Elvis Presley first met Ann-Margret in 1963 when they began shooting their 1964 movie Viva Las Vegas. What started out as a fling between two Hollywood stars evolved into a passionate love affair. The couple spent every moment they could together while Elvis’ beau, Priscilla Presley, was awaiting his return back in Graceland. Elvis and Ann-Margret’s relationship lasted for just over a year before they split up – but the story doesn’t end there.
A decade later, in December 1972, Elvis was going through a bitter and spiteful split from Priscilla. The couple, who had a daughter together – Lisa Marie Presley – could not stay together anymore. After all the years of Elvis’ infidelities and drug use, Priscilla’s affair was the spark that ignited the relationship’s doom.
At the same time, Ann-Margret had a residency slot at the Las Vegas Hilton where she would play every evening to a sold-out crowd. On one fateful December evening, Elvis attended her show and watched his old flame – the one who got away – sing her heart out for the masses.
It was this night that Ann-Margret met Elvis for the last time.
Elvis attended a packed, star-studded after-party where he chatted with Ann-Margret about old times. They reminisced about their days on set and the mischief they got up to before parting ways. However, the night didn’t end there.
Later that night, after Ann-Margret had returned to her hotel room, she received a phone call – It was Elvis. She recalled the emotional event in her memoir, My Story.
Ann-Margret wrote: “Elvis told me how great it had been seeing me earlier.” She, of course, returned the compliment. She was no doubt telling the truth – but she had to be careful at this point. By that point, Ann-Margret was married to a Hollywood producer Roger Smith.
Elvis went on to tell her how “lonely” he was and that he just wanted to see her one more time. And, eventually, he asked Ann-Margret one of the toughest questions she ever had to hear.
Ann-Margret wrote: “He asked if he could see me. It was a question I’d anticipated since [that] afternoon but hoped that he wouldn’t really ask.”
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Elvis was going through a tough time. Not only was he losing his wife, but his way of life was going to change drastically. He was going to have to split up looking after his daughter, and there would no doubt be intrusions from the press and curious onlookers. Elvis was reaching out to Ann-Margret for help.
However heartbreaking this request was, Ann-Margret had only one response for him. Mournfully, she told Elvis over her hotel room phone: “You know I can’t.”
Her blunt honesty was what he needed to hear. He said: “I know, but I just want you to know that I still feel the same.”
The pair ended the conversation and emotionally parted ways once again. But neither of them realised that Elvis’ story had almost come to an end.
That was the final time Ann-Margret saw or spoke to Elvis.
Five years later, on August 16, 1977, The King of Rock and Roll died. Elvis was found dead in Graceland in the bathroom, just next door to where Lisa Marie Presley was sleeping
When Ann-Margret heard the news, she dropped everything and went to Tennessee. She was the only person from Elvis’ Hollywood career that attended his funeral.
When Ann-Margret finally met Elvis’ father, Vernon Presley, he gave her a message from the King: “He was so proud of you.”
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