Elvis Presley: How the King’s ‘Viva Las Vegas’ Co-Star and Friend Ann-Margret Found Out About His Death

by Joe Rutland
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Actress Ann-Margret wasn’t just a co-star of Elvis Presley in “Viva Las Vegas” but a friend, too. She remembers hearing about his death.

During a 1994 appearance on PBS’ “The Charlie Rose Show,” Ann-Margret talks about that fateful day, Aug. 16, 1977, when Presley died.

Rose mentions that before each new engagement in Las Vegas, Presley would send her a flower arrangement in the shape of a guitar. He said that she didn’t get it that night, so she knew that he was dead.

“It was unreal, it was just unreal,” Ann-Margret said. “But I remember because I’m real private and he was, too.”

She tells a story about her and her parents living in an apartment. Ann-Margret mentions the landlords, Mr. and Mrs. Jorgensen, who were from Denmark. Mr. Jorgensen had died, she said, and Mrs. Jorgansen was having a birthday. Ann-Margret said Elvis Presley met her before.

“He said, ‘Let’s go sing Happy Birthday to her,'” Ann-Margret said. “And he was so sensitive and considerate. He knew about honor and respecting your elders.”

Ann-Margret, now 80 years old, starred with Presley in “Viva Las Vegas” in 1964. They remained close friends throughout Presley’s life.

Fans Could Know If Elvis Presley Was Home At Graceland

Graceland was the home of Elvis Presley. He moved into the mansion in 1957 with his parents and lived there until his death in 1977.

For many years, fans would go and stand in front of the gates and see if they could see Elvis. It became almost a kind of game they would play. Was there a way to know if The King was home or not? Yes.

Express notes that fans could tell if the legend was home from his vehicle.

A virtual tour of Graceland, guided by the archivist Angie Marchese, explained Elvis’ incredible car collection that consisted of anywhere from 20 to 30 vehicles.

“Back in the day,” Marchese said, “if you were ever at the gates of Graceland and you saw the cars around the front of the mansion, that meant Elvis was home.”

She said Elvis could hop out of the house and take a car and head out.

‘And if they were around back on the carport, it meant Elvis was not home,” she said. “But that’s where the cars would be parked when Elvis wasn’t home, and there was that long drive so they could be parked along the side of the driveway as well.”

Elvis loved his cars. He loved Ann-Margret, too. That’s obviously a sentiment she shared with Rose in her interview without actually saying it.

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