Memories of Elvis

Norman Rossington, in hat, with John Lennon and Dudley Moore
Norman Rossington, in hat, with John Lennon and Dudley Moore

by Ray Setterfield

May 21, 1999 — You won’t find his name on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, nor has he figured among the Oscar rolls of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. But Norman Rossington, who died on this day, has a unique claim to thespian fame: he is the only actor to have appeared on film with both Elvis Presley and the Beatles.

He played the Beatles' road manager Norm in A Hard Day's Night in 1964, and on the strength of that found a measure of fame in Hollywood, appearing with Presley in one of his admittedly forgettable movies, Double Trouble.

Rossington, born – like the Beatles – in Liverpool, trained with the celebrated Bristol Old Vic theatre company and went on to act with Laurence Olivier's company at Chichester and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

He appeared in more than 40 films including Lawrence of Arabia, The Longest Day, and The Charge of the Light Brigade, but is fondly remembered in England for a string of performances in domestic television comedies and dramas.

Six months before his death from cancer at the age of 70, Rossington was appearing in a musical on the West End stage in London.

In an interview, he remembered Presley during filming as “a quiet man who sat by himself in a corner and who would often borrow my newspaper”.

Published: April 24, 2016

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