Ann Margret, costar and former girlfriend of Elvis Presley, revealed the details of the passionate affair she shared with the King after starring in Viva Las Vegas.
“We both felt a current, an electricity that went straight through us,” said Margret. “It would become a force we couldn’t control… Little did we know we shared a devil within. We were quiet, polite, careful. But I knew what was going to happen once we got to know each other. Elvis did, too.”
At the time of their romance, both Elvis and Margret were at the peak of their fame. Margret just starred in Bye Bye Birdie. Elvis was, of course, a movie star and massively famous musician. According to Margret, the King was used to having the upper hand over his female costars. However, the musician found his match in the Swedish actress.
“We experienced music in the same visceral way,” Margret explained. “Music ignited a fiery pent-up passion inside Elvis and inside me. It was an odd, embarrassing, funny, inspiring, and wonderful sensation. We looked at each other move and saw virtual mirror images. When Elvis thrust his pelvis, mine slammed forward, too. When his shoulder dropped, I was down there with him. When he whirled, I was already on my heel.”
There was even a point when Margret and Elvis discussed marrying. Though they wanted to stay together, the musician was under a lot of pressure from the press. As a result, he decided to marry his long-time girlfriend, Priscilla. Both Margret and Elvis married in 1967. While Elvis and Priscilla ultimately split, Margret stayed married to her husband Roger Smith until his death in 2017.
Ann Margret Talks Public Perception of Elvis Presley
While Elvis’s reputation took some hits over the years, Margret maintained that the Elvis she knew was a good man. The actress is notoriously tight-lipped about their romance. She did, however, discuss the King in her autobiography.
“It was extremely difficult for me to write and it’s even harder for me to talk about,” said Margret. “There’s been so much, for some reason, negative situations surrounding his name that I wanted to show the man that I knew – generous, loving, funny, talented, gifted – and only show complete respect.”
Additionally, Margret revealed the heartbreaking way she discovered Elvis had died. Despite their breakup, the couple remained close. In a show of support, Elvis sent Margret flowers for the opening of all of her shows. On Aug. 15, 1977, Margret received no flowers on opening night for the first time in ten years. Immediately, the actress knew something was wrong.
The following day, she phoned Graceland, and that’s how she got the news. Elvis Presley hadn’t sent her flowers because he passed away.