Elvis Presley's Chaotic House Stay

Russ Tamblyn reveals surprising Elvis Presley anecdote in memoir.

by Nouman Rasool
Elvis Presley's Chaotic House Stay
© Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Veteran actor Russ Tamblyn, whose film credits include "West Side Story" and "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers," has described a wild episode with Elvis Presley in his just-published memoir, "Dancing on the Edge." The book recalls a visit during which Presley, in scenes that bordered on the incredible, more than turned Tamblyn's Malibu home inside out.

In his memoir, Tamblyn tells how he first met Presley while the latter was preparing for his now iconic role in the 1957 film "Jailhouse Rock." Offering his house as a peaceful sanctuary while he was away filming, Tamblyn wasn't aware of what kind of havoc this man and his big entourage could do.

On his way back, he found the house in a mess: peanut butter and banana sandwiches all over, even between bedsheets and in drawers. The kitchen had been dealt with likewise, and over two dozen glasses were broken; two only stayed intact.

In regard to Tamblyn, he explained the extent of destruction in such a way that the cleaning up actually took more than a broom but rather raking up the debris to manage the larger portions of the debris. Though it was a mess, Presley came through to fess up to the chaos and deeply apologize by compensating the damages through his manager, Colonel Tom Parker.

The payment reportedly greatly helped Tamblyn from being evicted in winning over the owner of the property.

Memoir Unveils Legacy

In addition to the personal anecdotes, Tamblyn points to his influence on Presley's dance moves in "Jailhouse Rock," right down to giving tips for some of those that would become part of the legend's copyrighted styles.

The book reads like a guide, not only following Tamblyn's long career and involvement with such stars as Elizabeth Taylor and Neil Young but also to his continued inner travels towards a more purposeful life—from Hollywood to a fine artist in Topanga Canyon.

"Dancing on the Edge" peels back the curtain of Tamblyn's A-list life but serves more as an amazing primer for his quest to be one of connectedness and authenticity. He started writing the memoir over twenty years ago, after receiving a Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Arizona.

He based the first draft of the biography on that by Dr. David Soren. In his final story, edited by his daughter, author Amber Tamblyn, this updated point of view—which mirrors the present, offering this modern voice—steps in time to dance with his incredible stories.

It is nowhere more in evidence than in this candid, never-before-revealed memoir, promising now for the first time to combine that Hollywood glamour with self-reflection, capturing something of the silver screen sheen that was part of one of the most enduring careers ever to grace Tinseltown.

Elvis Presley