In 1977 Burt was the hottest movie star in the world-if he had been there, surely one photo would have cropped up in the last 31 years- I have never seen one.
The rumor for years was that he sneaked in inside a bread truck-untrue.
If you can find the link to the film that is suppose to show him there please post it. If it is indeed him at Graceland the day of the funeral-many will admit they were wrong including me.
Still wanna argue about Burt being there?;)
Royal Funeral For King Of Rock
Jonathan Steele guardian.co.uk, Friday August 19 1977 16.14 BST Article historyFlags flew at half-mast yesterday in Tennessee and Mississippi, the state he adopted and the state where he was born, as thousands of tearful Elvis fans gathered outside his mansion and the cemetery while he was buried. An astonishing array of wreaths included a $200 design of a hound dog, sent by an anonymous mourner.
Police estimated that almost 100,000 people made the pilgrimage past his mansion on Wednesday. At the funeral yesterday the crowds were slightly smaller, deterred perhaps by the crush of traffic, the scores of people who fainted from the pushing and the heat, and by the incident at dawn when a teenager drove a careering car into a group of fans and killed two. Police charged Treatise Wheeler, aged 18, with second degree murder and drunken driving. Three girls who were in the car with him were also held.
The car was driven down Elvis Presley Boulevard at about 3:30 a.m. past several people waiting outside the mansion. It doubled back and hit some of them. Two girls were killed and a third seriously injured.
In an effort to keep down the crowds, Elvis Presley's family closed the cemetery to all visitors from mid-morning yesterday. Police, sheriff's deputies, and National Guardsman were on hand to keep back excited fans, many of whom had slept in their cars. Several helicopters flew low over the cemetery.
Memphis was abuzz with gossip about the personalities who had descended on the town. Local newspapers carried stories about world reaction to Elvis Presley's death, including a photograph of the Guardian front page. Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late president, came to see Elvis lying in his open copper coffin on Wednesday. Burt Reynolds, Ann-Margaret, John Wayne and Roger Smith attended the private funeral service.
Elvis's last resting place was to be the family vault with space for six. A spokesman for the Forest Hills Cemetery, which is about three miles from Graceland Mansion said there was a possibility that Elvis's mother's coffin might be moved in to the crypt. Her grave at the moment is on the grass outside a few hundred yards away.
The pallbearers at the funeral included Elvis's road manager, Joe Esposito: his personal physician, Dr George Nichopoulof, and his record producer, Felton Jarvis, from Nashville. Rex Humbard, an evangelist from Akron, Ohio, who was a secret visitor to the mansion, conducted the service.
Ugh. I have to be honest with you. I've been putting this one off for weeks. There is WAY too much information. I hope it isn't nearly as boring to read, as it was to trudge through. Happy reading.
June 2000 - Sue Wilden sends this photograph of the Market Square Area, soon to be a hole in the ground in downtown Indianapolis. This is the site of Elvis' last concert. Thanks, SUE!
Graceland mansion is located at 3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard, in Memphis Tennessee. Convenient. Imagine buying a home on a street that was named after you.
Elvis stayed up all night on the 16th. He had entertained friends, played the piano and sang, and even played racquetball in the early morning, just before, um, retiring around 8am. His fiancée, Ginger Alden, was staying with him, but sleeping in a different room. She was the last person to see him alive.
Most stories conclude that Elvis was sitting on the toilet, nude, and reading. He collapsed. By the time Ginger woke up, Elvis had probably been dead for two or three hours. She found him at 2:00pm. The medical examiner's report says that he was found in the dressing room.
Some newspapers said that he was wearing light blue pajamas. Hmm. I prefer to believe the naked story. From the outside of the house, these rooms are on the second floor corner.
There was also a report that the bathroom had been cleaned up, and someone cleaned the adjacent sitting room, and that vomit had been cleaned from the shag carpet in the bathroom. I prefer to believe this too.
Findadeath.com friend Mark sends us this map of the upstairs level of Graceland. Thanks, Mark!
