Angela Lansbury on playing Elvis Presley's mother 60 years ago 'King was caring and sweet'


Blue Hawaii was one of Elvis Presley’s post-army movies of the early sixties alongside GI Blues. The musical, which featured his hit song Can’t Help Falling in Love, saw The King play Chadwick Gates, who returned home to the Pacific US islands after serving in the armed forces. Incredibly, Elvis’ mother Sarah Lee Gates was played by Angela Lansbury, despite being just nine years older than him.

In an unearthed interview from several years ago, the late Dame shared her memories of working with Elvis on Blue Hawaii.

In the video below, the Hollywood star, who received her first Oscar nomination in 1944, said: “Well obviously I was awed by being in the presence, but he was an awfully nice young man in those days. He always was a wonderfully nice young man, a very caring person. He had terrible problems of a very personal nature, but in those days he’d just come out of the army.”

Ahead of shooting Blue Hawaii in 1961, Elvis was flown out to the islands early to perform a benefit show. During the attack on Pearl Harbour 20 years previously, the USS Arizona battleship was sunk with 1177 losing their lives.

To this day the ship remains submerged with a memorial over the top that Elvis’ concert helped raise money for. The King’s ticket sales made $64,000 towards the project and the performance took place on March 25, 1961.


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