In December 1976, Elvis Presley took the stage in Las Vegas for the final time. The King was noticeably overweight and bloated. His hair was dyed jet black, a stark contrast to his white sequined jumpsuit. He ran through a series of hits, but appeared nearly immobile, standing statically at the front of the stage, only occasionally giving a half-hearted sway or a leg jiggle.
His heart didn’t appear to be in it. Elvis was simply going through the motions.
This unplanned farewell capped a troubling few years as the once-vibrant performer deteriorated before the public’s eyes.
A few months earlier, Elvis, so weak and overweight that he wasn’t able to walk from his dressing room to the theater’s elevator and often required a chair on stage, had to cancel several shows. At other performances, he rambled between songs, often about his love of karate or his 1973 divorce from his wife of…