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10 Famous Actors You Probably Didn’t Know Made A Movie With Elvis Presley


10 Famous Actors You Probably Didn't Know Made A Movie With Elvis Presley


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Summary

  • Elvis Presley starred in a large number of films, often appearing in multiple movies per year during the 1950s and 1960s. These films featured a mix of recognizable actors and unknowns who would later become major names in the industry.
  • Notable actors such as Dick Sargent, Walter Matthau, Donna Douglas, Charles Bronson, Angela Lansbury, and Barbara Stanwyck appeared alongside Elvis in his movies, taking on both major and minor roles.
  • Even actors who had uncredited or minor roles in Elvis Presley films went on to have successful careers. Examples include Jackie Coogan, Lee Majors, Vincent Price, and Kurt Russell, who made his film debut in an Elvis Presley movie and later portrayed Presley himself in a television movie.

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Throughout the 31 feature films that Elvis Presley starred in, there were plenty of opportunity for him to share scenes with notable stars. While the movies of Presley can vary in quality and some were produced as low-effort vehicles to showcase the singer’s music, they were littered with high-profile celebrities and even a few unknowns who would go on to become major names later in their careers. While some of Elvis’ co-stars are already well known, such as Ann-Margaret, who was famously paired with Presley for Viva Las Vegas, there were lots of other appearances that may surprise audiences.

The sheer volume of films starring Elvis Presley are a testament to just how popular the man known as The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll was throughout the 1950s and 1960s as he often starred in multiple films per year. Throughout these films, many recognizable actors appeared in both major and minor roles to play off Presley and take part in wacky adventures that included comedy, crime, and even Western movies. There were some surprising appearances from uncredited extras who would go on to major success, while others were already well known and showed up in cameo or supporting roles.

10 Dick Sargent

Dick Sargent as Harry in Live a Little, Love a Little (1968)

Dick Sargent as Harry punching Elvis Presley in Live a Little, Love a Little (1968)

Dick Sargent was best known as Samatha’s mortal husband Darrin Stephens on the classic sitcom Bewitched but was also a regular guest star across dozens of television series throughout the 1970s. One of Sargent’s lesser-known claims to fame was opposite Elvis Presley in Live a Little, Love a Little which was the film that introduced the beloved Presley song “A Little Less Conversation” to the world. Sergeant played the minor role of Harry in this pleasant Presley picture about a photographer juggling two jobs and hoping his bosses don’t find out.

9 Walter Matthau

Walter Matthau as Maxie Fields in King Creole (1958)

Elvis Presley and Walter Matthau in King Creole

The acclaimed actor Walter Matthau, known for roles in The Odd Couple, The Front Page, and Grumpy Old Men, can also add a stint in an Elvis Presley movie to his impressive resume as Matthau played local gangster Maxie Fields in King Creole. One of the best Elvis movies, Presley himself ranked his part of Danny Fisher in King Creole as his favorite role (via Showbiz Cheat Sheet.) Directed by Michael Curtiz, who previously made Casablanca, Matthau played a major role in the film as he blackmailed, challenged, and sent henchmen after Elvis’ character.

Walter Matthau played a major role in the film as he blackmailed, challenged, and sent henchmen after Elvis’ character.

8 Donna Douglas

Donna Douglas as Frankie in Frankie and Johnny (1966)

Elvis Presley and Donna Douglas in Frankie And Johnny

Donna Douglas played Frankie and Elvis Presley played Johnny in the Western musical Frankie and Johnny. The story of a gambling-obsessed riverboat singer with a wandering eye, Donna played Elvis’ wife in this minor entry in Presley’s bloated filmography. Douglas was already well-known when Frankie and Johnny was released, as she was in the midst of a main role in the popular sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies, but sadly her career faltered after this and she never again reached the professional heights she achieved during the 1960s.

7 Charles Bronson

Charles Bronson as Lew Nyack in Kid Galahad (1962)

By the time Charles Bronson teamed up with Elvis Presley for the musical sports drama Kid Galahad, he had already established himself with major roles in movies like The Magnificent Seven. Bronson starred opposite Presley as Lew Nyack in this remake of a 1937 movie that originally starred Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart. Kid Galahad was one of the better entries within Presley’s 31 feature films and Bronson’s turn as the skilled boxing trainer who got Presley’s character of Walter Gulick into fighting shape was a complete knockout.

