Elvis Presley’s affair behind Priscilla’s back changed his life

In the 1960s, Elvis Presley became a prolific actor in Hollywood. He had always dreamed of becoming a world-class actor and was excited when the phone kept ringing for him to star in dozens of movies. But it was in 1963 when the life of the King of Rock and Roll changed forever. That year, he began work on the 1964 film Viva Las Vegas (which hit theaters 59 years ago on March 13, 1964). When he joined the picture, he didn’t expect to fall for his co-star, Ann-Margret.

Ann-Margret was a young and up-and-coming triple threat who had both Swedish and American heritage. The scarlet-haired actress instantly found a connection with Elvis, and before long, they couldn’t spend a moment apart.

Ann-Margret wrote about her intimate relationship with Elvis in her memoir, My Story. In it, she recalled her first meeting on a sound stage where her connection was palpable.

“We both felt a current,” he said. “An electricity that went straight through us. It would become a force that we couldn’t control.”

As their connection spiraled out of control in the hot Nevada Las Vegas sun, it turned from a sordid fling to a full-blown romantic crush. They couldn’t be without each other, and she described them as people who were meant to be.

Ann-Margret wrote: “Indeed, we were kindred souls, shy on the outside, but unrestrained on the inside.”

He even revealed that they were both broken in many similar ways. While Elvis loved to party (and years later he would become addicted to prescription drugs), Ann-Margret was sympathetic. She wrote: “We were both living on the edge, and we were both self-destructive in our own ways… In many ways, both of us, despite the fame and whatever else we had achieved so quickly, were still very childish and emotionally dependent.” .”

Meanwhile, Elvis’s long-time girlfriend Priscilla Presley (called Beaulieu at the time, since they were not yet married) remained at Graceland, in Memphis, Tennessee.

Years later, when Ann-Margret was asked if she had thought of Priscilla during her passionate affair with Elvis, she replied: “She wasn’t there.”

Eventually, things had to go downhill for Elvis and Ann-Margret.

During the Viva Las Vegas premiere window, Ann-Margret attended a premiere in London, England, where she was asked about her relationship with Elvis. Her response was misconstrued and the headlines said that she was already betrothed to the King.

Priscilla found out and was furious. When she confronted Elvis with this information, she threw a vase against the wall and yelled at him.

Ann-Margret recalled, “There were other factors in Elvis’s life that forced him to separate from me, and I understood them. Elvis had always been honest with me, but even so, it was a confusing situation.”

Ann-Margret added: “We knew the relationship had to end, that Elvis had to follow through on his commitment.”

Still, even though Elvis had to break up with Ann-Margret, he never got over her. He constantly sent her flowers while she was doing her residency in Las Vegas. He even begged her to see him one last time just before he died.

One of Elvis’s closest friends in the Memphis mob, Lamar Fike, later reflected on Ann-Margret and her powerful connection to Elvis. He even posited that Elvis would have stayed with Ann-Margret forever, if she’d had the chance.

“I think Elvis would have married [Ann-Margret] in a second from New York, “he said.” But she made it clear that she would do it only if Ann left the business.”

With dreams of taking on Las Vegas with a residency show, their relationship came to an end.


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