Monthly Archives: March 2021

The Elvis/Star Trek Connection — Part 1

This is a repeat of a post from 2009. Part 2 will follow soon.  Because I put so much time and research into doing these, I’m glad to get a second usage of them.

You may find it hard to believe, but there are nine actresses that appeared in both Elvis movies and Star Trek episodes.

 

CELESTE YARNALL:

Some of you may have met Celeste Yarnall at an Elvis Week, because she has become something of a regular guest there these past few years.  She appeared briefly in Live A Little, Love a Little, from 1968, just four films from the end of the Elvis movie string.  His movies were starting to get bad, but this one was so stupid it was funny.

         

             

Yarnall played Ellen, a model he met at a party.  One of the ways Elvis (Gary Nolan) convinced her to come back to his apartment with him was by singing, “A Little Less Conversation.” 

When Elvis gets her home, Bernice, another woman with an eye on Elvis, creates a ruckus while vacuuming, totally breaking the mood.  Ellen gets mad and insists Elvis take her home.

One year earlier, Celeste Yarnall appeared in a Star Trek episode titled, “The Apple.”  Instead of being hit on by Elvis, this time it was Ensign Chekov.

    

                             

She escaped Checkov’s advances, and later, Captain Kirk consoled her by showing her his giant horn.

 

TERI GARR:

Teri Garr appeared in six Elvis movies:

Kissin’ Cousins  1963
Fun in Acapulco  1963
Viva Las Vegas  1964
Roustabout   1964
Girl Happy   1965
Clambake   1967

However, her screen time was not as an actress.  At this early point in her career, she was a dancer trying to break into acting.


Viva Las Vegas

   Roustabout 

              Kissin’ Cousins

Girl Happy

Editor’s note: This is the photo generally offered as proof that Teri Garr appeared in Girl Happy, but there have been sceptics who said it doesn’t look enough like her.  So, when I was working on a post about the movie, I used pause and single-frame advance and found this.

That’s definitely Teri Garr, and you can see she is wearing the same blouse as in the beach dancing shot.

 

Teri Garr got one of her first acting jobs in Star Trek episode # 55 titled “Assignment Earth.”  Captain Kirk and Spock travelled back in time to 1968 Earth to stop Gary Seven, a villian who was trying to explode an oribal bomb over Asia.  Teri Garr played Roberta Lincoln, a ditzy blond in a very short mini-skirt who was hired by a henchman of Gary Seven to supposedly develop a new ecyclopedia.  In the end, she became suspicious and helped save Earth.

              

 

YVONNE CRAIG:

Most Elvis fans know she was one of the Tatum sisters in Kissin’ Cousins, but she appeared in an earlier Elvis movie in a small part.  Yvonne Craig had a small role in It Happened at the World’s Fair, released in 1963.  She played Dorothy Johnson, a love interest of Elvis’ character, Mike Edwards.  While her scene with Elvis was short, it could be called pretty hot, as you can see by these stills.

              


Two movies later, Yvonne Craig showed up in a much larger role in Kissin’ Cousins.  Do you think Elvis might have really liked her first performance and put in a good word for her?   Anyway, she played Azalea Tatum, who had to fight with her sister Selena for Elvis’ attention (Air Force Captain Josh Morgan).  Azalea finally ends up the winner in the Elvis sweepstakes.

       

These roles were tame compared to her character in a Star Trek episode in 1967: “Whom Gods Destroy.”  Yvonne Craig played Marta, a green-skinned inmate at the Federation asylum on Elba ll.  She was delusional, seductive and skilled in exotic dance.   The evil Garth of Izar coerced her to carry out a plot to assassinate Captain Kirk.  

She got alone with Kirk, started to seduce him, and then pulled a knife and tried to stab him.  He fought her off, and Spock arrived to help subdue her.    After the failed assassination attempt, her master, Garth of Izar, ended her life by blowing her to bits with a new explosive.


        

I love this line from Spock after the assination attempt:

“She seems to have worked out an infallible method for ensuring permanent male fidelity.  Interesting.”

 

©  2021    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland  are registered trademarks of  Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

 

Was This Elvis’ Best Birthday Present Ever?

This is a reprint of a post from 2013.  I have added a couple of new photos.

 

Perhaps you have seen this photo on the internet.  I run into it from time to time, but nobody has ever included a caption or text explaining the story of Elvis and this old car.

It turns out, there is quite a story.  While doing research on an upcoming article in Elvis International magazine, I found something in the book “Baby Let’s Play House: Elvis Presley and the Women Who Loved Him,” by Alanna Nash.

 

The book stated that Elvis’ father purchased him a 1942 Lincoln Zephyr for his 18th birthday.  That’s the car in the photograph.  It cost $50, which was a lot of money back in 1953, especially for a man of modest means like Vernon Presley.

 

A restored 1942 two-door Lincoln Zephyr

 

Elvis owned hundreds of Cadillacs, Lincolns, and other fancy cars in his life, but it is unlikely that any of them had the kind of impact on his life that this worn out old Lincoln did.  The reason is simple.  The car sparked a big jump in Elvis’ social life. It enabled him to go out on dates with teenage girls.

