Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret Ollson had an off-screen romance that once towered his long-term relationship with his only wife, Priscilla Presley. Although Elvis ultimately married Priscilla, the fascination surrounding him and Ann-Margret continued years after they worked together.
Ann-Margret often spoke fondly of Elvis years after the King of Rock and Roll died in August 1977.
How Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret met
Elvis and Ann-Margret met for the first time in July 1963. Before meeting him, Ann-Margret admitted in her 1994 autobiography, Ann-Margret: My Story, that she saw herself in Elvis and hoped to work with him. After finishing her starring role in Bye Bye Birdie, Ann-Margret got cast as Elvis’ love interest in Viva Las Vegas.
“The significance was lost on Elvis and me,” she wrote of their introduction, per Elvis History Blog. “I reached out my hand, and he shook it gently. ‘I’ve heard a lot about you,’ we said at the same time, which made us laugh and broke the ice.”
Once filming began, Ann-Margret and Elvis discovered their electric chemistry. The pair worked well together and eventually spent time together off-screen. In addition to being around Elvis’ infamous Memphis Mafia, Ann-Margret said the King ultimately wanted her all to himself.
“I knew I’d crossed into a certain uncharted territory when Elvis asked to be alone with me, but later the frequency with which it happened made me happy,” she wrote. “It meant Elvis truly trusted me.”
Why Ann-Margret and Elvis Presley ended their affair
Ann-Margret and Elvis’s romantic relationship lasted long after they wrapped Viva Las Vegas. Many people within the “Burning Love” singer’s inner circle shared details about seeing her at his house. They also reportedly exchanged love letters to each other while on location. While Ann-Margret and Elvis had similarities that bonded them, Elvis was already engaged to Priscilla during their relationship. In her book, Ann-Margret admitted she knew about the upcoming marriage the entire time.
In 1967, the romance between Ann-Margret and Elvis ended for good. Elvis and Priscilla married in Las Vegas that May. Ann-Margret and Roger Smith tied the knot in the same city one week later.
“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,” she wrote. “We continued to see each other periodically until we had dated for almost a year. Then everything halted. We knew the relationship had to end, that Elvis had to fulfill his commitment.”
Elvis Presley sent Ann-Margret flowers long after their affair ended
After Ann-Margret and Elvis married other people, the performers remained close friends. She said Elvis sent her a guitar-shaped floral arrangement during her first Las Vegas stage performance in 1967. He continued the gesture for 10 years.
Ann-Margret said that when she noticed Elvis hadn’t sent her flowers for an August 1977 performance, she knew something was wrong. Shortly after, she received news that Elvis died in his home. She attended Elvis’ funeral with Smith, where she embraced his father, Vernon Presley.
“There was so much to say, to recount,” she said. “But instead, we cried. Vernon said softly, ‘He was so proud of you.”’
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