Elvis Presley dated countless women during his life, but only a few of them were stars before he met them. One of these was actress Natalie Wood who was perhaps best known for appearing in Rebel Without a Cause and West Side Story. Naturally, when she began spending time with Elvis, she was enamoured by the hot young singer – but things quickly turned sour.
Elvis was a Southern boy, born and raised, so he was keen to keep his values intact when he began dating.
As a result, that meant when things began to get a little serious with Natalie, he felt obliged to introduce her to his family.
Natalie’s sister, Lana Wood, later wrote and released a book titled « Natalie: A Memoir By Her Sister » after the star died on November 29, 1981. The 43-year-old actress drowned under mysterious circumstances, just four years after Elvis’ death on August 16, 1977.
In this book, Lana detailed some of Natalie’s thoughts about dating Elvis as a young woman – and it wasn’t at all flattering.
Natalie was apparently disturbed by the relationship Elvis and his mother, Gladys Presley, shared. They spent a lot of time together and reportedly gave one another baby names.
Lana wrote: « His mother said something like: ‘Come and sit on Mama’s lap.’ They were very affectionate, and it bothered Natalie. »
When she first visited the Presley household, she was wearing what Elvis biographer Ray Connelly called: « A very flimsy nightgown around the house ».
Gladys apparently lost her temper after seeing this. She yelled at Natalie: « Not in my house! » Soon enough, the hatred was mutual between Natalie and Gladys.
Natalie eventually made a sly attempt to get out of Elvis’ house once things kicked off between her and Gladys.
Lana wrote: « She called and asked our mom to make up a story about why she had to come home. »
Another time, Elvis invited Natalie to go away with him and his family for a week-long getaway. Natalie lasted two days.
Natalie returned home extremely quickly and said Gladys was the reason behind the last-minute turnaround.
Lana wrote: « ‘Gladys has wrecked everything,’ Natalie said, referring to Elvis’ domineering, jealous mother. ‘I don’t have a chance. Get me out of this, and fast.' »
Natalie went on to claim that Gladys was the reason she broke up with Elvis in the first place.
This powerful connection between Elvis and his mother remained long after Natalie and Elvis split up, as well. Priscilla Presley – the woman who would go on to marry the King – said Gladys was Elvis’ one « true love ».
Elvis later referred to Natalie Wood as « Mad Nat »
Lana also added: « There were people that [Natalie] idolised. Elvis was not one of them. »