HomeEntertainmentElvis Presley: What the King’s Father Explained to His Son’s Co-Star Ann-Margret at His Funeral

Elvis Presley: What the King’s Father Explained to His Son’s Co-Star Ann-Margret at His Funeral

by Emily Morgan
(Photo by: Bettmann / Contributor)

When the news broke that Elvis Presley passed away, it shook the world to its core. From fans to family members to friends, everyone mourned the loss of the pop culture icon. 

Although they weren’t together at the time of his passing, one of Elvis’ former flames had an emotional moment with Elvis’ father at the time of his funeral. Elvis Presley’s ex-lover Ann-Margret attended the funeral proceedings and spent some time with his father, Vernon Presley. 

Presley, just 42 at the time, died on August 16, 1977, at his Graceland home. Ginger Alden, his fiancée at the time, found him on his bathroom floor where he had been for hours. Sadly, paramedics were unable to save Elvis Presley once they arrived. Two days later, his family, friends, and thousands of his most loyal fans gathered to say their goodbyes. 

During the funeral, Vernon reportedly welcomed more than 30,000 people from the entranceway of Graceland to allow people to pay their respects. 

One of the many mourners was Ann-Margret, a Swedish-American actress who was once one of Elvis Presley’s former lovers. The two met on the set of the film Viva Las Vegas in 1964. After they met, the two would go on to have a romance for over a year.

One year after the funeral, Vernon recalled a conversation he shared with Ann-Margret in an article for Good Housekeeping in 1978. 

He began recalling the events of the funeral, “Because I was dazed with shock and misery, I didn’t see or recognize some of the people at the funeral.” He added, “Ann-Margret and I hugged each other and cried together, but I didn’t even see her husband, Roger Smith, who was close by.”

Ann-Margret also spoke about the tender moment 20 years later in her autobiography, My Story

How Elvis Presley’s Former Love Found Out About His Death

The actress explained that she had noticed Elvis hadn’t sent her any flowers for her latest performance in Las Vegas — a familiar gesture for Elvis, signifying to Ann-Margret that something was wrong. However, she soon discovered that he had passed away and immediately felt struck with grieve over losing someone she loved dearly. 

In her book, she describes that she embraced Vernon tightly during the funeral, writing, “There was so much to say, to recount. But instead, we cried.” She then revealed to the reader what Elvis Presley’s father told her about how his son really felt about the star. “Vernon said softly: ‘He was so proud of you.'”

As for the rest of the event, reports claimed attendees could hear Vernon’s sorrowful cries throughout the funeral service. The next day, hundreds of beautiful floral arrangements lined the gates of Graceland as a way to honor the late rock-n-roll star. Vernon later gave the flowers to the thousands of fans who attended the event.