Elvis Presley's manager Colonel Tom Parker held the singer back from becoming a good actor, according to songwriter Mike Stoller.
Stoller, who with his partner Jerry Lieber wrote more than 20 songs recording by Presley, including Hound Dog and Jailhouse Rock, said the singer longed to be a serious actor but Parker did nothing to help him.
“Unfortunately the Colonel had the golden goose and he wanted him to keep cranking it out,” said Stoller. “Elvis was merely a vehicle for the Colonel’s greed.”
Presley starred in 31 films between 1956 and 1969. He was 42 when he died on August 16 1977 of drug abuse and heart disease.
Stoller, 70, made his comments to Presley fans who attended a screening of Jailhouse Rock in Memphis to begin a weeklong observance of the 26th anniversary of the rock star’s death.
The highlight will be a candlelight procession past Presley’s grave in a garden at Graceland this weekend.