6 Angela Lansbury

Angela Lansbury as Sarah Lee Gates in Blue Hawaii (1961)

Angela Lansbury was just 35 years old when she played the mother of 26-year-old Elvis Presley in Blue Hawaii. Having built a reputation with acclaimed roles in Gaslight and The Picture of Dorian Gray, Lansbury said it came as a “jolt” to be asked to play the singer’s mother (via Start TV) but that Presley was “unfailingly polite” on set as he practiced karate between takes. Lansbury continued an acclaimed career after working with Elvis right up until her final film appearance in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery before she died in 2022.

5 Barbara Stanwyck

Barbara Stanwyck as Maggie Morgan in Roustabout (1964)

Barbara Stanwyck as Maggie Morgan in Roustabout (1964)

Acclaimed actress Barbara Stanwyck had a career dating back to the very beginning of talking pictures and worked with major filmmakers including Cecil B. DeMille, Fritz Lang, and Frank Capra. Perhaps best known for her role in one of the greatest film noirs ever, Double Indemnity, Stanwyck also played Maggie Morgan opposite Elvis Presley in the musical feature Roustabout. Mainly a vehicle to showcase Elvis’ music, Roustabout gained an extra level of prestige due to Stanwyck’s sterling reputation. Director Quentin Tarantino called Roustabout one of the most entertaining movies in Presley’s filmography (via The New Beverly.)

4 Jackie Coogan

Jackie Coogan as Sgt. Benson in Girl Happy (1965)

Jackie Coogan as Sgt. Benson in Girl Happy (1965)

Former child star Jackie Coogan appeared opposite Elvis Presley in the 1965 beach part movie Girl Happy during the same period he took up his most famous role as an adult as Uncle Fester in The Addams Family television series. Coogan was most prominently known as a child star during the silent era where he played the title role in Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid. In Girl Happy, Coogan played Sgt. Benson, the police officer who must deal with a riot started by Presley’s drunk love interest Valerie Frank, played by Shelley Fabares.

3 Lee Majors

Lee Majors had an uncredited appearance in Clambake (1967)

Lee Majors in with background during an uncredited appearance in Clambake and Elvis Presley movie (1967)

Lee Majors made a name for himself with his iconic role as Steve Austin on the 1970s science fiction series The Six Million Dollar Man, but one of his earliest onscreen appearances was as an extra in the Elvis Presley movie Clambake in 1967. Dubbed “a blond Elvis” (via Telegraph) during the early years of his career due to his striking resemblance to Presley, Majors played a mustached waiter in a restaurant who appeared briefly 22 minutes into the film. Clambake told the story of the heir to an oil fortune who switched places with a ski instructor in Florida.

2 Vincent Price

Vincent Price as Mr. Morality in The Trouble with Girls (1969)

Vincent Price stands next to a spooky candelabra from House on Haunted Hill

The Hollywood horror legend Vincent Price may not be the first person that comes to mind when thinking about Elvis Presley movies, but he did have a minor role in the 1969 musical film The Trouble with Girls. Price played Mr. Morality in what would end up being the second last of Presley’s feature films, and sadly, by this point, Presley seemed ready to give up on his movie-making endeavors and gave an unenthusiastic performance. Price had a cameo role where he played a thin-veiled larger-than-life version of himself in an odd guest appearance as an itinerant lecturer.

1 Kurt Russell

Kurt Russell had an uncredited appearance in It Happened at the World’s Fair (1963)

Kurt Russell made his film debut in the Elvis Presley movie It Happened at the World’s Fair where he played an uncredited extra who kicked Mike Edwards, played by Presley, in the shin. It’s interesting to think of Russell and Presley together as Russell would go on to star as Elvis Presley in the 1979 made-for-television movie Elvis, directed by John Carpenter. Russell would continue working with Carpenter and with him gained some of his biggest roles such as in The Thing and Escape from New York, so in a way Russell has Elvis Presley to thank for his entire career.

Sources: Showbiz Cheat Sheet, Start TV, The New Beverly, Telegraph

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