In 1956, Elvis made his television debut with six appearances on "Stage Show," two appearances on "The Milton Berle Show," appearances on "The Steve Allen Show," and two appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show." The third time America saw Elvis on Ed Sullivan in January of 1957, Ed Sullivan surprised Elvis by telling him on camera that his show had never had a better experience with a name act, and said “I wanted to say to Elvis and the country that this is a real decent, fine boy.” It was this very same appearance by Elvis on Ed Sullivan that he was shown on camera from the waist up only, one of early television history’s most memorable moments.
Starting with Elvis’ first movie, “Love Me Tender,” Elvis starred in 31 feature films as an actor and two theatrically released concert documentary films, all of which enjoyed financial success. For a number of years he was one of Hollywood’s top box office draws and one of its highest-paid actors. Elvis’ first movie was followed by his two most critically acclaimed films, "Jailhouse Rock" (1957) and "King Creole" (1958), which have become classics of their era.
Elvis Presley’s three network television specials - "Elvis" (1968), "Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii, via Satellite" (1973), and "Elvis in Concert" (1977) - stand among the most highly rated specials of their time. His 1968 special, "Elvis," is one of the most critically acclaimed music specials of all time. The 1973 Elvis TV special, "Elvis - Aloha from Hawaii, via Satellite," was seen in 40 countries by 1 billion to 1.5 billion people and made television history. It was seen on television in more American homes than man’s first walk on the moon.