Elvis Presley Once Asked Barbara Eden for Marriage Advice

FLAMING STAR, from left: Barbara Eden, Elvis Presley, 1960
20th Century Fox Film Corp./Everett Collection

Two of the world’s biggest stars, Elvis Presley and Barbara Eden, came together for the 1960 film Flaming Star. During that time, Eden recalls that Presley was talking about a girl he liked who lived overseas and wondered if Eden had any advice for him. That girl was none other than Priscilla, whom Presley went on to marry and have one daughter together, the late Lisa Marie Presley.

Eden revealed, “He said, ‘I want to know how you and your husband survive this business. I’m a little worried about bringing her to the United States.’” Eden was married to actor Michael Ansara at the time. She said, “I told him, ‘This is our work. He goes on location, I go on location. But we’re always together. This is how we make money, but we are a team. And as long as the two of you are a team, it will work out.’ But Elvis was worried. ‘I just don’t know,’ he would say.”

FLAMING STAR, Elvis Presley, Barbara Eden, 1960

20th Century-Fox Film Corp./Everett Collection

Presley must have liked Eden’s advice because he brought Priscilla over from Germany. Eden admitted that she finally met Priscilla recently and told her this story. She added that Presley was wonderful to work with on the set of the film and admitted that he was a lot more courteous than other actors she worked with over the years.

Eden explained, “He was such a well-bred gentleman. Just wonderful to work with. I’d come on the set, and he’d immediately pull up a chair for me. Actors don’t do that. But he was so courteous and gracious with me. He was truly a nice guy in this business. I remember he would have his father on set and another man he called his cousin, but I later found out it wasn’t a cousin. But they would all just sit together, play guitar and sing.”

Elvis Presley (1935 - 1977) being fed a mouthful of wedding cake by his bride Priscilla Beaulieu at the Aladdin Hotel, Las Vegas

Keystone/Getty Images

She added, “What surprised me was how decent he was and just a regular guy. I guess that surprised me because I only knew him for his wonderful singing and his knees rocking together and all that. But I should have known better. … He was a very intelligent, talented, sweet man. And in [our] movie, he got the best reviews. It didn’t make the money his other movies made, but he got recognition for being a really fine, natural actor.”

Of course, Presley went on to revive his singing career in the late ’60s and Eden went on to star in I Dream of Jeannie in 1965. If you’re interested in watching Flaming Star, you can rent it on various streaming services including YouTube and Vudu.

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July 2020

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