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A sweet story… March 1956 Maureen Stapleton wrote in her memoir “A Hell of a Life” that at that moment she too was in Hollywood for an audition. 

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All people taking a screentest were in the studio the same day. A nerve-wracking situation, Stapleton couldn’t find a babysitter, so she brought her 4-year-old son to the audition with her and, in her typical cocky way, decided to herself, ‘My son is going to the audition with me and who cares? after all. 

She felt sick to her stomach and was doubled over in the large waiting room, surrounded by other nervous actors waiting. His son played at his feet. 

Stapleton felt a hand on his shoulder and heard a large southern voice say, “Ma’am, are you okay?” Of course it was Elvis. She replied something like: “Oh, no, I’m fine, thanks.” 

Elvis, always attracted to children, befriended Maureen’s young son and chatted with him a bit. Elvis talking to a 4 year old boy. I love it. Elvis said, “Lady, what’s going to happen to him when you come in for your screentest?Maureen said, “I’m taking it with me.” Elvis replied: “Ma’am, I offer to stay with him while you go there for your test. It wouldn’t be a problem at all.

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 Maureen was confused and flustered and grateful. Elvis wore blue jeans for the test, with greasy blond hair and she accepted his offer with apologies. Elvis seemed happy to have something to do while passing the time before the test.

 Maureen came in for her screentest and when she came out, Elvis and his son were happily holed up in the corner and Elvis was teaching him how to play the guitar. Stapleton never forgot Elvis for this. An unsolicited act of kindness and help in the midst of a stressful situation. 

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As Stapleton got ready to leave, Elvis asked her how her tests had gone, and Stapleton said, “Okay, I guess.” Elvis persists, “How are you feeling, ma’am?” Stapleton, never known for her delicacy, replied, “I feel like throwing up.” Elvis took his guitar, walked over to her and confessed in a low voice, “You know what, lady, I feel like this all the time.” 

Text obtained from Sheila O’Malley’s blog:


Information provided by Bay Elvis Group


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