Elvis Presley Costar Diane McBain Remembers Why The King Had ‘Trouble’ on 1966’s ‘Spinout’ Film

by Leanne Stahulak
(Photo by LMPC via Getty Images)

While Elvis Presley is most well-known for his singing career, the King also made a name for himself as an actor, starring with Diane McBain at one point.

The two legends worked together on “Spinout,” a 1966 film following singer and race car driver Mike McCoy. Mike has to choose between marrying the girl he loves or driving her father’s car in a famous race. He’s also pursued by two other women, including McBain’s character.

Earlier this year, Diane McBain sat down with Fox News to talk about working with Elvis Presley and other Hollywood legends. “Spinout” is one of many classic hits she appeared in, but the only one that she starred in with the King. At one point, the outlet asked McBain if she thought Presley succeeded in proving himself to be a respected Hollywood actor.

“We didn’t discuss that personally, but I knew he really wanted to be taken seriously as an actor,” McBain revealed. “Our film was about racing, and it was a comedy. Of course, it was also a musical because the studio really wanted to use him in these lighthearted productions.”

She added, “He had a lot of trouble trying to convince them into putting him in more serious roles. He was almost too beautiful to be thought of as serious. I guess they felt it would hurt his image. And his manager was not very helpful in that regard either.”

Diane McBain Praises Elvis Presley For Their Time on the ‘Spinout’ Set

Elvis Presley likely was type-casted into several roles. Once you’re marketed as one thing, it’s hard to convince audiences to view you another way. Especially if that initial impression brings in a lot of dough.

“It was a shame. It must be very awful to be at the very top like that,” Diane McBain said. “Because nobody could possibly relate to what it’s like to be there and expect you to stay there.”

The King had a reputation to uphold, and while it might not have been his dream to stay put, he decided to let it happen.

“He of course embraced it beautifully, and he did a great job on set,” McBain continued. “But I think he was also pretty lonely. He probably wanted more for himself. He was, of course, very special. But I don’t think he saw himself that way.”

Which is heartbreaking to hear. But even if people tell you that you’re incredible day in and day out, you have to believe it yourself.

“I know he tried very hard. There was a sadness about him. It’s probably why he eventually got into drugs,” McBain concluded. “But I remember him very fondly. It just makes you wonder what could have been.”