnificent team of draft horses at numerous events and gatherings. He does offers rides at fairs, western shows and special events, festivals, parades and etc.
With the recent tornados and severe storms in the midwest the end of May, Art volunteered and took his teams of draft horses to Joplin, MO and used them to rescue many emergency vehicles, as they were stuck under tons of rubble and debre. Our cowboy hats off to Art and his teams of horses. They helped save many lives that endured that tragic disaster.
As you can tell, Art Postlethwait is one mighty fine "All Around Cowboy". He's colorful and authentic as they come. Let's welcome Art Postlethwait to Portsmouth, OH and Roy Rogers country!