Published On: Thu, Mar 9th, 2023
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Elvis Presley’s affair behind Priscilla’s back was ‘electric’ and life-changing | Music | Entertainment

In the 1960s became a prolific actor in . He had always dreamed of becoming a world-class thespian, and he was thrilled when the phone wouldn’t stop ringing for him to star in dozens of movies. But it was in 1963 that the King of Rock and Roll’s life changed forever. That year, he began working on the 1964 movie Viva Las Vegas (which hit cinemas 59 years ago on March 13, 1964). When he joined the picture he did not expect to fall in love with his co-star: .

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

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

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

As their connection spiralled out of control under the heat of Nevada’s Las Vegas sun, it transformed from a sordid affair to a full-blown romantic infatuation. They couldn’t be without one another, and she described them as people who were meant to be.

Ann-Margret wrote: “We were indeed soul mates, shy on the outside, but unbridled within.”

She even revealed that they were both broken in many similar ways. While Elvis loved to party (and years later would go on to become addicted to prescription medication), Ann-Margret sympathised. She wrote: “We both lived on the edge, and we both were self-destructive in our own ways… In many ways, both of us, despite fame and whatever else we’d achieved so quickly, had remained very childlike and emotionally dependent.”

All the while, Elvis’ long-term girlfriend, (named Beaulieu at the time, as they were not yet married) remained in , back in Memphis, Tennessee.

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

Eventually, things had to fizzle out for Elvis and Ann-Margret.

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

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

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

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

Still, even though Elvis had to end things with Ann-Margret, he never forgot her. He constantly sent her flowers while she performed her Las Vegas residency. He even begged her to see him one last time just before he died.

One of Elvis’ closest friends in the Memphis Mafia, 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 he had the chance.

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

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


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