According to the book, in the first three months after his 18th birthday, Elvis used the Lincoln for at least five different dating opportunities:

Driving to a party and giving a pretty girl a ride to her home afterward.

Going to the “Teen Canteen” at McKellar Lake and enjoying hamburgers and shakes.

Attending the All-Night Gospel Singings at Ellis Auditorium to see the Statesmen and the Blackwood Brothers perform.

Parking on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River and watching the water roll by.

Taking in a movie at the drive-in theater in West Memphis, Arkansas.

The last two on the list would seem to be perfect places for serious making-out, which the book says Elvis enjoyed during this period.  You can bet Elvis loved having his own car.

Elvis had enough money to pay for his gas and dating expenses, because he worked part-time at night ushering at Loew’s movie theater and selling soft drinks at Ellis Auditorium.

So, when it came time to attend his Senior Prom on April 17, 1953, Elvis used some of those earnings to rent a shiny new, dark-blue Chevy.  The next day it was back to the old Lincoln again, and certainly Elvis longed for the days when he could afford to buy his own fancy new car.

 

 

That happened twenty-three months later when he purchased a 1954 pink and white Cadillac, but Elvis had to cherish his happy memories of dating in the car he received for his eighteenth birthday.

 

©  2021    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland  are registered trademarks of  Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

 

Elvis and Dr. Seuss

Bet you never thought you would see Mr. Potato Head, The Muppets, and Dr. Seuss all in the headlines in a just a ten day span. You do know there is an Elvis connection with the first two. We just finished up a three-part series on Elvis Mr. Potato Head. And, two years ago, I also did three blog posts about Elvis and The Muppets.

So, when the news came out about six of Dr. Seuss’ books, I wondered if I could find anything connecting Elvis and Dr. Suess. I came across this.

 

Hoo knew the Grinch was an Elvis fan. I guess the text is a reworking of a lyric the Grinch did in the movie. If anybody knows the real lines, please put them on Comments and I’ll share.

This design has been used on coffee mugs and T-shirts. If interested in one for next Christmas, Google Elvis Presley Grinch, it will take you right there.

So, I am pleased about finding an Elvis connection with Dr. Seuss. Years ago, I posted about the Elvis connections with LEGOS and Barbie Dolls. I wonder if there’s anything coming that will put them in the headlines, too, and I can repost all that old stuff.

 

©  2020    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland  are registered trademarks of  Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

 

Elvis Mr. Potato Head Revisited – Part 3

This January 2011 post is the third in a series on Elvis Mr. Potato Head.

 

I’ve done two previous articles on the Elvis Mr. Potato Head figures.  The first was favorable, and that resulted in me getting an e-mail thank you message from from Dean Gorby of PPW Toys, the company that makes the Elvis Mr. Potato Heads for Hasbro.  I wrote back and asked if I could get some in-house photos of the Elvis Live, as the first model was called.

Dean sent me unpublished pictures of Elvis Live with the white jumpsuit, and I used that for a second ElvisBlog article.   More recently he sent me photos of the ’68 Special black leather model, including a little note filling me in on the results when ’68 Special debuted at the New York Toy Fair in February.

Elvis Mr. Potato Head is front and center at the Toy Fair

Dean expressed his happiness at getting so many favorable comments from the folks coming by their booth at the Toy Fair.  “Many people said they liked it better than the first.  The overall response was that people thought it was cuter because you can see his eyes, where as the first version had sunglasses.”

Elvis Live Potato Head

          

’68 Special Elvis Potato Head

      

Sorry, but I am going to disagree with those folks.  I like the sunglasses way better than the eyes.  However, there is some good news.  You can remove the eyes from black leather and replace them with the sunglasses.  Like this.

’68 Comeback Elvis Wearing Sunglasses

The next two outfits in the series will probably be Jailhouse Rock and Gold Lamé, but both are unlikely to include the sunglasses because they are 50s themes.  Of course, if you have your sunglasses from Elvis Live, you could move them around to all the models.  I liked this idea so much, I asked Dean if he would send me some extra glasses, so every Elvis Mr. Potato Head I buy can wear them.  They just came in, and they are very cool.  Thank you, Dean.

(Editor’s note: I have three extra pairs of the sunglasses. If anybody wants one, let me know at philarnold@charter.net)

While we are talking about moving Mr. Potato Head parts around, here’s another idea to think about.  It sure looks like the mask and helmet of Darth Tater would fit nicely over that black leather suit.  And, you know you can replace that mic stand with the light sabre.  Remember how Elvis always imagined Captain Marvel Jr. as his alter ego.  I wonder what he would think about being Darth BlackLeather.

 

      

 

Speaking of mics, Dean recently told me about the bonus goodies they inserted into 500 packages of each model.  Their experiences with Elvis Live and ’68 Special were quite different.  They produced 500 gold mic stands, and randomly mixed them in boxes of the black leather Elvis above.  It didn’t get noticed.  However, special gold guitars replaced 500 of the standard black ones with jumpsuit Elvis, and they had quite an effect.  Dean said he has seen many for sale on line, and they have consistently sold for about $100 each.

Elvis Live with standard black guitar

Special Gold Guitar

Now, I’ve got to ask Dean for one of those gold guitars.

 

©  2011    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.