Elvis Presley never told Ann-Margret how he really felt about her

This week, January 8, 2023, marks the 88th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s birth. He left an imprint on countless lives over the years, but few experienced the King of Rock and Roll as viscerally as Ann-Margret. The Swedish-American actress spent just over a year in an intimate relationship with the star behind closed doors in 1964 on the set of the film Viva Las Vegas before parting ways with her. But it wasn’t until after her death that he found out about her true feelings for her.

Elvis died on August 16, 1977, after going into cardiac arrest at his home, Graceland. He was found in the bathroom by his fiancee at the time, Ginger Alden.

At the time, Ann-Margret was living in Las Vegas while performing nightly in a residency space. And even though she hadn’t seen Elvis in almost 15 years, the connection between them was still palpable. This was made evident by a touching gift that she received each night. Every day before her performances, she Ann-Margret received a bouquet of flowers in the shape of a guitar from Elvis as a sign of good luck.

But on August 16, 1977, he received nothing. Instantly, she knew something was wrong. Ann-Margret then received a phone call from Elvis’s friend and road manager, Joe Esposito. She broke the terrible news that Elvis had died. She responded with two simple words: “Here we go.”

Elvis’ funeral was held two days later, on August 18, 1977. Thousands of people attended the emotional event, including many from the star’s life over the years.

When Ann-Margret arrived at Graceland, she went directly to Elvis’s father and “gave him a tight hug.”

The King’s father, Vernon Presley, later recalled: “Because I was dazed with shock and misery, I did not see or recognize some of the people at the funeral. Ann-Margret and I hugged and cried together, but I didn’t even see her husband, Roger Smith, who was nearby.

Ann-Margret recalled the same event in her memoir: My Story. “There was so much to say,” she wrote. “To count. But instead, we cried.”

Vernon then revealed to Ann-Margret what Elvis never had time to tell her.

Ann-Margret wrote: “Vernon said softly: ‘I was so proud of you.'”

The funeral that followed was an emotional experience for all involved. Tens of thousands of fans lined the streets outside Graceland and attended the King’s coffin to pay their respects. His ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, consoled those who know the King well, as well as his daughter, Lisa Marie Presley.

Since the funeral, Ann-Margret hasn’t talked much about Elvis. She revealed, “We were together for a year and he trusted me. And I wouldn’t want to betray his trust in death.”

Ann-Margret added: “So much has been written that has been negative about him that I want to celebrate his life.” [and] the man I knew.”

Ann-Margret’s dedication to Elvis is not surprising, considering how powerful their love affair was in 1964. She once described him as her “soul mate.”

The star added: “We both felt a current, an electricity that went through us… It would become a force that we couldn’t control.”


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