Elvis Presley on film and television

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Presley in a publicity photo for Jailhouse Rock
Elvis Presley in a publicity photo for Jailhouse Rock

Elvis Presley (1935–1977) was an American entertainer who achieved initial success as a singer, expressing an early career goal of following in the footsteps of his role models James Dean and Marlon Brando to become a top dramatic actor.[1] His manager Colonel Tom Parker's persistent lobbying of William Morris Agency president Abe Lastfogel for a Presley screen test paid off on March 26, 1956, when the singer auditioned at Paramount for a supporting role in The Rainmaker.[2] Although not chosen for the part, he signed a contract with Paramount producer Hal Wallis on April 25 that also allowed him to make films with other studios.[3]

His feature debut was in Love Me Tender for 20th Century Fox, with the commercial success of the soundtrack EP being a bellwether for the next three Presley films. Loving You, Jailhouse Rock and King Creole were dramatic storylines written around Presley in the role of a musical entertainer.[4] He would later state that King Creole was his favorite of all his films.[5] Flaming Star and Wild in the Country were rarities in his career, non-musicals focused on dramatic storylines. According to music historian Peter Guralnick, the sluggish financial returns of those two films became the justification for ignoring Presley's wishes and limiting him to the more profitable musical format.[6]

Presley became bitter that his hopes for dramatic roles were not coming to fruition,[7] stating that Clambake was his worst film. He began to complain about the deteriorating quality of the films and his belief that his manager's objectives were more monetary than anything else.[8] At the expiration of all studio contracts, he returned to live entertaining. The two concert documentaries Elvis: That's the Way It Is in 1970 and Elvis on Tour in 1972 were the final theatrical releases for Presley.[9]

Acting credits[edit]

Television[edit]

Television credits of Elvis Presley (as himself)
Year Title Notes Ref(s)
1956 Stage Show 6 episodes at the CBS studios in New York City, NY: January 28, February 4, 11, 18, March 17, 24; Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey's show, produced by Jackie Gleason as a lead-in for his show [10]
1956 Texaco Star Theatre 2 episodes: April 3 aboard the USS Hancock in San Diego, CA; June 5 NBC studios Los Angeles, CA [11]
1956 Teenage Dance Party June 16; hosted by Wink Martindale, WHBQ-TV Memphis, TN [12]
1956 Hy Gardner Calling July 1 television interview, WRCA-TV, New York City, NY [13]
1956 The Steve Allen Show July 1; NBC, New York City, NY [13]
1956–57 The Ed Sullivan Show 3 episodes: September 9, October 28, 1956; January 6, 1957, CBS New York City, NY [14]
1960 The Frank Sinatra Timex Show: Welcome Home Elvis Taped March 26, in Miami, FL; aired on ABC May 12 [15]
1968 Elvis Also known as the Elvis Comeback Special, the '68 Comeback Special, and One Night With You; June taping at NBC Los Angeles, CA; air date December 3 [16]
1973 Aloha from Hawaii Via Satellite Kui Lee Cancer Fund benefit concert at Honolulu's Neal S. Blaisdell Center broadcast by NBC world-wide live January 14 [17]
1977 Elvis in Concert The last concert tour before Presley died; CBS broadcast after his death [18]

Feature films[edit]

