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Elvis and the Nun Reverend Mother Dolores Hart
Reverend Mother Dolores Hart
What is the connection between Elvis and this woman of God? Well, she was not always known as Sister Hart. Actually, she was Dolores Hart, actress in a previous life.
Dolores was born on October 20, 1938. She is the niece of the great tenor Mario Lanza. She got her first taste of Hollywood as a nine year old in Forever Amber in 1947.
She had her first role as an adult in 1957's Loving You with Elvis. This was Elvis's second movie and in the film he had a romantic kiss with the very lovely Dolores. It would be both Elvis and Dolores's first screen kiss.
Dolores would continue to make films that would include some of the premiere actors of the day such as Linda Darnell, Stephen Boyd, Robert Wagner, Cornell Wilde, Montgomery Clift and George Hamilton with whom she would receive top billing.
She made one more film with Elvis in 1958, King Creole. She really did like Elvis and the two shared some good times together. There was that ugly rumor that Elvis got her pregnant and Elvis's agent, Colonel Tom Parker enticed her to have an abortion. She laughs about that telling how platonic her relationship was with the King.
Dolores had a rare beauty comparable to the late Grace Kelly. The picture to the right is Dolores and the one just below is Kelly. She had that same poise, demeanor and warm smile that Grace gifted all of us with in her short career. As Grace left her movie career early for the love of another, so did Dolores Hart. She left for a new life with her Lord as a Sister in the Order of the Benedictine Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Connecticut in 1963.
At the time she became a nun she was engaged to Don Robinson. He never married and remained a close friend coming to visit her every year. She tells of the last time he came to see her and she teared up as he left. She said she knew he was going to die before she could see him again and so he did in 2011 at age 78.
Ironically, she would star as a nun in the film Francis of Assisi in 1961 with Bradford Dillman.
Following the Assisi film, Dolores would make four more films in Hollywood; the last being Come Fly With Me in 1963. She had been visiting the Abbey for a couple of years to rest after vigorous work schedules and once she finished her final picture she knew it was time to leave. She realized that the life she was living was not what she truly needed to fulfill her.
Reverend Mother Dolores Hart has the distinction of being the only nun to be an Oscar voting member. This year, 2012, she walked the red carpet as star of the Academy Award nominated documentary film, God is the Bigger Elvis. This, of course, is the true life story of her young career and time spent with Elvis and her total reversal from the glamorous Hollywood life to that of a nun.
Reverend Mother Dolores Hart still has many friends in Hollywood who often visit her in Connecticut. She did not win the Oscar........