Venetia Stevenson, ‘the most photogenic girl in the world’ who dated Elvis, quit acting because of it

Every time Venetia Stevenson walked into a room, every man turned their heads and gaped, including Elvis Presley.

The actress and model, who was once dubbed “the most photogenic girl in the world,” died in September at the age of 84. Tab Hunter’s longtime partner Allan Glaser confirmed to Fox News Digital that he’s producing a film about Hunter’s life that Stevenson stars in.

His sister Caroline Stevenson spoke to Fox News Digital about how her “idol” has charmed some of the most sought-after men in Hollywood, including the king of rock ‘n’ roll.

Venetia Stevenson poses with Elvis Presley at his Memphis home.
(Getty Images)

“Elvis Presley was one of the most polite, wonderful, genuine men I’ve ever met,” Caroline said. “Of course, being a teenager, I thought, ‘Oh my God, is Venetia going to marry Elvis?'”

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Stevenson, daughter of “General Hospital” star Anna Lee and “Mary Poppins” director Robert Stevenson, became romantically involved with the singer in the late 1950s. She visited him in Memphis, Tennessee, and the couple was photographed as she attended a screening of Presley’s 1957 film “Loving You.”

“He couldn’t have been nicer,” Caroline said. “She went to stay with him. I know they stayed in separate bedrooms because she made it very clear that this is how she wanted it. He respected that. And she thought it was just wonderful. But nothing ever evolved beyond that I can’t imagine why. I mean, we all did flip flops every time he walked into a room.

Venetia Stevenson appeared in a magazine in

Venetia Stevenson was featured in a magazine in ‘Back to the Future Part II’.
(Earl Leaf/Michael Ochs/Getty Images Archives)

“I remember it being so down to earth,” she continued. “He came to this little restaurant and ordered a hamburger. The waitress was passing out. And here he was saying, ‘This food is delicious. But you have to make this lettuce smaller. You have to cut it into pieces. Chop this lettuce or it falls off the hamburger. ‘ Meanwhile, the waitress is nearly passed out on the floor.”

Joanna Venetia Invicta Stevenson was born in 1938. It was around this time that her father signed a contract with producer David O. Selznick and the family traveled from London to Hollywood. At 14, Stevenson was discovered by photographer Peter Gowland on a beach in Malibu, California. Photos of him soon appeared in a number of magazines, including Esquire.

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In 1956, Stevenson was signed by RKO Radio Pictures. She and Bond girl Ursula Andress even took tap dancing lessons together. She then signed a contract with Warner Bros. Then, Popular Photography magazine named her “the most photogenic girl in the world” out of 4,000 contestants in their 1957 issue. She accepted the award on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

Venetia Stevenson next to a young Burt Reynolds, circa 1960.

Venetia Stevenson next to a young Burt Reynolds, circa 1960.
(CBS via Getty Images)

“I remember being in Grand Central Station [in New York City] and looked at the magazine stand,” Caroline recalled. Once, I counted 46 magazine covers with my sister. She is a chameleon. She could be Marilyn Monroe. You could be Ingrid Bergman. She could be whoever the photographer wanted her to be.

“She just had this amazing ability to look completely different in every photo. Some people thought she was a little distant or lonely. The truth is, I’ve heard Venetia was always a little shy. out of coldness. She had a great sense of humor. I’ve never seen her speak rudely about anyone.”

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As a movie star, Stevenson has dated “all kinds of people,” shared Caroline. He acted as a confidant for Hunter, a Hollywood heartthrob who was shut down at the time, and “Psycho” star Anthony Perkins. Hunter was allegedly one of Perkins’ first lovers, Entertainment Weekly reported. In the 2015 documentary “Tab Hunter Confidential,” Stevenson said he acted as a “beard” when she was photographed around town with the two actors.

“I remember going to his house once,” recalls Caroline. “She was getting a lot of phone calls and I was able to mimic her voice. I was in conversations for seven to ten minutes with all kinds of people who wanted to be with her. I remember there was this man who was in charge of Warner Bros. at the era, and he really wanted to date Venetia. I just had this wonderful conversation with him, mostly yes and no, but a lot of no.”

Russ Tamblyn and Venetia Stevenson were married from 1956 to 1957.

Russ Tamblyn and Venetia Stevenson were married from 1956 to 1957.
(Archive Photo/Getty Images)

Stevenson said “I do” to “West Side Story” actor Russ Tamblyn on Valentine’s Day 1956. However, the relationship was short-lived and the couple split in 1957. Don Everly of the Everly Brothers . They were married from 1962 to 1970.

Stevenson and Everly had three children, including actress Erin Everly. Erin married Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose in 1990. According to reports, it was Erin who inspired the band’s hit song, “Sweet Child o’ Mine”. Their marriage was annulled in 1991.

Despite having a life of glitz and glamour, Stevenson gave up acting after marrying Everly.

Phil Everly, left, is congratulated by brother Don Everly, who married screen star Venetia Stevenson.  Everly and Stevenson were married from 1962 to 1970.

Phil Everly, left, is congratulated by brother Don Everly, who married screen star Venetia Stevenson. Everly and Stevenson were married from 1962 to 1970.
(Getty Images)

“She wouldn’t mind if I said it, but my sister Venetia wasn’t a good actress,” Caroline chuckled. “She’d be the first to tell you. She didn’t like acting. But she was under contract and when you are, it doesn’t matter if you like acting or not. That’s just what you do. She came out as soon as her contract was done. And she was happy to be out at the time [studio] he had his own stable of celebrities. And there was so much more she wanted to do.”

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Stevenson went on to work as a script reader for Burt Reynolds’ production company. She also became vice president of the production company Cinema Group and manager representing director Renny Harlan.

“I’ve never known anything but Hollywood,” Stevenson once said. “I don’t think I could relate to a doctor or an accountant. What would we talk about? I guess, when I really stop to think about it, I’ve lived a very narrow existence because movies are all I know.”

Tab Hunter's longtime partner Allan Glaser confirmed to Fox News Digital that he is producing a film about the actor's life in which Stevenson stars.  Hunter died in 2018 at the age of 86.

Tab Hunter’s longtime partner Allan Glaser confirmed to Fox News Digital that he is producing a film about the actor’s life in which Stevenson stars. Hunter died in 2018 at the age of 86.
(Earl Leaf/Michael Ochs/Getty Images Archives)

Holding back tears, Caroline said it was hard watching her sister battle Parkinson’s disease shortly before her death.

“I pray for her all the time that she has really found happiness because she finally got Parkinson’s,” Caroline said. “And I know how hard it was for her to have been so beautiful. Parkinson’s disease is so cruel to your body, your everything. I wish I could give her more comfort. I still feel a lot about her the loss of her.”

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Stevenson’s brother, actor Jeffrey Byron, confirmed to Fox News Digital that the star died at an Atlanta health center.

Venetia Stevenson quit acting after marrying Don Everly, but found herself busy pursuing new and surprising roles behind the camera.

Venetia Stevenson quit acting after marrying Don Everly, but found herself busy pursuing new and surprising roles behind the camera.
(Universal Pictures/Favorite Movies/Getty Images)

“My sister was resilient in this industry,” she said. “She took life as she came up with it. And when things maybe didn’t quite go her way, she was able to turn it around and find new adventures and be successful in those adventures.”

“He’s had a great life,” added Caroline. “She really idolized her. With everything she’s accomplished, I’m so glad she was my sister.”

Stevenson is survived by Byron, Caroline, and her daughter Erin, as well as another daughter named Stacy, a son named Edan, a brother named Steve, and four grandchildren.

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