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King Creole

1958

Considered by some to be one of Elvis's best movies, "King Creole" is set in New Orleans. Elvis plays "Danny Fisher", a nightclub singer mixed up with organized crime. The storyline is based on the Harold Robbins novel, "A Stone for Danny Fisher". Popular Dolores Hart returned to play Elvis's love interest for the second time in as many years. The cast also included Vic Morrow, Walter Matthau, and Carolyn Jones. The smash soundtrack was number one on the charts for a record 29 weeks!

Note: Of all the films Elvis made, he declared this one his favorite.

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Dolores Hart

"Nellie"

Dolores Hicks was born on October 20, 1938, in Chicago, Illinois. Her first movie was 1957's In the Wild Wind. Following this, Hart was chosen to star with one of Hollywoods biggest stars: Elvis Presley. The film was Loving You and Dolores was to portray the role of Susan Jessup.

In 1958 Hart was again to star with Presley. This time in the movie King Creole, co-starring Carolyn Jones. After working with the King, Dolores said "Elvis is a young man with an enormous capacity of love...but I don't think he has found his happiness yet". Following King Creole, Hart starred in other films such as Where the Boys Are and The Plunderers. In 1963, Dolores left Hollywood and became a nun at the Bendictine Regina Laudis Monastery in Bethlehem, Connecticut. Miss Hart is still there today.

Today, Dolores' thoughts of Elvis are "He was a fine person- had a delightful sense of humor."

Click here to see my Dolores Hart autograph.

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Walter Matthau
"Maxie Fields"

Walter Matuschanskavasky was born in New York on October 1, 1920. His parents were Russian-Jewish immigrants. He was barely three when his father, Milton, deserted the family, leaving them in poverty. The job fell to mother Rose to support Walter and his brother. Walter got his first taste of showbiz when he sold sodas and played bit parts at a Yiddish theatre at the age of eleven. As an actor, his hard work continued as he scrubbed floors and hauled bags of cement for a living.

Following graduation from High School, Walter was a basketball and boxing coach, but when World War II began, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps where he served as a cryptographer and radio operator in Europe. In 1945 Staff Sergeant Matthau received his discharge and utilized the G.I. Bill to continue his studies. He enrolled at New York City’s New School of Social Research and for the next 8 years he appeared in 18 Broadway plays. By 1951 he had earned a New York Drama Critics Award.

Meanwhile television, which was then in its infancy, also provided an apt vehicle for Matthau's talents. Very popular were such drama programs as Philco Television Playhouse and Westinghouse Telvision Playhouse on which he frequently perfomed as early as 1948.

In 1955 he began his work in films with Burt Lancaster in The Kentuckian.A string of films and television programs followed (including his role as Maxie Fields in the 1958 Elvis Presley film, King Creole), with good success, but it was back on Broadway, in 1965, that he distinguished himself. As sloppy Oscar Madison, in The Odd Couple (which playwright Neil Simon created specifically for him), Matthau gave full vent to his grouchy comic abilities. His perfect wisecrack timing and rumpled face graced the big screen from then on. In 1966, when director Billy Wilder cast him opposite Jack Lemmon a classic partnership was created. In Lemmon, Matthau found an enduring friend and frequent co-star, appearing together in The Fortune Cookie(for which he won the Academy Award in 1966 for Best Supporting Actor), The Odd Couple(1968) and, later, Grumpy Old Men(1993), its sequel, and Out to Sea(1997). Their final pairing came in 1998 with the update, Odd Couple II.

Matthau's fifty years of showbusiness as one of the screen's favorite sour-pusses earned him three Academy Awards and six Golden Globes. He had performed in at least 26 television programs and 76 movies. The victim of a heart attack in 1965, Matthau had undergone a successful quadruple coronary bypass operation in 1975. The actor succumbed to a heart attack on July 1, 2000 at age 79. The beloved actor's last feature film was Hanging Up (2000), in which he played the rascally father of Diane Keaton, Meg Ryan and Lisa Kudrow.

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Dean Jagger
"Mr. Fisher"

Ira Dean Jeffries was born November 7, 1903, in Columbus Grove, Ohio. A prolific actor, Jagger had roles in 96 films between 1929 and 1987. His most renowned portayal was as an American Major during World War II in the classic Twelve O'Clock High. His tough character, Major Harvey Stovall, who helps turn a bomber base into an effective unit, won him an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor. Fans of the classic Irving Berlin Christmas musical will also recall Jagger's turn as a beleaguered inn-keeper in White Christmas. As retired commander to hoofers Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby, Jagger's "General Waverly" experiences a touching reunion and tribute by his former unit.

In 1958, Jagger lent his talents to the Elvis Presley film King Creole. He played the father of Elvis's character, Danny Fisher.

Not limited to the big screen, Jagger also made some 13 appearances on television, ranging from The Twilight Zone and Bonanza - to The Waltons and The Partridge Family.

Dean Jagger died of heart disease on February 5, 1991.

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Carolyn Jones
"Ronnie"

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