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Elvis Presley died in 1977. While the people close to him had worried about his steadily declining health, his death still came as a shock. When reflecting on the last day of Elvis’ life, his cook and maid, Nancy Rooks, took note of some out-of-the-ordinary behavior. She also learned that he had been in a bad mood all day. His fiancée, Ginger Alden, remembered things differently, though.

Elvis Presley had reportedly been in a bad mood before he died

When Rooks began work on Aug. 16, 1977, another staff member informed her that Elvis had had a restless night. He went for a ride on his motorcycle, attempted to rent out a theater, went to a dentist appointment, and, in the early morning, played racquetball before bed. In this conversation, Rooks also learned that Elvis had been in a bad mood all day.

“I heard from one of the other staff members, I don’t remember who, that Elvis was not in a good mood, for several reasons,” Rooks wrote in her book Inside Graceland: Elvis’ Maid Remembers. “We all knew that he was worried about the new book that had just been released a few weeks earlier, the book written by his former bodyguards. This upcoming tour was to be the first time he would be facing his fans after the book had come out, and he was concerned about how his fans would react to it when he walked onstage.”

A black and white picture of Elvis wearing an unzipped jumpsuit.
Elvis Presley | R.D/Images Press/Getty Images

Rooks also learned that a staff member had walked in on a heated argument between Elvis and Alden.

“In addition to the frustration of not being able to get the movie rented the night before, which he had been looking forward to, he and Ginger were also spatting back and forth about various things,” Rooks wrote. “Mary Jenkins had walked in on them the night before, finding them sitting in the dark in Lisa’s room, arguing, as she put it, ‘Rather forcefully,’ about whether she was going to accompany him on the tour the next day. So things had not been going well for Elvis that Monday night.”

Ginger Alden disagreed, saying Elvis had seemed positive before he died

Alden remembered that night differently. Though Graceland staff believed Elvis felt stressed and angry, she said the last day of his life was full of positivity.

“[We were] sitting in his daughter Lisa Marie’s bedroom in the early hours of August 16th when Elvis began discussing wedding plans and setting a date with me,” Alden told Express. “Elvis was looking forward to many things, marriage, more children, serious films, and his next tour.”

Though the day ended in devastation, she said that Elvis had seemed hopeful about his future.

“He was in a good mood, we had just set a wedding date literally hours earlier and he told me a couple of weeks before he passed that he had been off too long,” she said. “He was ready to go back on stage, something he loved with all of his being. ‘This day had begun with excitement and hope for Elvis and me, but ended in heartache and disbelief.'”

Nancy Rooks later took note of some odd behavior

As she reflected on the day Elvis died, Rooks noticed several minor details that stood out to her as odd. He had come in sweaty from racquetball and had refused Rooks’ offer to make him a meal. Instead, he requested a glass of ice water.

A black and white picture of Elvis Presley looking at the camera. Half his face is in shadow.
Elvis Presley | RB/Redferns

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“The three of them disappeared up the back stairway and I fixed him a glass of ice water, which Pauline then took upstairs to him,” she wrote. “When she came back downstairs she said something that seemed a little odd to me. She said, ‘He practically grabbed the water out of my hand!’ which was not like him at all. I didn’t think anymore about it at the time.”

Later, she recalled several people going upstairs to bring Elvis medication. While this was not odd — he had taken drugs for the majority of his career — it stood out in retrospect.