Elvis Presley first met Ann-Margret in 1964 just before filming began on their movie Viva Las Vegas. The film put the two stars together, starting an on-screen romance. But behind the scenes, their passion burned even hotter. Elvis and Ann-Margret enjoyed a love affair that continued for more than a year – all while he was still with Priscilla Presley – but it was not meant to last.
After Viva Las Vegas had been released in cinemas a newspaper falsely reported that Elvis and Ann-Margret had become secretly engaged. This report, of course, enraged Priscilla, forcing Elvis to cut off all ties with Ann-Margret and double down on his relationship with his young partner.
Elvis and Priscilla had been publicly together at this point for almost a decade. So Elvis decided to quash the Ann-Margret rumours by proposing to Priscilla. A short time later, on May 1, 1967, Elvis and Priscilla were married in Las Vegas. Ann-Margret moved on as well. A week after Elvis’ wedding, on May 8, 1967, she married Roger Smith, an American TV producer.
But Elvis wasn’t done with Ann-Margret yet.
After starring in Viva Las Vegas Ann-Margret became a massive star. This resulted in her getting a residency slot in Las Vegas at the Riviera Hotel. And on the night of her first show she had a visit from none other than the King of Rock and Roll. Exactly one month after Elvis married Priscilla, on June 1, 1967, he took a trip to Las Vegas to wish Ann-Margret luck on her first show and gift her a bouquet shaped like a guitar.
The pair had likely not seen one another since their forced split, so their emotions were running high. But when Elvis went backstage he had a lot to say.
Elvis took Ann-Margret’s hands and told her “exactly how he still felt about her”. But the confession wasn’t a surprise for Ann-Margret. She wrote how she still “intuitively knew that he still had feelings for her”.
What followed was not written down, but fans know that both Ann-Marget and Elvis returned to their marital partners.
Elvis and Ann-Margret did not break their relationship off completely after that. They still remained great friends. And every time Elvis was in town he would attend her Las Vegas show and meet her afterwards.
But, crucially, he would send her a bouquet of flowers in the shape of a guitar for every single show she did. Proving, in the process, that his love had never died.