At 2:33, a Memphis Fire Department ambulance from Engine House 29 responded to the call, resuscitation was attempted, and by 2:56, Elvis was taken to the emergency room of Baptist Memorial Hospital. He was officially pronounced dead there at 3:30pm. The announcement was made to the public at 4pm. After the announcement was made, 150 fans gathered outside the hospital waiting for whatever.
Elvis Presley was 42 years old.
Police on the scene said that there was no indication of foul play. His family agreed to an autopsy, and it was performed at Baptist Memorial Hospital. Dr. Jerry Francisco, the medical examiner that signed the death certificate, announced that the preliminary autopsy findings discovered cardiac arrhythmia, or an irregular and ineffective heart beat. Elvis died of natural causes, heart. He also said that, "there was no indication of any drug abuse of any kind." Riiiiight. Supposedly, the contents of Elvis' stomach and throat had been flushed away by mistake in the Emergency Room of Baptist Memorial Hospital. I prefer to believe this too.
According to Dr. Eric Muirhead, a pathologist who helped perform the autopsy, his body contained a total of 14 drugs, including 10 times the normal dosage of codeine and toxic levels of methaqualone (ludes). This information came out later.
In the autopsy report, the biggest (well, most interesting) revelation (to me) was that Elvis was uncircumcised. See it here. SIKE. Isn't that interesting? They also noted that there was, "Congestion to forehead and upper torso," and "HCUD Colon Problem," whatever that means. Too many peanut butter and bacon sandwiches, or whatever crap that was that he ate.
UPDATE – Thanks to brand new Findadeath.com friend Scott Williams, the San Francisco Paramedic, for the following info. "That "HCUD" thing on the autopsy report is actually "H.C.V.D." for "hypertensive cardio-vascular disease". It notes generalized disease of the cardio-vascular system caused by the effects of years of high blood pressure. It does not mean he's had a heart attack, but would be at risk for one, as well as a stroke. Thanks, Scott!
See his autopsy report, page one and two
Meanwhile, the world-wide hysteria began. Thousands of people converged on Graceland. 300 National Guardsmen were called in to maintain order. The mayor of Memphis announced that flags on all city buildings would be flown at half-staff until the funeral.
Elvis' body was removed from the Baptist Memorial, and taken to the Memphis Funeral Home, where he was embalmed. Here are the signs in front of the place, and from what I've been told, he was embalmed back here. No doubt, Elvis' dad Vernon entered through these doors, carrying Elvis' last ensemble. He was dressed in a white suit, white tie and a blue shirt. He had on a gold TCB (Taking Care of Business) lightening bolt ring, his new favorite saying and logo. He even put it on the tail fin of his airplane. The King was placed in a 900-pound steel-lined copper coffin, flown in from Oklahoma. According to our friend Jamie Farley, the casket was a seamless copper deposit that was flown in on a private plane because the one at the funeral home was not large enough to house Elvis.
Another friend of Findadeath.com (who asked to remain anonymous, but did say he was a former employee of Memphis disc jockey Sam Phillips) knew a man that worked in the funeral home. I quote, "I asked the guy if he thought Elvis was really dead. He told me, "Absolutely. I shoved the cotton balls up his *** when he was embalmed. (NO LIE.)"
February 2002 - Findadeath.com friend KW sends in this:
"Another "Was Elvis dead when you saw him?" story. My younger brother was a student volunteer campus policemen/security geek at Vanderbilt University in Nashville around 1985-1989. One of his frequent stops was the Vanderbilt Medical Center where he became chummy with several of the E.R. nurses, one of which was part of the Memphis hospital trauma team when Elvis was first brought in on the day he died. She said that Elvis was in fact "very dead" and had been that way for several hours. In fact, she claims one of the King's teeth were knocked out of his mouth when they tried to put a breathing tube down his throat - rigor mortis had set in for some time. Also, the Vanderbilt police had several codes for things - like code 100 for possible prowler, code 200 for a "mad dog", and code 300 for Elvis sighting - no lie."
