Happy Birthday Elvis Girl Ann Morell!
A sultry petite raven-haired Texas beauty with a lilting Southern accent, Ann Morell decorated a number of sixties movies including two with Elvis Presley but never made it to the big time due to missed opportunities and her strict moral convictions.
Ann Morell’s screen debut was in the sci-fi film Beyond the Time Barrier (1960), which was filmed in her native Texas, followed by a bit role in the forgettable talking duck comedy Everything’s Ducky (1961). For the next couple of years, Morell worked steadily alternating between decorative roles and ethnic parts due to her dark exotic looks while posing for pin-up and cheesecake photos like every good starlet and contract player did during the sixties. In the Robert Goulet comedy Honeymoon Hotel (1964) she was a newlywed, in John Goldfarb, Please Come Home (1965) she was one of the many starlets draped in veils as a harem girl, and in Red Line 7000 (1965), directed by Howard Hawks, she was the “Girl in the Café” jilted by two potential suitors after sultry French babe Marianna Hill saunters by. In between movies, Morell also kept busy on television in shows such as Burke’s Law and Branded opposite Burt Reynolds. Back on the big screen, Morell snuggled up to Elvis Presley playing one of the many sexy denizens at a dude ranch for models in Tickle Me (1965) and as a curvaceous brunette itching to work as Elvis’ secretary for his helicopter tour business in Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1966). British blonde beauty Suzanna Leigh got the job in the movie while in real life she was nominated for “Star of Tomorrow” at the Hollywood Deb Star Ball in 1967 but lost out to Sivi Aberg. On TV, Ann’s varied roles ranged from a sexy barber on It Takes a Thief and a Latin American revolutionary on Mission: Impossible, to appearing as herself on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In and The Dating Game.
After being cast as a sexy Italian belly dancer in the long forgotten spy spoof The Phynx (1970), Ann Morell finally landed a co-starring movie role albeit in the Grade-Z production Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971) directed by Al Adamson. Sporting some of the shortest mini-skirts ever worn on screen, she played a former biker chick turned hippie who aides buxom Vegas lounge singer Regina Carroll search for her missing sister at a carnival freak show. Ann’s last movie before retiring was as a prostitute during the Depression who befriends Barbara Hershey as Boxcar Bertha (1972) produced by Roger Corman and directed by Martin Scorsese. Unfortunately, most of her scenes were cut and the film did not generate any more roles for her as her life took a new direction as wife and mother.
Read my interview with Ann Morell in my book Glamour Girls of Sixties Hollywood!