In 1963 Ursula was the hottest woman on the planet. After tryingto make her mark in Hollywood since 1955, in 1962 she had finally shot to stardom emerging from the sea in that bikini in the very first James Bond movie, Dr No. The King’s producers quickly snapped her up to play his love interest in another film set by the beach. Elvis, of course, already had a reputation by then of falling for his co-stars. Would he be able to resist a woman with a gold-plated licence to thrill?
Ursula later described her feelings when she first met Elvis: “The only way I knew him was from TV, this new idol, this hip-swinging lover with a guitar. The first day I went to work, he came over, this humble man, full of charm, love in his eyes, and kindness, and being so considerate and warm. I was so surprised.”
Usually, it would be Elvis who would work his charm and pursue co-stars, but according to his Memphis Mafia friend Sonny West, this time it was the other way around.
West said: “They were very close. She went after him. She wanted him bad.”
Back home at Graceland, a nervous Priscilla was very aware that her boyfriend was spending time with a “sex goddess” (in Priscilla’s own words) who was one of the most beautiful women in the world.
Ursula might have been married to actor and director John Derek at the time, but they would later split when he discovered her infidelity.
Priscilla later wrote about Elvis’ conversation with friend Alan Fortas: “‘Yeah, but E,’ Alan Fortas kidded him, ‘she only had eyes for you.'”
Priscilla herself also questioned Elvis: “‘Wasn’t she pretty?’ I asked. ‘Pretty?’, he snickered. ‘Hell, she had a bone structure so sharp, it could cut you in half if you turned too fast.'”
PROC. BY MOVIES