Greatest Bond girl ever ‘wanted Elvis badly’ but The King had a ‘little’ problem | Films | Entertainment


Fun in Acapulco: Elvis Presley stars in 1963 trailer

In the early 60s, Ursula Andress sizzled her way across the big screen after making a bikini-clad splash as the first iconic Bond Girl in the original 007 movie Bond film, Dr No. Filmmakers scrambled to capitalise on the beach beauty and she was immediately chosen to play the love interest of Elvis Presley in his latest film, set (where else?) at a glamorous seaside resort.

Few even thought to question whether Elvis could resist Ursula’s allure while they made 1963’s Fun In Acapulco, and the Swiss stunner made her interest very clear, despite being married.

Ursula was smitten from the start, saying, “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.”

Elvis Presley starred with Bond girl Ursula Andress

Elvis Presley starred with Bond girl Ursula Andress in Fun in Acapulco (Image: (Image: GETTY ))

Elvis on set in Fun in Acapulco

Elvis on set in Fun in Acapulco (Image: (Image: GETTY))

Usually, it was Elvis who would make the first move, charming and pursuing his co-stars. But according to his friend Sonny West, a long-time Memphis Mafia insider, it was different this time, with Ursula taking the initiative and putting The King off balance.

West commented, “They were very close. She went after him. She wanted him bad.”

Meanwhile, back at Graceland, Elvis’ girlfriend Priscilla was nervous, knowing that her boyfriend was spending time with someone she herself called a “sex goddess.”

And it wasn’t just Elvis who strayed outside his relationships – Ursula might have been married to famous director John Derek (who later married fellow statuesque blondes Bo Derek and Linda Evans) but her infidelities caused their eventual separation.

Bond girl Ursula Andress as Honeychile

Bond girl Ursula Andress as Honeychile in Dr No (Image: GETTY )

In her autobiographical account of their relationship, Priscilla recalled a chat Elvis had with his friend Alan Fortas and Andress: “‘Yeah, but E (Elvis),’ Alan Fortas kidded him, ‘she only had eyes for you.'”.

Priscilla herself also pushed Elvis to tell her more about what was going on during the film shoot, when she would typically stay back at home in Memphis while herfilmed in California: “‘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.'”.

But Elvis had one hard and fast rule that he never knowingly broke with his liasons, despite it being somewhat hypocritical.

Ursula Andress in 1956

Ursula Andress in 1956 (Image: GETTY)

According to the records, Elvis responded to Fortas’ jokes about flirting with Ursula: “No way, son, not with John Derek lurking all over the place. I’d be godd*mned if I’d start a conversation with her and see his possessive eyes glaring at me.

“You know he gave her a car, and on the steering wheel it said, ‘Baby, you’re indispensable.’ Head over heels in love with her. Never saw anything like it.”

West noted: “Elvis told us never to leave him alone with her. It’s because he had a thing: he never went for married women.”

However, in this particular case there was something more to the King’s skittishness, something he never admitted about any other woman,

Elvis and Ursula Andress on set in Fun in Acapulco

Elvis and Ursula Andress on set in Fun in Acapulco (Image: GETTY)

Elvis Presley co-star Ursula Andress in 2017

Elvis Presley co-star Ursula Andress in 2017 (Image: (Image: GETTY))

Throughout his life, Elvis generally preferred girls who were sweet and modest, apart from the very obvious exception of the explosive Ann Margret, who came the closest to taking him away from Priscilla.

Not only that, it turned out that he was also physically intimidated even though he was one of the most desired men in the history of music and film, confessing: “Goddamn, she was a big woman. Body like a man, no hips, and shoulders broader than mine. I was embarrassed to take my goddamn shirt off next to her.”

West confirmed Andress’ hopes were dashed: “Nothing ever happened, but they worked together well and had a great time.”

Meanwhile, Ursula’s own marriage was soon on the rocks…

Ursula Andress and Harry Hamlin

Ursula Andress and Harry Hamlin (Image: (Image: GETTY))

The year following Fun In Acapulco, her husband kicked her out of their LA home amid rumours of an alleged affair with actor Ron Ely. From there, Ursula had high-profile relationships with actors John Richardson and Marcello Mastroianni.

She officially traded Derek for Jean-Paul Belmondo in 1965, and their divorce was settled in 1966.

Ursula stayed with Belmondo until 1972, then shifted her affections to Italian actor Fabio Testi in 1973, followed by US heartthrob Harry Hamlin, 15 years her junior, in 1979.

In the mid-80s, her string of romances included Julio Iglesias, before starting a five-year relationship with Fausto Fagone, who was 30 years younger. Since this ended in 1991, Ursula hasn’t publicly been linked to anyone else.


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