It’s been over 60 years since Ursula Andress strolled out of the sea in 1962’s Dr No, which is back on our TV screens this Bank Holiday, but she remains one of Hollywood‘s ultimate sex symbols.
Ursula made it very clear exactly she wanted from him off-screen and The King had a reputation for hip-thrusting his way through many of his leading ladies.
Back at home, girlfriend Priscilla was extremely worried about him being around someone she admitted was a « sex goddess » when Elvis refused to fully physically consummate his relationship with her.
In the movie, Elvis plays a former high-wire acrobat who suffers from vertigo following a traumatic accident but extraordinarily, the notorious lady-killer star suffered from a sudden fear of his own when he had to take his clothes off with Ursula.
Ursula later described how surprised and overwhelmed she was when she first met The King.
She said: « 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: « They were very close. She went after him. She wanted him bad. »
Elvis had apparently replied to Fortas’ teasing over a flirtation with Ursula: « No way, son, not with John Derek lurking all over the place. I’d be goddamned 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. »
The King famously had a rule he established for himself and the Memphis Mafia from the beginning.
West added: « Elvis told us never to leave him alone with her. It’s because he had a thing: he never went for married women. »
But that wasn’t all, in this case. Rather shockingly, it was Ursula herself who put Elvis off.
It turned out Ursula also made The King feel very self-conscious. Not only did he prefer rather more sweet and deferential girls like Anita Wood and then Priscilla, but he was also intimidated by the Swiss glamazon’s body.
He said: « 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. »
As well as losing her chance with Elvis, the year after Fun In Acapulco, Ursula’s husband threw her out of their LA home over reports of an alleged affair with actor Ron Ely.