Elvis Presley brought the house down with the arrival of his 1964 hit film Viva Las Vegas. However the most exciting part of the film for the King was meeting Swedish-American actor Ann-Margret – his on-screen lover. Ann-Margret was already famous in her own right after appearing in Bye Bye Birdie, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe. It later came out the pair were engaged in a passionate affair throughout the filming of the flick, much to the dismay of Presley’s fiancé Priscilla Beaulieu.
Years later, in 1994, Ann-Margret penned an autobiography.
Within this book Ann-Margret also divulged some details about her time with the King during the filming of Viva Las Vegas.
At the time, the New York Times held an interview with the star at her home, where she lived with her husband Roger Smith.
During the interview she touched upon the Elvis section of the book.
Ann-Margret confessed: “It was extremely difficult for me to write. And it’s even harder for me to talk about.
“I just wanted to do this out of respect for his life.”
Elvis struggled with a number of addictions towards the end of his life.
After touching upon these troublesome times, and eventually Elvis’ death, Ann-Margret added: “I know he’s finally at peace.”
The interview asked her how she “knew” he was at peace, to which she candidly replied: “I don’t want to say.”
Ann-Margret was then quizzed over whether Elvis was the love of her life.
To which, she reportedly looked over at her husband in the room, and responded: “I don’t want to hurt… The man that I married is the man I knew I was going to marry on the third date.
“We’ve been together now 30 years. Eee gad.”
Years before, whilst speaking to Charlie Rose, Ann-Margret confessed why she didn’t ever want to speak ill of the late star.
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Ann-Margret gave a touching account of their relationship, saying: “It was extremely special. It was very strong.
“We were together for one year and he trusted me. And I would not want to betray his trust in death.”
Ann-Margret kept this promise as she never spoke about Elvis in a bad way.
The star then went on to add: “I knew him very, very well.
Ann-Margret continued: “There’s been so much written that has been negative about him that I want to celebrate his life [and] the man that I knew.”
In her biography Ann-Margret wrote of the first time she ever met the King on the set of Viva Las Vegas.
She wrote: “Except for a piano, the MGM soundstage where Elvis and I met was empty In the background, a few of his guys hung around observing their boss, a ritual I would soon come to expect.
“Under the watchful gaze of director George Sidney, a studio photographer snapped shots of what the film company executives figured would be a historic moment.”
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