Unfolding the Love Story of Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret

Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret

The MGM sound stage contained nothing except for a grand piano. In the corner, some of the technicians could be audibly moving equipment back and forth. But aside from that, the only noise was the echo of heels on the polished wooden floor. Ann-Margret and Elvis Presley approached each other. Photographers started taking pictures because studio executives believed it would be a historic moment.

The two of them didn’t realize the meeting’s importance. George Sidney, the director of the upcoming MGM film “Viva Las Vegas,” introduced them. He said,” Elvis Presley I’d like you to meet a wonderful young lady, Ann-Margret. Ann-Margret, this is Elvis Presley”. They exchanged a gentle handshake and simultaneously mumbled, “I’ve heard a lot about you,” leaving them briefly in a puzzled silence. Then, they began to laugh, initially awkwardly but growing more confident, with their laughter echoing around the room. This meeting marked the beginning of a successful professional partnership between Ann-Margret and Elvis. Slowly shifting into a romantic relationship during the production of “Viva Las Vegas,” which would become one of Hollywood’s most fiery on-set love stories. 

Ann Margret was 22 years and Elvis Presley was 28 years when they met each other on the set of “Viva Las Vegas” in July ’63. Elvis had already established himself as an actor with more than a dozen films to his name. However, Ann-Margret was in the early stages of her career, even though she had a leading role in “Bye Bye Birdie”. She knew about how he was in winning the hearts of every woman he met, even those he hadn’t met. Nonetheless, Ann-Margret never expected that she would also fall for him.

Before commencing principal photography, they went to a recording studio to record their solo songs for the film. While they sang multiple takes of their respective songs, their minds often wandered back to their initial meeting at MGM Studios. Then, on July 11th, Elvis and Ann-Margret entered the same cramped booth to record three duets. The duets were: ‘The Lady Loves Me,’ ‘You’re the Boss,’ and ‘Today, Tomorrow, and Forever’. This ignited a connection that continued to grow as they began shooting the movie and traveled to Las Vegas.

At this point, their romance truly started. Ann-Margret later remembered, “At first, Elvis and I may have claimed that the only warmth between us was from the scorching desert sun.” However, as time went on, it became evident that the co-stars were deeply in love with each other. An Associated Press note even mentioned, “They hold hands. They go into his dressing room during breaks. They have private lunches together.”

Elvis and Ann-Margret quickly fell in love, discovering in each other what they were missing in their lives. Whether it was a shared love for music, a passion for motorcycles, or a deep faith, they found reflections of their own passions in each other. Their connection felt like they had stumbled into a hall of mirrors. And decided to make it their home, perfectly synchronized even in their dancing. They embraced complete honesty and cherished their time together, but, like all things, it couldn’t last forever.

While filming “Viva Las Vegas,” Ann-Margret realized that Elvis had a big ego. He thought the director, George Sidney, was giving her more favorable camera shots. And he complained that Sidney was trying to overshadow him in the film. In the final version, it was clear that George Sidney wanted to showcase Ann-Margret’s beauty and dancing skills, occasionally putting Elvis in a secondary role. Despite the conflict, Elvis found ways to accept this situation.

After the filming of “Viva Las Vegas,” Elvis and Ann-Margret continued their romance, with Elvis showering her with letters, flowers, and extravagant gifts. However, in 1967, their relationship abruptly ended. Ann-Margret mentioned in her autobiography that various factors, including Elvis’s commitment to another woman, Priscilla, whom he married in Las Vegas on May 1st, 1967, played a significant role. A year later, Ann-Margret married actor Roger Smith. Even though they didn’t end up together romantically, Elvis and Ann-Margret remained close friends for the next decade.

When Elvis performed at the International Hotel on July 31, 1969, he spotted Ann-Margret in the front row. For a fleeting moment, it’s as if the room disappeared, and it was just the two of them, like the day they first met.


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