Roberta Shore is a former American actress and singer, whose main claim to fame was her work in the popular American Western television series, ‘The Virginian’, which aired on NBC.
Early life and family
Roberta Shore was born Roberta Jymme Schourop on April 7, 1943, in Monterey Park, California, USA. Her parents, along with her older sister, Dorothy Madeline Schourop, and younger brother, Stanley Wilford Schorurp, raised her in the nearby Los Angeles County town of San Gabriel, raising The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint. She was gifted with a singing voice – something she inherited from her father who had been a member of a western country band with her uncles.
When she was eight years old, she sang for her grandparents’ 50e wedding anniversary, and her parents realized she had so much potential. They took her to various singing competitions in and out of town. Little else is known about her family.
There is no information about her educational background.
Roberta came into contact with the entertainment world at the age of 10 – during one of the singing competitions, which then usually took place in large supermarkets, she met the popular western swing singer Tex Williams. He offered her the chance to be part of his weekly television show, filmed at Knotts Berry Farm in California, and she sang “Smoke That Cigarette”, an anti-smoking satirical song, and was credited as her television debut.
She was also part of “The Pinky Lee Show”, a children’s variety show featuring bursleque comedy antics and vaudevillians in the early 1950s. At that time she still used the name Jymme Schourup.
At the age of 12, she was employed by Walt Disney to be part of ‘Annette’, one of the dramatic segments in the children’s television show, ‘The Mickey Mouse Club’. The main cast was called Mouseketeers, composed of all sorts of talents. She was a regular part of it, but she was never a Mouseketeerbecause at the time she was much too tall for the required look, 5ft 3‑1/2ins.
She gained a bit of popularity through the show playing the role of Laura Rogan, the cocky rich rival of the show’s star, who was Annette Funicello’s character.
She received hate mail for years for her realistic portrayal in those 15 episodes of the “Annette” mini-series, which aired in 1958 – coincidentally, on this show she changed her professional name, even though Walt Disney told her to change if viewers saw her as a man constantly confused with the name Jymme, so she used her real first name, Roberta, and shortened her last name from Schourop to Shore.
She then played the saucy role of a French-speaking girl in a Walt Disney feature film, “The Shaggy Dog”, in 1959. As she approached her teens, she was a part of several films, but unfortunately went uncredited in some of them. .
The same year, she made a cameo appearance in the movie ‘A Summer Place’, an adaptation of Sloan Wilson’s novel of the same name, starring Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue, and then played the role of Ricky Summers in ‘Because They’re Young’. with Dick Clarke and Warren Berlinger in 1960.
A series of guest appearances on TV and as a regular cast member followed. Some of the most notable were in “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” with Ricky Nelson, “Maverick” with James Garner, “Father Knows Best” with Robert Young and Elinor Donahue, and “The New Bob Cummings Show” with Bob Cummings, which lasted one season with 22 episodes in 1961.
Her strict Mormon upbringing was tested in 1961 when she made the movie “The Young Savages” starring Burt Lancaster and Shelley Winters in which she played the role of a rebellious teenager. She was asked to smoke but did not want as it was. contrary to Mormon teachings. Another notable uncredited cameo was her character in the controversial movie “Lolita” directed by Stanley Kubrick in 1962. Her parents approved as long as she would stick to the role she was given, and nothing more.
Highlight of her career
Later that year, she was part of the main cast of the third longest running Western TV series, ‘The Virginian’, loosely based on the novel ‘The Virginian: Horseman of the Plains’ written by Owen Wister in 1902.
The lead role was played by Jim Drury, who took on the role of a strong, tough foreman at Judge Garth’s Shiloh Ranch. Roberta got the role of his daughter, Betsy Garth.
The series was so successful that it ran for nine seasons, but Roberta left the show after the fourth season and only came back to film the wedding episode. She was under contract and threatened to be blacklisted from any project in Hollywood if she left the show, and was subsequently suspended for three years – she retired from her acting career at the age of 21.
Roberta would be invited to annual Western-themed festivals around the country to celebrate “The Virginian” along with the original main cast.
Actress Roberta Shore
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Roberta is married to her third husband, Ron Frederickson, an actor-director and retired college drama professor – they currently live in Salt Lake, Utah. She has a total of six children, as she has two daughters with her first husband, and the other four are from Ron’s previous marriage; she has more than a hundred grandchildren. She now goes by the name Jimmy Frederickson.
Her first husband was Kent K. Christensen of Ogden, Utah and they married in 1964. He was the reason why she quit show business as Kent was a very controlling man and let her choose – him and marriage, or her career. .
She was still quite naive and in love at the time, but does not regret her decision, but she misses singing on stage. The relationship ended in divorce.
Roberta met her second husband, Terry C. Barber, who was the exact opposite of her first husband. He supported everything she wanted to pursue in her life, but she chose to support him by accompanying him to different cities as he was a production representative for a furniture company. However, she lost him in 1987 to a brain tumor. She continued Terry’s business and still traveled as she liked to do, but after an accident on one of her trips she decided to stop.
Interesting facts and rumours
- During her stint on the ‘Pinky Lee Show’, she was once fired because Pinky wanted someone more gifted for her role, even though she was a 12-year-old girl. The new girl was so bad at her role that Roberta was offered the part again. She said Pinky was a dirty old man, and it was funny because his wife and kids were on set all the time.
- She was one of the original voices in the song ‘It’s a Small World’ and her yodel is still used on the popular Walt Disney Theme Park attraction when it reaches the Swiss part.
- Her favorite singers are Doris Day and Teresa Brewer.
- All of her galloping scenes with a horse in “The Virginian” were done by her stunt double. She was a bad rider and couldn’t control them.
- Roberta was very convincing as the francophone Franceska in the movie ‘The Shaggy Dog’ when she was far from fluid let alone speak the language.
Roberta is 1.67 m tall and weighs 55 kg. She has light brown hair and dark brown eyes.
Sources estimates her net worth at $3 million as of mid-2020. She started working professionally at the age of 11 and retired as an actress at the age of 21, but she is still invited to western cowboy festivals in the US every year.