God, I love doing this stuff.
Just before noon on the 17th, Elvis' body driven back to Graceland, and up this driveway for the public viewing and funeral. The first day of Elvis' post death sightings was on the 17th, in the foyer. Over 75,000 lined up outside the gates, in an attempt to see him in the box, and about 30,000 did, including Caroline Kennedy and James Brown. My guess is that the celebs got a private viewing. Call me crazy. The official viewing in the afternoon was scheduled for two hours, but that was extended by an hour and a half. He always could please a crowd. This picture of Elvis in his casket has been floating around for years. Couldn't tell you if it's authentic or not.
Findadeath.com friend Gregg Lee writes in, April 19, 2001: I thoroughly enjoyed the info about the death of Elvis Presley. I did find one problem, however. If this picture were authentic, the funeral directors at the Memphis Funeral Home put him in the casket backwards. I am a funeral director myself, and the first thing I noticed was the discrepancy. When standing in front of a casket, the deceased's head is always to the left and feet to the right. Every casket in the U.S. is made that way. The casket, I assume, originally came from Batesville Casket Co. in Indiana but was at Hahn-Cook Funeral Home in the Oklahoma City/Edmond, OK area. I just thought I'd point this out. I really like your website and will visit often.
Thanks Gregg. I think I recall the picture when it first came out was normal, and over the years, someone decided to flip the negative. That's my thought, anyway. Thanks for writing, and for the nice words.
Meanwhile, at Forest Hill Cemetery, Wilbert McGhee, a worker, prepared a crypt for the King's interment. He opened the bronze door, removed the marble slab, and placed a black curtain over the grey marble crypt. It was 9 feet long and 27 inches wide.
Here's a strange bit of the story that often gets ignored. About 4am on the 18th, funeral day, Alice Marie Hovatar, Juanita Joanne Johnson and Tammy Baiter were just hanging out and chatting with the other 300 or so mourners holding an all night vigil in front of the mansion (as you do). Treatise Wheeler, (yes.) came driving through the area in a 1963 white Ford. He was driving south on Elvis Presley Blvd, but turned off into some lots on the right, (where Elvis Inc. is located now) and he turned around to head back north, here. His tires were burning. I don't think the girls knew what hit them. Literally. Wheeler barreled through the crowd, going about 40 or 50 mph. Officer F. M. McCann, who was standing nearby stated, " I heard the noise of his tires screeching and turned just in time to see his car hit the three bodies, (right here.). One of the bodies flew up in the air about five feet and landed on the windshield. A second was plastered against the front of the car. The third was being dragged under the car. He dragged her about 20 yards." The car kept going, dragging the Baiter girl, but began sputtering from the impact of the bodies and slowed to a halt about a block away. Wheeler jumps out and does a runner, but the cops nabbed him. There were three 16-year-old girls in the car with him. Charming host. Bam. Oops. Cya! Cops said he was staggering, incoherent, and legally drunk. The victims were taken to City of Memphis Hospital. Here's the car just after the accident. The two dead girls (Hovatar and Johnson) were mangled beyond recognition, and their purses and identity papers were scattered on the highway. The really scary thing about this part of it were the Elvis fans that were watching. After the initial excitement calmed, some of them yelled out, "Let's lynch him!"
I wonder where the girls ended up. And whatever happened to the one that lived?
On the morning of the funeral, It took 100 vans about 5 hours to remove the flowers from Graceland, to Forest Hill Cemetery, where Elvis was to be interred. Findadeath.com friend Jamie Farley told me that the CEO of F.T.D., Bud Lipinski, flew to Memphis to handle the flower problem. Interesting. Thanks, Jamie.
Ann-Margret shows up at the Memphis airport for the services. An ***** limo driver, who is supposed to pick Ann up, asks some broad if she was Ann. Broad says "yes," and ***** driver takes her to Graceland. I mean IN Graceland. So Elvis Inc. figured it out and kicked broad out. Lovely Ann-Margret, who has been waiting patiently in the airport for an hour for her limo, finally gets there. Late.
