Elvis and Annette Almost Met!

Of all the top leading ladies of the sixties Elvis never appeared in a film with Annette Funicello of The Mickey Mouse Club and Beach Party film fame. Though they knew the same friends, such as other sixties leading ladies, Shelley Fabares and Debra Walley, Annette never starred, or co-starred, in a film with Elvis.

Oddly enough, the two mega film stars and songsters of the sixties rock era had two managers who could have been partly responsible for keeping the two heartthrobs apart. Clean cut, wholesome, humble, both Elvis and Annette were religious. Both were the most popular in films of their time. However, both were overshadowed by two very domineering and overbearing "father" images, Col. Tom Parker and Walt Disney. Add to this Annette's marriage in 1965 to Jack Gilardi and her low-key private life. Annette was still an old-fashioned girl at heart.

While Colonel Parker saw to it with major discretin that Elvis did not overextend himself either publicly or socially, Walt Disney contractually forbid Annette to appear in Beach Party movies that would show her naval! Annette, herself, would not wear bikinis in public. Both the Colonel and Disney set strict limitations on their clients which included who they socialized with, who they dated, and what type of films they could appear in

Actually, the closest thing to Elvis and Annette appearing together has been on the cover of Movie Life magazines!

How about this? Did Elvis and Annette ever meet? Did Elvis ever want to date Annette and vice-versa? Well,Annette was definitely an Elvis admirer and fan(a story about an "almost meeting" appeared in the 35th anniversary edition of "Elvis International," the official magazine of Graceland.) That story was based upon an account of the first newsreporter ever to interview Elvis Presley, May Mann. May had attempted to bring Elvis and Annette together...yes; it's true! The story goes that Elvis confided to Mann about marriage to a girl as "sweet and beautiful" as his mommaa, and one who would have to be a true love. Mann thought immediately of her friend, Annette Funicello, twenty years old at the time, single, and very sweet. When Mann mentioned a meeting between the two to Annette, "her big eyes lighted with a real thrill at the thought."1 She then mentioned it to Elvis who contemplated the meeting, and was even impressed by Annette's sweet and innocent charm. However, it was Elvis who eventually declined to meet Annette for, apparently, while he did have marriage on his mind, two other gals played tug-o-war with his heart: Ann-Margret in Hollywood, and Priscilla Beaulieu recently graduated and temporarily in California to visit with her parents. Priscilla was already residing at Graceland® the stage already being set for her to inherit the king's castle.

So, the meeting that should have taken place between Annette Funicello and Elvis Presley never happened. One has to wonder if Elvis had any regrets.

1-source: "The Private Elvis," by May Mann, publ. Pocket Books, 1977, p. 181

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