Graceland: Take a live virtual tour of Elvis' Memphis home
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Back in 1956, Elvis Presley skyrocketed to fame and a year later moved his extended family into the famous Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee. The 22-year-old decided to give his parents Vernon and Gladys the master bedroom out of respect for them. While his mother famously decorated the room, which can be seen early on in the Graceland tour, in her favourite colour purple.
But did you know that inside Gladys’ Graceland bedroom she treasured a first piece of The King’s music career, which can be seen from the entrance to the room?
On the wall, framed in the left-hand corner, is Elvis’ very first publicity photo shot. The photograph of the rock and roll star was taken in 1955 at Memphis’ William Speer Studios before he hit the big time.
Express.co.uk found out this fun fact during a live virtual tour of Graceland earlier this year.
Elvis expert and archivist Angie Marchese was showing us around and shared that the photograph had previously been on display at The Presley’s previous home in Memphis at 1034 Audubon Drive.
Angie said: “This photo hung proudly in the Audubon house in the living room and then moved here to Gladys’ room when they moved here to Graceland in 1957.”
Elvis’ mother slept in the bedroom until her death a year later and The King’s grandmother Minnie Mae later moved in.
Also in the room are some touching family photos and clothes of Gladys’ hanging up.
The Elvis expert shared how The King’s mother lived a very simple life, even when her son could afford to buy her whatever she wanted.
Elvis Presley stars in the 1958 trailer for King Creole
Angie revealed how Gladys kept the same clothes and would mend them all the time despite the Presley family’s new-found wealth.
After she died, Elvis’ mother was buried at Forest Hill Cemetery in Memphis, Tennessee, before later being moved to Graceland.
There she now rests next to her son, husband Vernon and his mother Minnie Mae Presley.
Next year, Gladys will be portrayed in Warner Bros’ upcoming Elvis movie directed by Baz Luhrmann.
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Originally, Maggie Gyllenhaal was going to play Gladys but had to pull out of the film due to other filming commitments when production was closed down in the pandemic.
Elvis’ mother will now be portrayed by award-winning theatre actress Helen Thomson.
For similar conflicting schedule reasons, Vernon star Rufus Sewell has been recast with Richard Roxburgh, who famously played The Duke in Baz’s Moulin Rouge!
The Elvis movie stars Austin Butler as The King opposite Tom Hanks as his manager Colonel Tom Parker.
Express.co.uk asked Angie if any scenes of the Elvis movie will be shot at Graceland.
She told us: “[The Elvis movie] is actually being shot in Australia. But they have been doing research here. They have recreated Graceland in Australia.”
According to the official synopsis, Elvis is “seen through the prism of [Presley’s] complicated relationship with his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker.
“The film delves into the complex dynamic between Presley and Parker spanning over 20 years, from Presley’s rise to fame to his unprecedented stardom, against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America. Central to that journey is one of the most significant and influential people in Elvis’s life, Priscilla Presley.”
The Elvis Presley movie biopic is released in cinemas on June 3, 2022.
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