Viva Las Vegas: Elvis stars in 1964 teaser with Ann-Margret
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It is currently Elvis Week, to commemorate Elvis Presley and his sudden death. The King of Rock and Roll died on August 16, 1977. He was found at his home, Graceland, by his fiancée at the time, Ginger Alden. It was later determined he suffered a cardiac arrest that killed him while in his bathroom. Even worse, his poor daughter, and only child, Lisa Marie Presley, was just next door.
Ann-Margret knew instantly that he had died, because of a habit he carried on until that day.
Elvis and Ann-Margret shared a romantic love affair in 1964 while they were on the set of their movie, Viva Las Vegas, together.
While they split on rocky terms, they still had a strong connection.
And while Ann-Margret had a residency slot in Las Vegas in August, ’77, Elvis sent her a bouquet of flowers shaped like a guitar every single night.
The first night he didn’t, on August 16, she knew something had happened to him.
Ann-Margret then received a phone call from Elvis’ friend and road manager, Joe Esposito.
He told her the awful news of Elvis’ death. She responded with two simple words: “We’re coming.”
Elvis’ funeral was held on August 18, 1977. Thousands of people attended the wondrous event, including many people from the star’s life throughout the years.
When Ann-Margret arrived at Graceland, she went straight to Elvis’ father and “hugged him tight”.
Elvis Presley performs ‘Hound Dog’ in 1956
Elvis’ father, Vernon Presley, recalled: “Because I was dazed with shock and misery, I didn’t see or recognise some of the people at the funeral.”
He added: “Ann-Margret and I hugged each other and cried together, but I didn’t even see her husband, Roger Smith, who was close by.”
In Ann-Margret’s memoir, My Story, she remembered the same meeting.
“There was so much to say,” she said. “To recount. But instead, we cried.”
Then Vernon told Ann-Margret what Elvis really thought of her.
Ann-Magret wrote: “Vernon said softly: ‘He was so proud of you.'”
This, surely, was enough to send the star over the edge, considering how much they went through together.
The loved-up Hollywood couple enjoyed just over a year together before it all came crashing down.
All good things must come to an end.
Ann-Margret was misquoted as saying she was “engaged” to Elvis just after the film had finished shooting.
When Priscilla Presley found out, she was furious. She threw a vase at a wall in anger before demanding Elvis bring the affair to an end.
But Elvis kept a soft spot for the star over the years.
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