Elvis Presley started a passionate love affair with Ann-Margret in 1964 while they were starring in the hit movie Viva Las Vegas together. Although they split up after a year of being together, they were still on great terms. She has since said she would never speak ill of the King of Rock and Roll. So when she was asked to be involved in a biography about him, she quickly refused.
Author Albert Goldman released “Elvis” in 1981. The writer had previously penned a biography about The Beatles star John Lennon, and had quickly moved on to the King.
When the Elvis biography hit store shelves, Goldman reportedly received criticisms for depicting the King as a “plagiarist”.
Ann-Margret told Roger Ebert that she “knew” Goldman was going to portray Elvis in a negative light when she first learned of the upcoming book.
She furiously added: “I absolutely refuse to discuss the subject. I find that book disgusting.”
Ebert argued that Goldman spoke highly of Elvis’ work in Hollywood – especially in his 1964 movie Viva Las Vegas, which he starred in alongside Ann-Margret.
Despite this, Ann-Margret said: “I don’t have a single thing to say. Goldman asked to interview me, but I turned him down, because I knew the kinds of things he was going to write about Elvis.”
As it turned out, she was correct. Goldman wrote a number of controversial things about Elvis, including the aforementioned plagiarism claim, as well as describing the King as “nearly insane”.
As a result, Ann-Margret refused to speak to Goldman for the biography. She also later confirmed she would never speak ill of Elvis.
She said during one interview with Charlie Rose: “[Their relationship] 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.”
The Swedish-American star then referenced some of the horrific things said about Elvis and condemned them once again.
She said: “I knew him very, very well. 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.”
Ann-Margret also described Elvis as her “soulmate”. She added: “We both felt a current, an electricity that went straight through us. It would become a force we couldn’t control.”
Eventually, however, Elvis’ long-term girlfriend, Priscilla Presley, found out about the affair. And before long, he had to break up with Ann-Margret.
The actress recalled: “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.”