There is no denying that Elvis Presley was loved by women and very few could resist his charms. However, there is one famous woman who did not succumb to The King’s magnetism.
Elvis’ co-star on what turned out to be his last feature film was none other than Mary Tyler Moore, former star of The Dick Van Dyke Show. They were paired up for the 1969 film, Change of Habit, where Elvis played a hip doctor and Mary played a nun.
However, in addition to the fact that both Elvis and Mary were married at the time, the two were not necessarily compatible and a behind-the-scenes romance never happened.
Another actress who played one of the three nuns in the film described how Mary was not very sociable with the rest of the cast:
“I didn’t talk to her much because she really was kind of standoffish,” said Barbara McNair. “She wasn’t easy to get to know. At lunchtime, the lunch wagon would come and everybody would eat together. She never ate with us. She ate in her own dressing room … She didn’t really socialize so I never got to know her.”
“The truth is, working with Mary was the more difficult for him [Elvis] because they worked so differently and they didn’t really have a mutual ground to meet on. Elvis and Barbara, Barbara and me, me and Elvis—he felt more accepted and comfortable. I don’t think he felt that either Mary liked him or understood him. Elvis was not comfortable with her because of her inaccessibility.”
However, the director of the film, William A. Graham, believed that something was going on as he revealed in a 2005 interview:
“Jane Elliot was having a little romance with Elvis, and sometimes she’d go off in the trailer with Elvis between setups and come out with her wimple askew and her habit looking a little messed up.”
Meanwhile, on a professional level, Elvis and Mary Tyler Moore got along fine. In a December 1969 article in Coronet Magazine, Mary praised Presley’s acting ability: “It’s not just that he always knew his lines; that’s true of any real pro. It’s the way he probes the character. And he is a lot more fun that I’d have guessed. I think he’d be a fine comedian… I’ve never worked with a more gentlemanly, kinder man.”
And in her 1995 autobiography, Moore wrote, “I was his last leading lady. The King would slyly say later on, ‘I slept with every one of my leading ladies but one.’ I don’t want to bust anyone’s cover, but I know who the ‘one’ is.”