Elvis Presley and Ann MargretThe business of was more than just a Hollywood desire. The actress later described the couple as “kindred spirits”. They spent almost every moment together while filming Viva Las Vegas, and they met after filming was done as often as they could.
Ann-Margret wrote in her memoir that other “commitments” kept them from staying together forever. But she later revealed in an interview that he desperately wanted to stay with her forever.
At the time, Elvis was in a long-term relationship with Priscilla Presley (who was Beaulieu at the time, as they weren’t married). But while he was filming in Las Vegas, Priscilla was at home in gracelandworshiping the star.
But when she found out, there was hell to pay. Priscilla herself wrote in her memoir, Elvis and Me, that when she found out about the serious nature of Elvis’ affair with Ann-Margret, she flew into a violent rage.
She revealed that she “picked up a flower vase and threw it across the room, smashing it against the wall” when the news broke.
Before long, Elvis broke up.
Ann-Margret recalled in her memoir, My Story: “We continued to see each other periodically until we dated for almost a year. Then it all stopped. We knew the relationship had to take end, that Elvis had to honor his commitment.” (sic)
But that’s not what Elvis wanted in the long run. Instead, he wanted to marry Ann-Margret.
Ann-Margret revealed in 1994 that Elvis’ wish was “that we could stay together”. Behind closed doors, Elvis and Ann-Margret discussed marriage and the next step in their relationship. But it wasn’t meant to be.
Ann-Margret explained that her romantic relationship with Elvis ultimately ended due to forces beyond her control. She wrote: “There were other factors in Elvis’ life that forced him away from me, and I understood them. Elvis was always honest with me, but it was still a confusing situation.”
Years later, the Bye Bye Birdie star was asked why she even started the affair with Elvis, when she knew Priscilla was waiting for her at home. She simply replied, “She wasn’t there.
After false reports surfaced that Ann-Margret had discussed her relationship with Elvis with the press, Priscilla discovered the truth. Elvis broke up with the star and cut contact with her.
A few years later, Elvis married Priscilla on May 1, 1967. Exactly one week later, on May 8, 1967, Ann-Margret married her husband, television producer Roger Smith. But the love between Elvis and Ann-Margret has not diminished.
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Years later, Ann-Margret looked fondly at her relationship with Elvis.
She said: “We both felt a current, an electricity running through us. It would become a force we couldn’t control.” (sic)
The couple remained in distant contact for a long time, until the unimaginable happened. A few years after Ann-Margret got married, she had a residency slot at a Las Vegas hotel. And on the morning of every show, Elvis would send her a guitar-shaped bouquet of flowers to wish her good luck.
Tragically, this gesture of goodwill ultimately informed Ann-Margret of the star’s death.
One morning in August 1977, Ann-Margret does not receive a bouquet of flowers from Elvis. She knew something was wrong. She received a panicked phone call from Elvis’ road manager, Joe Esposito, who told her the serious news. She got straight on a plane and flew to Memphis, Tennessee, where she attended his funeral.
Ann-Margret was the only Hollywood friend of Elvis to attend the tribute.
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