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During a special panel alongside Jackée Harry at Christmas Con in Pasadena, California, Saturday, the I Dream of Jeannie star was thrilled when asked about her experience with the King of Rock and Roll on the 1960 movie Flaming Star.
"Elvis was a delight," began Eden, who will be 91 later this month. "He didn't get the girl and he died — and he was fabulous! He was so wonderful. I think it was the only film he did that he got really good reviews for his acting and he didn't sing a song. … His fans hated it, but the critics loved it, and he was a joy to work with."
Eden went on to joke that she "didn't have a romance with Elvis like most of his leading ladies did," calling the 25-year-old Presley "a gentleman."
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"I'd come on the set and he'd get me a chair," she recalled. "Actors don't do that. You can sit on the floor, they don't care. And in between shots, when they were fixing the lights and everything, he'd get his guitar out and he'd sing. Wonderfully, he'd sing. … And we used to talk. We talked a lot."
Their conversation often turned to her marriage at the time to Michael Ansara, who famously played Cochise on Broken Arrow, and the woman Presley had met in Germany, Priscilla Beaulieu.
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"He said, 'How do you have a marriage in Hollywood? How do you do this will all the stuff going on?'" Eden shared. "And I said, 'You know, for us, it's our job. This is how we make money. That's it.' He said, 'Well, I met this girl in Germany.' And he said, 'I'm not too sure, she's awfully young.' But he didn't tell me how young! Yeah, 14 years old. And I said, 'Well, you know, if the two of you are a team, you'll be fine.'"
Eden laughed and added, "Little did I know."
Indeed Presley met a 14-year-old Priscilla when he was in the Army and stationed in Germany. They were married more than seven years later, in 1967.
A few years later, Eden and Ansara attended Presley's show in Las Vegas.
"I've seen a lot of people work but this was the most thrilling thing I've ever seen," Eden recalled. "All those guitars! Elvis was fabulous. He was just wonderful. And I remember him that way, not the later years. Because he was beautiful and a lovely man."
At the conclusion of Eden's story, Harry interjected: "I'd have jumped him. I'd have jumped Elvis."
Still quick as ever, Eden immediately replied, "You wouldn't if you had Cochise for a husband."
Christmas Con in California continues through Sunday. The next one is set for Dec. 9-11 in Edison, New Jersey.