Elvis Presley: Why Co-Star and Friend Ann-Margret Says the King Was ‘Shy’ When They First Met

by Matthew Wilson

Elvis Presley may have been the King of Rock ‘n Roll and one of the biggest celebrities around. But in real life, he could be shy and nervous as well. Take for instance the first time Presley met his co-star and future girlfriend Ann-Margret.

Ann-Margret recently spoke on the first time she and Presley met each other. And the King was nothing but a ball of nerves. Fortunately, things didn’t stay shy for long. The two ended up coming out of their shells and filming the classic “Viva Las Vegas” together.

“This sounds weird, but I had never seen him perform before I did the movie. I know that’s hard to believe,” Ann-Margret said. “We just found out we were very much alike. We were both very shy, but then you become this other person when you are performing. I loved my parents so much, and he loved his mother so much.”

Ann-Margret and Presley ended up dating each other for a short time. Eventually, the two broke up, and Presley went on to date and marry Priscilla. But the two remained good friends afterward. When Elvis passed away in 1977, Ann-Margret was one of several to attend his funeral in Memphis. Even today she looks back fondly on the time they shared together filming “Viva Las Vegas.”

“The song and dance number called ‘C’mon Everybody’ was filmed right here in the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art, which in 1963 was UNLV’s gym,” Ann-Margret. “I’m really proud of that film. It was one of the happiest times of my life.”

Elvis Presley Was a Shy Kid

Of course, Elvis Presley’s shyness and anxiety extended all the way back to his school days. He was never what you would call a lady killer. In fact, Presley’s penchant for both playing the guitar and dressing in colorful outfits made him a target for bullying. As a teenager, Presley ended up having a miserable prom even though he tried to impress his date.

For instance, Presley and his date Regis Wilson ended up staying off the dance floor. Though he would later become known for his moves, Presley confessed to her at the time that he didn’t know how to dance. So instead, the couple watched other students have fun and drank sodas together.

Hoping to make up for the actual dance, Presley took Wilson to meet up with some friends after Prom. But they never showed up, leaving the couple waiting. It was a slight that embarrassed the future singer. Later when he became famous, Presley surrounded himself with a group of friends, family, and others he called the Memphis Mafia.