Debra was already an established Hollywood star at 22, with 19 films under her belt. That same year she also starred opposite Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner in Cecil B DeMille’s Biblical epic The Ten Commandments.
Unusually, there was no on-screen kiss in Love Me Tender but a smitten Elvis made sure there was a very passionate, lip-locked embrace in the promotional images. He “reportedly flirted with Paget almost from day one and followed her around the set like a lovesick puppy.”
Debra later recalled in 1997: “I was very shy, very quiet and very immature for my age. I was in my very early 20’s, but I was emotionally more like a 16-year-old. Elvis and I just sort of came together like a couple of children, really.”
She took him home to meet her parents, who he charmed with his manners, leaving the room once to go and get Mrs Paget a chair: “From the time he first came to the house, my folks considered Elvis a member of the Paget clan – which I believe, he reciprocated. I had the feeling that our closely-knit family life resembled his own.”