Joan May Blackman was born in San Francisco in 1938. she made her television debut in Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans in 1957, and her film debut came 2 years later in Good Day for a Hanging. Joan's most memorable performances were opposite Jerry Lewis in Visit to a Small Planet (1960), and opposite the king himself in one of his most successful films: Blue Hawaii (1961).
in Blue Hawaii, Blackman plays Maile Rose, Elvis' half French, half Hawaiian, travel agent girlfriend. sorry to spoil the plot, but the film ends in a wedding, the song from which i walked down the isle to when my husband and i were married at Graceland :)
Joan was the second and last woman to play a leading role in more than one Elvis film (the first was Dolores Hart). her second film with Elvis, only a year later, was Kid Galahad, a remake of the 1937 Humphrey Bogart picture of the same name. in this one, Elvis plays a reluctant boxing champion, accompanied by his loyal trainer, played by a young, and strangely handsome (!) Charles Bronson.
he fights a bunch in this one,
but he still gets the girl,
and he still rocks out :)
life after Elvis included numerous television and film performances, including 1985 rock-opera Return to Waterloo. she has reportedly written a book about her friendship with Elvis, but i haven't been able to find it.
Joan was twice married in her younger years. marriage number one (1968-1970) was to Rockne Tarkington, the first black actor to appear in a recurring role in a television series ("Daktari" (1966)), with whom she had two children. marriage number two (1959-1961) was to actor Joby Baker, who also appeared in an Elvis film (Girl Happy), and later became an artist of note.