Feature film credits of Elvis Presley
Year Title Role Notes Ref(s)
1956 Love Me Tender Clint Reno [19]
1957 Loving You Jimmy Tompkins (Deke Rivers) [20]
1957 Jailhouse Rock Vince Everett Added to the National Film Registry in 2004 [21]
1958 King Creole Danny Fisher Final film before military service [22]
1960 G.I. Blues Tulsa McLean [23]
1960 Flaming Star Pacer Burton [24]
1961 Wild in the Country Glenn Tyler [25]
1961 Blue Hawaii Chad Gates [26]
1962 Follow That Dream Toby Kwimper [27]
1962 Kid Galahad Walter Gulick / Kid Galahad [28]
1962 Girls! Girls! Girls! Ross Carpenter [29]
1963 It Happened at the World's Fair Mike Edwards [30]
1963 Fun in Acapulco Mike Windgren [31]
1964 Kissin' Cousins Josh Morgan / Jodie Tatum Filmed after Viva Las Vegas [32]
1964 Viva Las Vegas Lucky Jackson [33]
1964 Roustabout Charlie Rogers [34]
1965 Girl Happy Rusty Wells [35]
1965 Tickle Me Lonnie Beale / Panhandle Kid [36]
1965 Harum Scarum Johnny Tyronne [37]
1966 Frankie and Johnny Johnny [38]
1966 Paradise, Hawaiian Style Rick Richards [39]
1966 Spinout Mike McCoy [40]
1967 Easy Come, Easy Go Lt. (j.g.) Ted Jackson Filmed after Double Trouble [41]
1967 Double Trouble Guy Lambert [42]
1967 Clambake Scott Heyward [43]
1968 Stay Away, Joe Joe Lightcloud Filmed after Speedway [44]
1968 Speedway Steve Grayson [45]
1968 Live a Little, Love a Little Greg Nolan [46]
1969 Charro! Jess Wade [47]
1969 The Trouble with Girls Walter Hale [48]
1969 Change of Habit Dr. John Carpenter Final film acting role [49]
1970 Elvis: That's the Way It Is Himself Concert documentary [50]
1972 Elvis on Tour Himself Concert documentary [50]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Guralnick (1994), pp. 155–156, 443, 323.
  2. ^ Guralnick (1994), pp. 144, 241.
  3. ^ Guralnick (1994), p. 262; Guralnick and Jorgensen 1999, pp. 67, 127.
  4. ^ Guralnick, Jorgensen (1999), pp. 112–113, 118–119; Jorgensen, Guralnick (1998), pp. 78–80, 1962.
  5. ^ Guralnick 1999, p. 209.
  6. ^ Guralnick 1999, p. 122.
  7. ^ Guralnick 1999, p. 212.
  8. ^ Guralnick 1999, p. 212; Neibaur (2014) pp. 217, 219.
  9. ^ Guralnick, Jorgensen (1999), pp. 271, 305, 321.
  10. ^ Guralnick, Jorgensen (1999), pp. 61–62, 65, 67; Guralnick (1994), pp. 236, 244–246, 249–252, 257.
  11. ^ Guralnick, Jorgensen (1999), pp. 67, 73.
  12. ^ Guralnick, Jorgensen (1999), p. 75.
  13. ^ a b Guralnick, Jorgensen (1999), p. 77.
  14. ^ Guralnick, Jorgensen (1999), pp. 83, 89, 95.
  15. ^ Guralnick, Jorgensen (1999), pp. 151, 154.
  16. ^ Guralnick, Jorgensen (1999), pp. 242–248, 251.
  17. ^ Guralnick, Jorgensen (1999), pp. 319–321.
  18. ^ Guralnick, Jorgensen 1999 p. 375.
  19. ^ Guralnick (1994), p. 311; Marsh (1982), p. 241.; "Love Me Tender". AFI Catalog of Featured Films. AFI. Retrieved August 14, 2015. 
  20. ^ Guralnick, Jorgensen (1999) p. 96; Guralnick (1994), pp. 344, 370; Marsh (1982), p. 241.
  21. ^ "Librarian of Congress Adds 25 Films to National Film Registry". Library of Congress. United States Government. December 28, 2004. Retrieved September 30, 2015. ; Knowles (2013), pp. 97–108; Guralnick (1994), pp. 409–410; Marsh (1982), p. 241.
  22. ^ In a 1992 interview King Creole co-star Jan Shepard told historian Peter Guralnick that Elvis told her in 1965, "Honey, that was my favorite picture." Guralnick 1999, p. 209; Guralnick (1994), p. 442; Marsh (1982), p. 241.
  23. ^ Guralnick (1999), p. 28; Marsh (1982), p. 241; "G.I. Blues". AFI Catalog of Featured Films. AFI. Retrieved August 14, 2015. 
  24. ^ Neibaur (2014) p. 64; Guralnick (1999), p. 78; Marsh (1982), p. 241.
  25. ^ Guralnick (1999), p. 84; Marsh (1982), p. 241.
  26. ^ Lisanti (2012), p. 60; Marsh (1982), p. 241.
  27. ^ Marsh (1982), p. 241; "Follow That Dream". AFI Catalog of Featured Films. AFI. Retrieved August 14, 2015. 
  28. ^ Marsh (1982), p. 241; "Kid Galahad". AFI Catalog of Featured Films. AFI. Retrieved August 14, 2015. 
  29. ^ Marsh (1982), p. 241.
  30. ^ Neibaur (2014) pp. 120, 123; Marsh (1982), p. 241.
  31. ^ Guralnick (1999), p. 141; Marsh (1982), p. 241.
  32. ^ Guralnick (1999), pp. 155–159; Marsh (1982), p. 241.
  33. ^ Guralnick (1999), pp. 152–153; Marsh (1982), p. 241.
  34. ^ Rose (1996), p. 270; Marsh (1982), p. 241.
  35. ^ Lisanti (2012), p. 203; Marsh (1982), p. 241.
  36. ^ Templeton, Craig (2002), p. 91; Marsh (1982), p. 241.
  37. ^ Neibaur (2014) p. 184 ; Marsh (1982), p. 241.
  38. ^ Neibaur (2014) p. 187; Marsh (1982), p. 241.
  39. ^ Lisanti (2000) pp. 135–137 ; Marsh (1982), p. 241.
  40. ^ Neibaur (2014) p. 207; Marsh (1982), p. 241.
  41. ^ Neibaur (2014) p. 200; Marsh (1982), p. 241.
  42. ^ Neibaur (2014) pp. 213–214 ; Marsh (1982), p. 241.
  43. ^ Neibaur (2014) pp. 219–220; Marsh (1982), p. 241.
  44. ^ Gulick (2006), pp. 143–144; Marsh (1982), p. 241.
  45. ^ Neibaur (2014) p. 229; Marsh (1982), p. 241.
  46. ^ Guralnick, Jorgensen (1999) pp. 239–240; Marsh (1982), p. 241; "Live a Little, Love a Little". AFI Catalog of Featured Films. AFI. Retrieved August 14, 2015. 
  47. ^ Neibaur (2014) p. 242; Marsh (1982), p. 241.
  48. ^ Ellroy, Penzler (2011), p. 63; Marsh (1982), p. 241; "The Trouble with Girls". AFI Catalog of Featured Films. AFI. Retrieved August 14, 2015. 
  49. ^ Neibaur (2014) p. 253; (Guralnick (1999), pp. 338–339; Marsh (1982), p. 241.
  50. ^ a b Marsh (1982), p. 241; Guralnick, Jorgensen (1999), pp. 315, 321.

References[edit]