He appeared faithfully between Roy Rogers's legs in more than five dozen movies. Originally named Golden Cloud, the cinematic stallion made an auspicious debut transporting Maid Marian (Olivia de Havilland) in 1938's The Adventures of Robin Hood.
Foaled in 1932, the part-Throroughbred palomino steed met his destiny when Roy Rogers began preparing for his first starring movie role. Asked to choose his onscreen partner from among five horses, Rogers selected Golden Cloud. The singing star promptly renamed him Trigger, a reflection of the animal's quick mind and physical agility. One of the best trained horses in show business, Trigger reportedly knew more than 150 trick cues and could walk several feet on his hind legs. Man and beast were an immediate hit on the big screen, which they shared with Dale Evans, her horse, Buttermilk, and Bullet, their loyal German Shepherd. In response to their movie stardom, Dell published a series of comic books about Roy and Trigger's exploits.
The equine star, who never sired any offspring, died in July of 1965. His hide was stretched over a plastic replica and put on display at the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum in Apple Valley, California, when it opened in 1967. Later relocated to Branson, Missouri, the museum closed for good in 2009. Trigger sold at a Christie's auction for $266,500 to RFD-TV and is currently touring the country with Bullet (below, at the 2011 Nebraska State Fair).