This week is exciting for many fans of pop culture. For those who love “Star Trek,” the gathering in Las Vegas is all about the shows, the stars, and the people who love them. Many of the biggest names in Trek will be on hand to celebrate the 55th anniversary of “The Original Series.” Among them will be George Takei, Jeri Ryan, and “Captain Kirk” — William Shatner. Fans from all over the world will gather to discuss their favorite franchise.
Meanwhile, in Tennessee, the City of Memphis will host its own crush of devoted and loyal folks. In Memphis, this week is known as “Elvis Week,” and fans of the late singer and actor, will roll into town to honor the memory of “The King” — Elvis Presley. His home, Graceland, will host concerts, shows, and tours dedicated to the legacy of Elvis.
Trek Actors who worked with Elvis
Elvis was busy in Hollywood while Trek was on the air, releasing “Spinout” and two other films in 1966. Many actors appeared in both Elvis films and on “Star Trek,” including William Campbell (who played Trelane and Koloth), Yvonne Craig (who played Green Orion Slave Girl Marta), and Angelique Pettyjohn (Shahna from “The Gamesters Of Triskelion.”) Check out this IMDB list for more actors who acted with Elvis and on “Star Trek.”
Though Elvis never appeared on “Star Trek,” he was a massive fan of the show. According to actress Celeste Yarnall, “Elvis was a ‘Star Trek’ fan — he even had a horse named ‘Star Trek.’”
Yarnall appeared with Elvis in the film “Live A Little, Love A Little” and “The Apple” for Trek. Yarnall, who died in 2018, told The Mirror that Elvis was excited to work with her because of her role on Trek.
“First day on set, Elvis gave me the biggest hug, and he said, ‘I just couldn’t wait to meet you. I knew you were coming. And I know you from Star Trek.’
The Ticonderoga Connection
Most “Star Trek” fans know the “Star Trek Original Series Set Tour” in Ticonderoga, New York. This is the home to a recreation of the Enterprise set from the 1960s — and it is officially licensed by CBS. Fans can visit the engine room, transporter, the bridge and more. Shatner makes appearances at the set to give special set tours to fans, and Takei will be there this September.
It turns out that the man behind the set is an active Elvis performer named James Cawley. When not running his Enterprise set tour, fans can catch Cawley singing and recreating the moves of Elvis. Cawley also appeared in the fan-made series “Star Trek: Phase II.” He plays Captain Kirk.
Angelique Pettyjohn and Elvis
She’s famous among Trek fans for her green hair and silver bikini. Pettyjohn appeared at Trek conventions for years, performing her dance moves from “The Gamesters Of Triskelion.” She’s even ranked as one of Kirk’s “hottest girlfriends.”
According to author John L. Flynn, the fans “went wild” when Pettyjohn performed at the conventions. Flynn appeared on “The Inglorious Treksperts” podcast to discuss Pettyjohn and his book, “The Sci-Fi Siren Who Dared Love Elvis and Other Stars.”
Flynn says that Pettyjohn met Elvis in Las Vegas, where she was working as a showgirl and dancer. Elvis was preparing to film “Blue Hawaii” in 1961, and his friends invited Pettyjohn and some other showgirls to an all-night party.
“Elvis took one look at her — and that was it,” said Flynn while on with the Treksperts show. “They spent the entire night together. Elvis taught her that love was the thing that was missing from her life.”
Flynn says that Pettyjohn and Elvis spent the night together, and she later gave birth to a son, who she gave up for adoption. He grew up and changed his name to Elvis Aaron Presley, Jr., and works as an Elvis impersonator.
Shatner and Elvis
Shatner never appeared with Elvis on stage or in the movies. Still, he did cover Elvis’ “Blue Christmas” with Brad Paisley for his album Shatnerclaus a few years back. And Shatner does note Elvis’ birthday on Twitter.
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