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Elvis Presley's Night Of Passion With Marilyn Monroe — Why He Turned Her Down

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Apr. 5 2023, Published 7:30 a.m. ET

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Rock 'n' roll legend Elvis Presley had “the most glorious one-night stand of all time” with Marilyn Monroe, dished an insider! The King’s former associate Byron Raphael, who was an agent for megafamous talent conglomerate William Morris and assistant to Presley’s manager Tom Parker, said he arranged the super secret tryst in 1960.

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It wasn’t the first time Presley had tried to make a date with the blonde bombshell. Raphael said his bosses at the William Morris Agency came up with the idea for the two to date as a publicity stunt. “Elvis had never seen Marilyn,” said an insider, “then in the early summer of 1960 the two most explosive and legendary sex symbols of their era sized each other up in the street in front of a soundstage at Twentieth Century Fox, and came away unnerved.”

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Raphael tried to organize a private meeting for the duo, and his pals helped. The Memphis Mafia (his gang of hangers-on) convinced Presley to go to stage 23 and ask Monroe out. “Elvis approached her in his usual self-deprecating way, his soft baritone edged in southern charm. ‘Hello, my name is Elvis Presley. How are you, Miss Monroe?’” author Alanna Nash wrote in her book Baby, Let’s Play House. Monroe smiled in a way that said she liked the way Presley filled out his trousers, wrote Nash.

But once Monroe noticed all the hangers-on watching the “private” interaction she declined the invitation. “Elvis asked her if she would like to come to a party that he was giving the next night,” said Raphael. “She looked at the guys and said ‘I’m sorry. I can’t, but thank you’ and kind of dashed away. He was very embarrassed, but I think she turned him down because she felt it was too public.”

But Presley wasn’t about to give up. “Two weeks later, Elvis called me and said, ‘I want you to pick up Marilyn,’” said Raphael, who went on to tell the details of the fascinating story.

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"She was married to Arthur Miller, the playwright. Rumors were starting to flare that she was starting to have an affair with Yves Montand, the French actor who was gonna be her costar in Let’s Make Love. So, the marriage with Arthur Miller was not going well."

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“But, as marriages go in those days, in New York, you had to be very careful, because there was fault divorces, rather than no-fault divorces. Adultery could not only mean money, but tremendous scandal. “I picked Marilyn up ’cause I got a call from Elvis and I thought that was the end of the Marilyn thing, that day at 20th Century Fox. He said, ‘Pick up Marilyn.’ I said ‘Really?’ I re- member almost distinctly, and this is 50 years ago or more. The address was in the 9000 block of Doheny Drive, right off Sunset Blvd. I went to the door about 7 P.M. Shelley Winters opened the door ... she hadn’t become that heavy-set character actress of A Place in the Sun. Still a very attractive young woman. When she opened the door, I said ‘Hello, I’m Byron Raphael from the William Morris Agency. I’m here to pick up Miss Monroe.’ She yelled, ‘Marilyn, there’s a man from the Morris office here. Do you know anything about it?’ Then there came Marilyn Monroe. It was a different Marilyn than I had seen at the set. All of a sudden she was extraordinarily beautiful."

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"It was a rainy night and I brought her to the Beverly Wilshire hotel and we went upstairs to his room.”

Marilyn, then 34, was at the height of her powers. She had perfected her look and magnetic sex appeal in a trio of flicks in 1953 — Niagra, in which she played a femme fatale scheming to murder her husband, played by Joseph Cotten, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and How to Marry a Millionaire, her biggest box office success.

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She followed that up with her wildly successful appearance in 1955’s The Seven Year Itch and Bus Stop in 1956. Meanwhile, Presley, who was 25, had already released Heartbreak Hotel, and made his film debut in Love Me Tender. The singer had just returned from military service in Germany, was shooting the film G.I. Blues, and was dating his teenage girlfriend, Priscilla Beaulieu, as well as Hollywood starlet Anita Wood.

He was starting to film the movie Flaming Star with Barbara Eden. But that didn’t stop Presley and Monroe’s night of summer passion. “When he saw her, they came together and, without saying a word, started kissing,” recalled Raphael. “I was in shock and I didn’t know what to do. Then Marilyn, who was about ten years older, said, ‘You’re pretty good for a guitar player.’ After two minutes, they went into the bedroom and I didn’t know if I was supposed to leave, or stay and wait for them, so I sort of just dozed off. The next thing I knew I was startled awake by the door opening and I dove behind the bar. And they both walked out stark naked. Her figure was so magnificent. I had never seen a woman that beautiful. I didn’t say a word."

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