Viva Las Vegas: Elvis stars in 1964 teaser with Ann-Margret
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The trajectory of Elvis Presley’s life changed drastically in 1963 when he met Ann-Margret on the set of Viva Las Vegas (which hit cinemas this week, March 13, in 1964). The King of Rock and Roll kicked off a sordid affair with the actress before falling head-over-heels with the Swedish-American star. But their relationship didn’t last long, and it exploded in an extremely dramatic fashion.
Elvis and Ann-Margret spent the better part of a year together. Once cameras had stopped rolling during the Viva Las Vegas shoot, they spent almost every minute together. They dated all across Vegas, and stayed with one another at hotels for weekends at a time – all under the nose of Elvis’ girlfriend, Priscilla Presley (who was named Priscilla Beaulieu at the time).
But when the movie was due to hit cinemas, things got complicated.
One of the first Viva Las Vegas premieres was reportedly held in London, England. As a result, Elvis couldn’t attend the glitzy event.
Colonel Tom Parker did not have a passport (on account of him reportedly being an illegal immigrant). As Elvis’ boss was not going across the world, he was not permitted to go either. This left Ann-Margret to promote the movie on her own.
Unfortunately, it was this press event that brought an end to the relationship.
Ann-Margret attended the glamorous red carpet event for Viva Las Vegas and was quizzed about her relationship with Elvis.
The story goes that she was asked about being engaged to the star, and was misquoted in her answer.
As a result, papers across the world ran the story that Ann-Margret had secretly become engaged to Elvis behind the scenes. And, before long, word got to Priscilla in the USA that Elvis had been having an affair.
When she found out about Elvis’ relationship with Ann-Margret, she was furious. She launched a vase at a wall in anger and screamed at the singer to break things off immediately.
Elvis Presley ended Ann-Margret affair by ‘ghosting her’ [INFO ]
Elvis Presley’s boss was forced to step in after Ann-Margret argument [INSIGHT]
Elvis Presley’s affair behind Priscilla’s back was life-changing [NEWS]
What’s more, Elvis’ boss, Colonel Tom, and Priscilla’s parents put a lot of pressure on the star to marry the young woman. They pointed at the fact he had flown an underage girl to the USA to be with her as leverage; the following year, he had proposed to Priscilla.
Things between Ann-Margret and Elvis ended shortly thereafter. Remembering the stressful situation in her memoir, Ann-Margret wrote: “There were other factors in Elvis’s life that forced him apart from me. And I understood them.”
Although Elvis and Ann-Margret broke up, however, his closest friends believed he truly loved her. And it was nothing more than his circumstances with Priscilla that stopped him from being with her forever.
Red West – close friend of Elvis and a member of the Memphis Mafia – wrote in his memoir: “I have no doubt that Elvis loved Ann. But deep down he knew she wouldn’t ever take a backseat to his career, and rightfully so. Ann was going to be a major superstar in her own right, and nobody knew it more than Elvis.”
Despite the drama that ended their relationship, Elvis and Ann-Margret maintained a friendly relationship. He even sent her flowers every day she performed at her residency slot in Las Vegas throughout the 1970s.
When he died on August 16, 1977, Ann-Margret was devastated. She later called him “the greatest friend [she] ever had”. She added his death was a “terrible loss for everyone who loved him”.
Ann-Margret was the only person from Elvis’ Hollywood days to attend his funeral.
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