Apparently, I DO take requests. When I wrote R is for Roger, Redux six months ago, Martha asked, “Have you tried using Roger (or Rogers) as a last name? That might be fun too.” Well, I had not. Of course there are a LOT of them, but here’s the list I thought of:
Fred Rogers (1928-2003) – the beloved host of the children’s program Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Well, popular among most people: here are some local FOX News personalities speculating that his positive message of valuing all people was actually harmful to children. (n.b., I believe these people are nuts.) Personally, I thought the man in the cardigan sweater brought a certain calmness to kids’ lives. HERE he accepts the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 24th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards in 1997. You might be surprised by the number of times I’ve been called Mr. Roger by parents of children I’m acquainted with.
Ginger Rogers (1911-1995), nee Virginia Katherine McMath – the regular dance partner of Fred Astaire. A musical about her life was called Backwards in High Heels, a reference to the quote Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, except backwards and in high heels, which originated in a 1982 Frank and Ernest cartoon by Bob Staves, and popularized by the late former governor of Texas, Ann Richards.
Kenny Rogers (b. 1938) – I first heard Kenny Rogers with a group called The First Edition, singing songs such as But You Know I Love You and Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) [LISTEN]. He then became a country crooner with many hit songs, notably The Gambler, which became the source of a couple TV movies. He has sold over 68 million albums in the USA alone. Rogers is a 2013 inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Marshall Rogers (1950-2007) – though he drew stories with both Marvel and DC Comics, I always most associate him for illustrating the stories Steve Englehart wrote about Batman in Detective Comics. They teamed up to do stories of the Silver Surfer as well.
Mimi Rogers (b. 1956) – actress I know best as the costar of the Geena Davis Show (2000-2001), and who you probably know best as an ex-wife of Tom Cruise. No, I never saw her in X-Files, or Two and a Half Men, or Austin Powers, among her many credits.
Roy Rogers (1911-1998), ne Leonard Slye – the singing cowboy, whose closing theme, Happy Trails To You, was written by his wife, Dale Evans. I own a Sons of the Pioneers CD on which he sings. The very first question I got right when I was on JEOPARDY! I knew because of watching Roy’s show; it was about sidekick Pat Brady. The series featured Roy’s golden palomino, Trigger, and his German Shepherd dog, Bullet, and I watched religiously every Saturday morning on CBS-TV. He was also in over 100 movies, none of which I ever saw. He shrewdly had a clause in his 1940 contract with the studio where he would have the right to his likeness, voice and name for merchandising; there was a LOT of Roy Rogers merchandise in the day. Like Kenny Rogers, Roy was also a restaurateur, though not an active participant.
Will Rogers (1879-1935) – an Oklahoma wit full of pithy quotes, who was a cowboy, writer, actor, and radio commentator, giving bipartisan barbs to the politicians. There’s a nice page about him on the PBS website. He died in a plane crash with noted aviator Wiley Post.
Buck Rogers – a 25th century explorer. Popular on television, though I have no particular memory of it.
Sally Rogers – played by Rose Marie (b. 1923) on the television series Dick Van Dyke Show, she was the female comedy writer on the variety program The Alan Brady Show. Single – except for her cat – and not generally happy about it.
Steve Rogers – in the comic books, scrawny kid not eligible for military service during World War II, but signs up for a secret experience that gives him superior strength. Frozen in a block of ice, he is reanimated in the comic book Avengers #4. In several live-action and animated films.
Note I did NOT use Rodgers, since Rodger is NOT my name, though people have erroneously spelled it that way.