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Elvis had an affair with Priscilla lookalike and proposed | Films | Entertainment

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Looking at the lovely picture below you might be forgiven for thinking it’s a lovely shot of Elvis Presley and his future wife Priscilla Presley.

It’s actually The King with brunette beauty Joan Blackman. They starred together in two films, Blue Hawaii and Kid Galahad, and engaged in a passionate affair. Indeed, Elvis hoped to also be engaged in the traditional sense.

Although Blue Hawaii filmed in 1961, a year after he had returned from military service in Germany and dated Priscilla Beaulieu there, Elvis had actually met Joan in 1957 just as his film career was taking off. He pursued her and they stayed in touch while he was away. He was desperate to make a film with her – and spend time together – and made sure that happened as soon as he got back.

In Blue Hawaii, Elvis sings one of his most iconic ballads to Joan, Can’t Help Falling In Love With You – and the actress later revealed that is exactly what he did: “When we first set eyes on each other (in 1957), there was a spark, a magic in the air… There was just that special something between us, sometimes so warm and wonderful you could almost reach out and touch it.”

She maintained she initially refused his repeated offers to help with her career: “I wanted parts because of my ability, not because I was dating Elvis.”

She was then cast as local island girl Maile Duval in Blue Hawaii. Life imitated art as Elvis played a GI returning home from the army. Hollywood legend Angela Landsbury (at just 35) played his mother.

In a sensational 1977 interview, Joan later described how the long-standing attraction with The King ignited on set.

At the time, Elvis was in a vulnerable emotional state. He had returned from military service to a new world without the most important woman in his life, his mother. Gladys had died suddenly on August 14, 1958, just as he had started his military service. The mother and son had been incredibly close, sharing a bed until he was a oung teen and still using baby talk with each other.

Joan said: After his mother died, he was never young again. It was like part of him died with her. I was worried about him, even to the point of wondering if he could survive without her.”

Although much of Blue Hawaii was filmed on soundstages, in March 1961 the cast flew to Honolulu to film exterior shots. The article said “that’s when the romance stepped up to fever pitch.”

Joan added: “We had rooms next to each other in the hotel, and for weeks we just lived together. He really wanted me as his wife.”

Incredibly, Joan was married at the time to Joby Baker from May 1959 to November 1961. Elvis had left Priscilla in Germany but was still dating starlet Anita Wood. She ended their relationship in 1962 after confronting him about Priscilla.

Meanwhile Elvis and Joan started filming Sir Galahad in November 1961. She was sure he was going to propose. Despite their electrifying connection and the fun they were having together off-set, however, there was a major problem.

She said: “I knew hundreds of girls would have given their right arm for that chance, but I said no. I was in love with another actor, Hampton Fancher III. Elvis knew about it. When he would ask me about Hampton, I would answer, ‘I love him, El. I love him like a woman loves a man she wants to share her life with.’ I never lied to Elvis about Hampton, or about anything else.”

Joan and Hampton never married and Priscilla made her first visit to the US in summer 1962, before moving over permanently in 1963.



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