Ann-Margret and Elvis Presley had a famously close romance and friendship in life. But in his death, there are some things that she likes to keep in her “memories.”
The two stars met in 1963, just before filming began on their movie Viva Las Vegas. As the rumors go, they has instant chemistry that paved the way for a lifelong bond and a year-long affair—despite Elvis’ marriage to Priscilla.
While Ann-Margret and The King of Rock made their movie, they fell in love. And when production wrapped up, they weren’t ready to say goodbye. So Elvis stayed in Vegas and continued what became a public relationship with his red-headed co-star. All the while, Elvis’ wife was in the Graceland, Memphis mansion waiting for him to return. And the forbidden romance carried on for quite some time before Priscilla finally demanded that Elvis honor his vows.
Eventually, reality set in when the press misquoted Ann-Margret in saying that she and Elvis were getting married. When Priscilla read the headlines, she was furious. She screamed at Elvis, threw a vase at a wall, and demanded that he end the affair. Elvis obeyed, and he and Ann-Margret broke up.
Elvis and Ann-Margret Stayed Close Until Elvis’ Death in 1977
However, the friendship remained strong until the day Elvis died. While the former lovers never returned to their romance, even after he and Priscilla divorced, they continued to talk, visit, and be each other’s supporters and confidants. The Hound Dog singer even made it a point to send Ann-Margret flowers every time she opened a new Las Vegas residency.
“We were friends for a long time, EP [Elvis Presley] and I,” Ann-Margret said in 2021. “We met on the movie, we had several things in common, including a love for Las Vegas. We dated, and we just had a great time together.”
“What can I say? Yes, certainly admired and respected him,” she added. “We were a lot alike and made a great movie together.”
But despite the warm memories of her friend and lover, Ann-Margret refuses to revisit their time together by watching Viva Las Vegas. Why?
“I never see my movies more than once,” she told Review-Journal. “I like to keep it that way, in my memories.”
Whether her answer is the whole truth, her fans will never know. In 1994, while promoting her book, My Story, with Charlie Rose, the actress admitted that she had a much more intimate relationship with The King than anyone will ever understand. She will always respect his privacy, and certain secrets about their romance will die with her.
“We were together for one year and he trusted me,” she admitted. “And I do not want to betray his trust in death.”