elvis pres­ley

Riverbank News - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Tony Rizzo

Au­gust 16 marks the 41st an­niver­sary of the pass­ing of “The King of Rock & Roll,” Elvis Pres­ley. I re­mem­ber early ra­dio re­ports say­ing Elvis was suf­fer­ing from colon cancer, but they were quickly elim­i­nated from fu­ture cov­er­age, which might ex­plain the laun­dry list of drugs, as later re­ported, he used in re­liev­ing the pain of his wors­en­ing colon prob­lems. He re­port­edly spent the last night of his life in his room, with daugh­ter, Lisa Marie, then took a large amount of drugs and went into his bath­room to die. He was just 42.

Now, more than 40 years later, his wife, Priscilla Pres­ley, has re­vealed in in­ter­views, in­clud­ing in the HBO doc­u­men­tary, “Elvis Pres­ley: The Searcher,” that she be­lieves he planned his demise. Two years af­ter the death of his long­time friend and road man­ager, Joe Es­pos­ito, new de­tails sur­faced. Al­legedly, when Elvis died, his long­time man­ager, Colonel Tom Parker, sent Es­posi- to to Grace­land to clean up all re­main­ing drug bot­tles and in­structed him to take away a sui­cide note writ­ten by Elvis, which emerged last De­cem­ber. It said, “I’m sick and tired of my life, I need a long rest.” Elvis’ step­brother, Rick Stan­ley, pub­licly ad­mit­ted: “The hand­writ­ten note ap­pears to be gen­uine to me. It’s a clear in­di­ca­tion sui­cide was on his mind.”

If you wait long enough, when the peo­ple who sup­press the truth pass on, the truth comes out, as it has with Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe and JFK’s deaths. The Colonel pre­ferred to have us be­lieve Elvis was a drug ad­dict rather than lose the in­surance money for the gigs he couldn’t play. From the times I met Elvis, I don’t be­lieve he was sick of his life, but could no longer endure the pain and suf­fer­ing from chronic con­sti­pa­tion.

*** Win­ning an Oscar for “Three Bill­boards” has made Sam Rock­well as hot as a bon­fire. In ad­di­tion to the up­com­ing “Blaze,” for ac­tor/ direc­tor Ethan Hawke, with Steve Zahn (out Sept. 7), and “Back­seat,” with Chris­tian Bale, Amy Adams and Steve Carell (Dec. 14), he also has “The Best of En­e­mies,” with Taraji P. Henson; “Blue Iguana,” with Ben Schwartz; an­i­mated com­edy “The One and Only Ivan,” with He­len Mir­ren, An­gelina Jolie, Bryan Cranston and Danny De­vito; and “Jojo Rab­bit,” with Scar­lett Jo­hans­son, await­ing re­lease dates. Rock­well also will play Bob Fosse, who won an Oscar, a Tony and an Emmy in the same year (for “Cabaret,” “Pip­pin” and “Liza With a Z”) to Michelle Wil­liams’ Gwen Ver­don -- Lola in “Damn Yan­kees” (1958) and “Co­coon” 1985 -- in an as-yet-un­ti­tled eight episode FX lim­ited se­ries pro­duced by Lin-Manuel Mi­randa. Fosse wrote and di­rected his au­to­bi­og­ra­phy, “All That Jazz” (1979), and as Robin Wil­liams ref­er­enced in “The Bird­cage,” “Fosse, Fosse, Fosse!”

Photo credit: HBO

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