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Musician and actor Elvis Presley endured rapid fame in the mid-1950s—on the radio, TV and the silver screen—and continues to be one of the biggest names in rock 'n' roll.
Elvis' former girlfriend talks about how she tricked the shy young man into getting a date.
A short biography of Elvis Presley, whose new sound, sexually evocative dance moves, and abandon on stage catapulted his fame in the 1950s, starting with "Heartbreak Hotel."
Jerry Lee Lewis describes recording with Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash at Sun Studios.
After a stint as an actor, Ed Sullivan started to appear on television and host the "Ed Sullivan Show."
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After leaving the Army in 1960, Presley resumed his career and was soon back at the top of the charts with the soundtrack for his film GI Blues. He continued recording music and acting in such films as Blue Hawaii (1961), Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962) and Viva Las Vegas (1964). Though his films were often hit or miss with both critics and audiences, they brought in a profit and the soundtracks usually sold well. By the late 1960s, however,
the enigmatic performer appeared to be losing his box office appeal. Proving he was still the "King of Rock 'n' Roll," he recorded his first TV special in 1968, often referred to as the "'68 Comeback." He wowed audiences with his performance, which showcased his talents as a singer and a guitarist.
Around this time, Presley's personal life also seemed to be on an upswing. He and Priscilla wed in 1967 and had a daughter, Lisa Marie, the following year. Unfortunately, this joyous time would not last. By the early 1970s, Presley's marriage was falling apart. The couple divorced in 1973, and Priscilla received custody of Lisa Marie. Presley was also wrestling with other personal problems, including a growing addiction to prescription drugs; the once-thin rock star was battling a weight problem, and his destructive lifestyle caught up with him that fall, when he was hospitalized for drug-related health problems.
Despite his personal obstacles, Presley remained a popular draw in Las Vegas and on tour. He performed at his last concert in June 1977, in Indianapolis, Indiana. After the concert, he returned home to his Memphis mansion, Graceland, to prepare for another tour.
Sometime in the morning of August 16, 1977, Presley died of heart failure, at the age of 42. It was later ruled that his death was related to his prescription drug use. Presley was buried on the Graceland property, near the gravesites of his mother, Gladys, father Vernon and grandmother Minnie Mae Hood Presley.
Throughout his amazing career, Presley helped popularize rock 'n' roll music in America. He also won three Grammy Awards for his gospel recordings. A major musical force, Presley had 18 No. 1 singles, including "Don't Be Cruel," "Good Luck Charm" and "Suspicious Minds," as well as countless gold and platinum albums. He was one of the first performers inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1986). But Elvis has been recognized for his contributions several musical genres, most notably rock, country and gospel. In 1998, Presley was posthumously inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame; three years later, he was posthumously inducted into the Gospel Music Association's Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
Since his death, Presley has remained one of the world's most popular music icons. Over the years, several documentaries and films have explored the enigmatic performer, including a 2005 television miniseries starring Jonathan Rhys-Meyers as Elvis. Presley's Memphis home, Graceland, is open to the public, and numerous fans from around the world visit the legendary residence annually, especially around Presley's birthday and the anniversary of his death.
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Elvis Presley met Priscilla Beaulieu when she was just 14 years old. He was 10 years older, and already a rock 'n' roll superstar. The two married in 1967 after a nearly eight-year courtship. The King of Rock was known to carry on affairs with women, including his Hollywood co-stars. In 1968 Priscilla gave birth to their only child, Lisa Marie. By 1973 Elvis' drug dependency and infidelity led to the couple's divorce. The only marriage Elvis ever entered, the story of Elvis and Priscilla continues to fascinate the public long after Elvis' death in 1977.
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Hollywood stars often get flack for their extravagant lifestyles, and sometimes they seem to be far removed from the rest of us. Not so for all celebrities, though—a surprising number of stars have taken on the big responsibility of serving in the United States Armed Forces. We know them as actors, athletes, musicians, and comedians, but these brave individuals have actually put their lives on the line for their country. Here's a look at celebrity enlistees.
Celebrity Enlistees 84 people in this group