In 1967 Elvis Presley released his 24th feature film, Double Trouble. The iconic movie starred the King of Rock and Roll in a hilarious picture that involved jewel thieves, love, and a collection of country songs. At the time, Variety criticised the movie for being “whipped up to showcase a big name [Elvis] without much thought of content to cash in on the star’s draw”. Despite this, Elvis got extremely friendly with his British co-star Annette behind the scenes, who obviously caught the eye of the legendary singer.
Annette played Jill Conway in the movie, a rebellious heiress who inevitably fell in love with the King’s character. But on the set of the film, Annette recalled the grace and kindness the King had for her. She said: “After a day on set we were talking about how youngsters have to save every penny to buy a car after their graduation. In the US, most youngsters were given a car, not so in the UK.”
Then, one day on set, Elvis asked pulled Annette aside and made her close her eyes.
Annette revealed: “At that moment I knew he had a surprise waiting for me.” She held on to the King and followed him outside, her heart racing with every step. Eventually, she was told to open her eyes, and she couldn’t believe what she saw.
The actress, who was just 20-years-old at the time, said: “Never in my wildest dreams could I have thought of a sports car.”
Not long after working with Elvis on Double Trouble Annette gave up her film career and decided to return to the UK, having only starred in the one film. This also meant that she had to leave her Elvis-gifted car behind as well. She revealed: “I found it would cost rather a lot to bring it back to the UK.” Of course, the car would go on to become a priceless piece of movie memorabilia, but Annette left it with a family member.
Annette reportedly gave the car to her brother who was living in the USA at the time. Years later, the car broke down. The brother then sold it. Despite having to give her car away, Annette looked back fondly on her time with Elvis – but she couldn’t help but find some sadness in him.
She said: “I think, more than anything, he wanted to be back out on stage to his fans. I think he was quite pleased when the musicals had stopped. I think he would like to have got a more serious picture, he wanted to do more than just musicals. I think he could have been a very good actor, but the films he was in were all the same sort of thing, family films with a few more songs in between.”