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April 22, 2016  -  New York Daily News  /  Elvis Express Radio
Elvis Express Radio News
KRIS KRISTOFFERSON KILLED ELVIS .... At least that's how The King's former confidante Jerry Schilling tells it.

Schilling, a friend of Presley's who executive produced the new film
"Elvis & Nixon," says that getting into some kind of treatment program might have brought Presley back from
the abyss before his 1977 death. But missing out on the lead role of a mediocre 1976 movie was the beginning of the end for Presley.

"I think that would have made a difference, but I think the major problem was creative disappointment," Schilling told us at the Tribeca Film Festival. "He wanted to do 'A Star is
Born.' Barbra Streisand offered it to him. I think him not being able to work…."

Shilling says that deal fell apart for a variety of reasons, one being Presley's controversial manager Colonel Parker.

"I think it was the industry, a combination," he said. "As most things, it was money driven. Why have him costar for half as much money? Not a soundtrack album for the record
company. You must understand I've been a manager most of my life. You can do the normal things, but you must let an artist stretch or you'll lose them."

Kris Kristofferson wound up getting the role opposite Streisand in the Frank Piersen film that tells the story of a washed-up rocker who falls in love with an up-and-coming singer
whose career skyrockets far past his own, thus compounding his insecurities.

Schilling struggles to explain just how it feels to watch Presley's life — and his own — play out on the big screen.

"The whole thing is weird," he said. "How weird do you think it is for me to see my life on the screen? It's pretty weird."

Schilling remains in touch with Presley's daughter Lisa Marie and his wife Priscilla.

"Priscilla's like my best friend," he said.