Ann-Margret (cool.), John Denver (really?), and George Hamilton attended the funeral. Rumor had it, that Sammy, Farrah, Burt Reynolds and the Duke were supposed to be there too, but weren't. It began at 2pm. The Governor of Tennessee attended, and the services were officiated by C.W.Bradley of the Woodale Church of Christ, in Memphis. It was supposed to last for a half-hour, but lasted for 2 hours. Yawn.
There was a funeral procession to take Elvis' body to the cemetery. His coffin was taken from the white hearse, and into the mausoleum.
There was a brief service in the chapel of the mausoleum, just inside these doors. 150 friends, family and celebrities attended it. After a couple of short prayers and poems, his casket was wheeled to corridor Z of the mausoleum, and placed in the crypt. One by one, family paid their final respects. Elvis' dad Vernon was the last to kiss the coffin. He placed his hand on it, and had to be helped away. It all ended at exactly 4:30pm.
Refunds are available at the box office.
Elvis remained entombed at Forest Hill for two weeks. Some reports say that Vernon Presley intended for Elvis to be buried there temporarily, until burial permits could be issued for Graceland. Other sources say there was a body-snatching attempt, and Vernon got spooked, had Elvis exhumed - to be reburied at home. Either way, it was done in secret. Since Elvis was removed, the cemetery has maintained the crypt as a shrine, at their own expense. It is still empty, and for sale now. From what the cemetery staff told me, it ain't going cheap. We're talkin over a mil, easy.
Ginger in 2005
Why don't you post a proper source for this stupid claim?
The Guardian journalist, like a lot of journos at the time, made this spurious claim without actually verifying it. "People" said he was there, so reporters took them at their word. The idea that Reynolds was there was debunked years ago. It is nothing more than gossip mag rumour.
Ann-Margret, George Hamilton and Caroline Kennedy (who lied her way in by not admitting she was working as a reporter) were the only celebrities at the funeral.
If you can find any picture or footage of Reynolds there, I'll give you $1000 on the spot. A safe bet, that one.
"Facts" like this have been debated, discussed and either proven or debunked by knowledgeable fans in the Elvis world. This rumour was disproven years ago.
BURT REYNOLDS WAS NOT AT ELVIS PRESLEY'S FUNERAL. END OF STORY!
Meanwhile, read here and learn something:
"Everyone from Sammy Davis Jr. to Farrah Fawcett to Burt Reynolds to John Wayne were rumored to attend, but did not."
The fact of the matter is that Burt Reynolds has gone on record in the past and said HE WAS AT ELVIS' FUNERAL.
Unless you were there and saw all of the celebrities in attendance then you can't say for sure if he was or wasn't. All it is is your assumption that he wasn't. Learn to accept the truth. Besides it's his word against yours and I think his would be more accurate and accountable for than some ol' bitter fan's who got it from a freakin' website. END OF STORY!
has anybody seen this movie by Ginger
Lady Grey (1982)
Interesting. I knew she did daytime TV back in the day but I never knew she did an actual movie where she was the star. I gusss being with Elvis for the short term paid off for her after all.
does it really matter if Bert Reynolds was there??
does not mention Burt Reynolds and he helped Vernon with the arrangements.
If you can provide the link you claim shows him at Graceland the day of the funeral and then you will have proven us wrong. I really want to see that film.
No reporters were inside Graceland when the funeral was going on-and the rumors were rampant about who was there. Many of them (such as this one) were just totally not true.
I read Burts autobiography and I do not recall him mentioning he was at the funeral in 77. I have seen him in many interviews and never heard him say he was there-but have heard him discuss Elvis.
He had a short lived interview show on TNN which at one time was the Nashville Network and he asked old and new country artists questions-I do recall him speaking of Elvis and asking country stars what they thought of him-but no claim that he was at the funeral.