In 1956, Elvis Presley made his television debut with six appearances on "Stage Show," two appearances on "The Milton Berle Show," once on the "The Steve Allen Show," in which he sang one of his newly recorded songs (Hound Dog) and performed in a comedy sketch before making two appearances on Allen’s competitor "The Ed Sullivan Show." The third time America saw Elvis on Ed Sullivan’s variety show was in January of the following year. Sullivan surprised Elvis by telling him on camera that his tv 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. Visit Television Appearances and Specials for a list of each TV show and the date Elvis appeared on it.
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. The first Elvis film, released in 1956, 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.