1001 W 75TH ST. WOODRIDGE, IL 630-427-1880

Hollywood Memorial

Gene Autry

Known to many as ‘The Singing Cowboy,’ he is best remembered for his songs ‘Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer,’ and his theme song, ‘Back in the Saddle Again.’ According to Hollywood lore, he was discovered by Will Rogers, singing for his own amusement in a telegraph office in Oklahoma, and Rogers suggested he go to Hollywood. In 1928, he began singing for a local radio station, and within three years had his own radio show and was making records, then moved on to films in the 1930s and 1940s and literally defined the B-Western film, despite cars, airplanes and other modern devices in them. During the 1950s, he had his own television show, ‘The Gene Autry Show.’ He wrote over 200 songs. A shrewd businessman, Autry invested wisely and retired from show business in the late 1950s, a self-made millionaire. His gasoline company, Flying A, takes its name from his interest in flying and the letter of his last name, Autry. In 1983, he bought the California Angels baseball team. In the late 1980s, he built a museum to showcase his personal collection of authentic western memorabilia. He has five stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, for Recording, Movies, Television, Radio, and Live Theater. He died of cancer in Los Angeles, California in 1998. He once stated, ‘I’m not a good actor, a good rider, or a particularly good singer, but they seem to like what I do, so I’ll keep on doing it as long as they want.’ Buried under a large memorial listing his accomplishments at Forest Lawn in Hollywood Hills.