While she was at the peak of her beauty, Debra Paget captured the emotions of thousands of millions of individuals in the United States as the lead character in Elvis Presley’s first feature film, “Love Me Tender.”

The illustrious movie director Cecil B. DeMille once stated that the talented actress had been “touched by the hand of God,”

It appears that even the “King of Rock and Roll” had a sick obsession with her…

Wikipedia Commons

August 19, 1933, finds Debra Page being introduced to the world in Denver, Colorado. Her birth name was Dabralee Griffin, but as she became more successful in the film industry, she changed her stage name.


Debra was born into a family that works in the movie industry, and her parents moved the family to Los Angeles in the 1930s so that they could all be closer to the growth of the film industry in Hollywood. (Tala Loring and Lisa Gaye, both of Debra’s sisters, also had successful careers in the television and film industries.)

Debra, who had the ambition of being a dancer when she was a kid, has referred to herself as a “post-depression baby.” She came into the world amid a serious and long economic depression. Even though her parents were poor, Debra always held the greatest respect for her parents.

“When I looked back, we had so much love in our home,” Debra said when interviewed by Dale Evans Rogers.

“The most stunning legs in the world”

When Debra was 11 years old, her mother insisted that she sign up for classes at the Hollywood Professional School.

The brilliant little girl, who was only eight years old when she won her first professional job, never had a moment of self-doubt. She then went on to star in a performance of Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor” not soon after that.

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Her career in feature films began when she was just 14 years old, and she got her big break in 1950 when she was cast in the movie Broken Arrow. Sonseeahray (also called “Morningstar”) was the name of the Native American maiden that Debra Paget portrayed in a movie featuring James Stewart.

Debra’s “exotic” looks got her several roles in adventure dramas, and she soon gained a following as the only starlet who had never been kissed. That reputation was based on the fact that she had never had a romantic kiss.

She was given the title “The most beautiful legs in the world” in the 1950s when the National Association of Hosiery Manufactures polled 15,000 people working in the industry to decide who had the most beautiful legs. According to The Baltimore Sun, the election was won by a massive margin by the very religious Debra.

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The exclusive contract that Debra had signed with 20th Century Fox was made when she was just 14 years old. Nevertheless, Debra’s most financially successful film was The Ten Commandments, which she made when she agreed with Paramount Pictures.

In the massive and stunning biblical film directed by Cecil B. DeMille, Debra played the role of Lilia, the water girl. Because she had blue eyes, Debra had to wear brown contact lenses, which was difficult for her.

“If it hadn’t been for the lenses, I wouldn’t have gotten the part. “They were awful to work in because the klieg lights heated them,” she said.

Her life was forever altered after watching the movie, which went on to win seven Academy Awards.

“It was probably the highlight of my career, ” Debra said.

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Meeting Elvis

Debra Paget was a 22-year-old established Hollywood star when she stepped onto the set of “Love Me Tender. Back then, she was probably the most beautiful actress of the Hollywood Golden Age. That is saying a lot.

She and Elvis Presley first met months earlier when both appeared on the Milton Berle Show on June 5, 1956. It was the moment when Elvis shocked conservative America by gyrating his famous, or infamous, pelvis during his now-iconic rendition of Hound Dog.

“Although I usually don’t form an opinion of a person until I have met him,” she explained. “Frankly, I looked forward to my first meeting with Elvis Presley with mixed emotions. I’d heard and read a lot about this new young singing sensation from Tennessee—and most of it was not complimentary.”



During their first and memorable meeting, the young singer surprised Debra in various ways. The fact that Debra is a Christian who has had a spiritual awakening may lead you to believe that she has a negative view of the King.

Mr. Berle took Debra’s hand firmly and said, “I’m glad to meet you, Miss Paget.” He presented Debra to the emerging star, 21 years old.

After that, Elvis took his leave, but not before kissing her mother’s hand with  “equal vigor,” He then walked away for a few minutes before returning with a chair for her.

“We were together for only a couple of hours, but sometimes you can learn more about a person in a short time than in weeks of constantly seeing one another. I felt I did. From the beginning, Elvis impressed me as a pleasant, sincere, obliging young man,” Debra recalled.

The proposal

A few months later, Debra had a leading role with Elvis in the movie Love Me Tender, which was the singer’s debut film. The singer reportedly developed an unhealthy fixation on his co-star, as revealed by the Daily Express. He was so sure that Debra was “the most beautiful girl he had ever seen”  that he went to her town to meet her parents.

“From the time he first came to the house, my folks have considered Elvis a member of the Paget clan—a feeling which, I believe, he reciprocated,” Debra explained.

At least in the eyes of the young actress, the relationship between Debra and Elvis was more focused on the prospect of starting a family than it was on a whirlwind romance.

“I was very shy, quiet, and immature for my age. I was in my very early 20s, but I was emotionally more like a 16-year-old. Elvis and I just came together like a couple of children.

A person kissing a person Description automatically generated with medium confidence Rock and roll singer Elvis Presley kisses Debra Paget in a still from ‘Love Me Tender’ in Los Angeles in 1956. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Elvis, on the other hand, seems to have had a distinct point of view.

“Following the film, he did ask me to marry him, but my parents objected to my getting married. “I cared about Elvis, but being one not to disobey my parents, that did not take place,” Debra shared.

In the end, Debra refused Elvis since she had already fallen in love with Howard Hughes, a famous film producer, and a billionaire. Elvis was hoping that she’d pick him.

Debra would later wed the actor and singer David Street, but she never kept quiet about her love for Elvis. And Elvis didn’t forget Debra either; many people believe she was the girl who inspired Elvis’ fixation with the ‘Debra Paget look.’ For instance, it was said that after learning about Debra, Priscilla Beaulieu changed her hairstyle and makeup when she was young.

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Debra has been away from the entertainment business since 1964; she will turn 89 this year. Sadly, there is not much information on her life now; Debra seems to live a quiet and private life away from the limelight.

Elvis and Joan Blackman

It is interesting to note that Elvis’s marriage proposal to Debra in the late 1950s was not the only time he wanted to marry his co-star. After filming Blue Hawaii with Joan Blackman in 1961, he wanted to marry her, even though he was dating Priscilla.

A person and person posing for a picture Description automatically generated with medium confidenceWikipedia Commons / CBS Television

Joan Blackman, who had a strong resemblance to Priscilla, has shared the truth about what took place behind the scenes of the movie Blue Hawaii.

“When we first set eyes on each other (in 1957), there was a spark, a magic in the air… There was just that special something between us, sometimes so warm and wonderful you could almost reach out and touch it,” she told the Midnight Globe newspaper in 1977.

In the sensational interview, Joan Blackman said that Elvis “really wanted” her as his wife and repeatedly begged her to appear in his movies, but she turned him down each time.

“I wanted parts because of my ability, not because I was dating Elvis,” she stated.

A person and person posing for a picture on a beach Description automatically generated with medium confidence Elvis Presley and Joan Blackman on the set of Blue Hawaii (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)

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