Elvis! The King and his court: blue hawaii
Elvis:the King and His Court! Blue Hawaii
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Blue Hawaii

1961

In his eighth movie, The King plays an ex-G.I. who returns to the islands and gets a job with a tourist agency. He soon finds himself serving as a tourguide to a group of giggling schoolgirls and their lovely teacher. Blue Hawaii featured 15 new songs and resulted in one of Elvis's best-selling albums! Elvis, as Chad Gates, performs one of his top hits, I Can't Help Falling in Love With You.In an unexpected role, Angela Lansbury portrays Chad's Southern Belle mother!

Joan Blackman
"Maile Duvall"

Joan Blackman was born on May 18, 1938, in San Francisco, California. Her first film appearance was in 1958’s Good Day for a Hanging with Fred MacMurray. Following this came The Great Imposter with Tony Curtis and Visit to a Small Planet with Jerry Lewis.

Blackman had already been fortunate to work with some wonderful leading men, but now she was about to work with one of the hottest of them all: Elvis Presley. The film was Blue Hawaii and Joan was to play Elvis’ leading lady, Maile Duvall. In the movie, Maile’s lover, Chad [Elvis], has just returned to his home in Hawaii after serving in the army for 2 years. To escape working at his father’s pineapple business, Chad lands a job at the local tourist agency,where Maile works, as a tour guide. Chad’s first assignment is to take a very attractive school teacher, Miss Prentice, and her 4 teenage students, on tours of the island. Maile decides Miss Prentice likes Chad a little too much and all goes wrong! Happily, however, all is remedied - and Chad and Maile wed in a grand wedding finale fit for a King! "I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You" and "Hawaiian Wedding Song" were only two of the beautiful hit songs to emerge from Blue Hawaii.

In 1962, Blackman again costarred with Elvis...this time as Rose Grogan, sister of Elvis’ boss, in Kid Galahad. This film was a remake of the 1937 vehicle starring Humphrey Bogart.

After her work with the King, Joan starred in a few more films including Macon County Line with Max Baer, and Return To Waterloo.



Roland Winters
"Fred Gates"

Roland Winternitz was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on November 22, 1904. As he grew up in Boston, Roland’s father was first violinist and concert master of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. At the age of 19, Winters began acting on stage in stock companies, and by 1933 was a successful supporting player. Winters also did many radio appearances on shows including the Kate Smith Show and Henry Aldrich.

During this time, Roland made his film debut in 1922’s The Firebrand in which he had a brief appearance. In 1946, Winters made the first of his Charlie Chan series,in which he played the lead role of the venerable detective. The series included The Chinese Ring, The Golden Eye, and The Sky Dragon. Winters also made some other motion pictures such as Cry of the City and Once More, My Darling.

Throughout the 1950’s, Roland continued movies but he was also appeared on the television series Meet Millie, Mama, and Door with No Name. In 1961, Winters was chosen to co-star with the very popular Elvis Presley in Blue Hawaii. He played Fred Gates, Elvis’ father who wants his son to work at the family pineapple business. After doing the movie Everything’s Ducky, Roland worked with the King again. This time in Follow That Dream in which he played the judge.

By the late 60’s, Winters returned to Broadway and did the musical Minnie’s Boys. In 1979, Roland made his last acting appearance in the TV movie You Can’t Go Home Again. Roland Winters died on October 22, 1989, in Englewood, N.J., of a stroke.

Jenny Maxwell
"Ellie Corbett"

Jennifer Helene Maxwell was born on September 3, 1941. Jenny’s career began with television appearances on Wagon Train and the hit show The Twilight Zone. In 1959, Maxwell did her first film, Blue Denim, in which she co-starred along with Carol Lynley and fellow Elvis co-star Warren Berlinger (Spinout).

Jenny was now chosen to be in Elvis Prelsey’s upcoming film, Blue Hawaii. She would play Ellie Corbett, one of the girls who is on tour of Hawaii with their teacher, Abigail Prentice. Even though Maxwell wasn’t Presley’s leading lady, she is probably the only co-star ever to have gotten a spaking from him.

Following her work with the King, Jenny appeared in two other films: Shotgun Wedding and Take Her, She’s Mine starring James Stewart and Sandra Dee. In 1965, Maxwell did guest appearacnes on the television series The F.B.I. and The Wild, Wild West. That was the last thing Jenny would do in her acting career. On June 10, 1981, Jenny Maxwell died tragically when she and her husband, Irvin Roeder, were gunned down during a robbery.

Darlene Tompkins
"Patsy Simon"

When Darlene Tompkins was born, her family was in show business, so she was already off to a good start. Her family did plays and such. Tompkins' aunt, Beverly Walshburn, who was almost the same age as Darlene, appeared in the films Old Yeller and The Greatest Show on Earth. Darlene’s own big break came when she won a beauty contest and started to appear in commercials. This lead to the role of Princess Trirene on the 1960’s TV series Beyond the Time Barrier.

In 1961, Tompkins was chosen for her first movie role in Elvis Presley’s film, Blue Hawaii. She played Patsy Simon, one of the s Presley’s character takes on a tour of Hawaii. After her Elvis flick, Darlene did one more movie, My Six Loves with Debbie Reynolds. She then took a break from acting to get married and have children. In the 70’s, she returned to work as an extra on TV shows including Charlie’s Angels in which she was Cheryl Ladd’s stunt double.

Today, Miss Tompkins is retired and enjoys playing Bridge, one of her hobbys. When I recently spoke to Darlene, her memory of Elvis was "He was kind, funny, thoughtful and very much the gentleman". When asked if she enjoyed making the film, she answered "Yes the islands were beautiful and everyone was so nice".

Click here to see my Darlene Tompkins autograph.



Nancy Walters
"Miss Prentice"

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