Was Kurt Russell’s Voice in “Forrest Gump” as Elvis Presley?

In Forrest Gump (1994), there is a scene where the young Forrest Gump is dancing while a young man staying at Gump’s mom’s house plays the guitar and sings. The viewer immediately recognizes the singer character as Elvis Presley, who learns some of his dance moves from the kid. But did you recognize the voice of the actor playing Elvis? It was Kurt Russell.

Kurt Russell is not credited with the role, but many observers have recognized his voice for the actor Peter Dobson. While some have debated whether or not it is really Russell, IMDb lists Russell as providing the voice. Also, reportedly, the DVD commentary to the film confirms Russell’s participation.

Below is the Elvis scene from Forrest Gump. Do you recognize Russell’s voice for the young Elvis? By the way, the later scene of Elvis on television is of course the real Elvis with his real voice.

Russell as Elvis in Other Movies

Forrest Gump director Robert Zemeckis knew that Russell had played Elvis in the 1979 made-for-TV film Elvis, directed by John Carpenter. So, he concluded that Russell, who was by then too old to appear as the young Elvis, would be ideal to provide the Elvis voice in Forrest Gump.

In this scene from Elvis, Russell plays the young Elvis. Interestingly, Carpenter did not use Russell’s voice for the singing Elvis in the movie. Singer Ronnie McDowell, whose first hit was the 1977 song “The King is Gone,” provided the voice for Russell’s Elvis when he was singing.

Russell would reprise his Elvis skills in the Las Vegas heist film 3000 Miles to Graceland. In that 2001 film, Russell works with Kevin Costner to plan a Las Vegas robbery during an Elvis Presley impersonators convention.

Besides dressing as an Elvis impersonator in 3000 Miles to Graceland, Russell also portrayed Elvis in the music video for Presley’s “Such a Night,” which was featured on the soundtrack for the movie.

Russell With Elvis

Those movie appearances as Elvis (or an Elvis impersonator), however, are not Kurt Russell’s only connection to Elvis. When Russell was a child actor, he briefly appeared in It Happened at the World’s Fair (1963).

In that movie, Russell appeared onscreen to kick the King. In the film, Elvis had paid the young boy to kick him so he could meet the nurse at the fairground.

It Happened at the World’s Fair was Russell’s first movie appearance. At that time, Elvis was 27 years old; and Russell would later be 27 years old when he portrayed Elvis in Elvis.

In this segment from Turner Classic Movies, Russell tells the story about meeting Elvis and about portraying him on film.

And that is the story behind the movie and Russell’s connections to Elvis Presley, who was born on January 8, 1935.

Do you think it is Russell’s voice in Forrest Gump? Leave your two cents in the comments.

  • Who Was Poor Old Johnnie Ray?
  • Elvis Presley’s Movie Debut: “Love Me Tender”
  • 3 a.m. Albums: Elvis Presley’s “The Jungle Room Sessions”
  • Johnny Cash Imitating Elvis
  • When a Hockey Team Made Us Believe in Miracles
  • 8 Things About Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight”
  • (Some related Chimesfreedom posts.)

    How Camera Movement Dramatizes Speech In Cinema

    This new video from Slate illustrates how a movie director can dramatize a monologue through the use of camera movement. In the video, Alisha Harris narrates several examples, including clips from movies such as Citizen Kane (1941), Night of the Hunter (1955), and Forrest Gump (1994).

    Leave your two cents in the comments.

  • Was Kurt Russell’s Voice in “Forrest Gump” as Elvis Presley?
  • Movie Tributes on “The Simpsons”
  • Childhood Summers In the Movies
  • The Fourth Wall Breaks
  • Batman’s Evolution
  • What if William Randolph Hearst Could Hack?
  • (Some related Chimesfreedom posts.)

    Trailer for “Tom Hanks: The Movie”

    Official Comedy put together this trailer putting together scenes from six movies starring Tom Hanks, imagining if they all made up one film. Check out the trailer for Tom Hanks: The Movie.

    Movies featured in the trailer are Forrest Gump (1994), Apollo 13 (1995), Cast Away (2000), The Da Vinci Code (2006), Captain Phillips (2013), and Toy Story (1995).

    What is your favorite Tom Hanks movie? Leave your two cents in the comments.

  • What If “Toy Story” Were a Horror Movie?
  • Was Kurt Russell’s Voice in “Forrest Gump” as Elvis Presley?
  • How Camera Movement Dramatizes Speech In Cinema
  • Tom Hanks as Walt Disney in “Saving Mr. Banks” (Trailer)
  • Can You Catch Frank William Abagnale Jr.?
  • Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair
  • (Some related Chimesfreedom posts.)

    Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair

    Scott McKenzie, who sang “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair),” passed away on Saturday. McKenzie, who was 73, had been living with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a disease that affects the nervous system.

    McKenzie’s most famous song as a singer was “San Francisco,” which was released in May 1967 in honor of the upcoming Monterey Pop Festival and became an instant hit. John Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas wrote the song, but McKenzie had inspired him to write it. As Monterey was preparing for the festival and concerned about the large crowds, the song was written as a plea to make the event a peaceful one. The song, of course became a song for a generation and went far beyond that festival. Wikipedia notes that the song became an anthem for young people during Czechoslovakia’s 1968 Prague Spring uprising. The song has appeared in movies such as Forrest Gump (1994) and has been covered by a number of artists. Note that the song subtitle “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in your Hair)” differs from the line used in the song, “Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.”

    McKenzie’s website states that after the song was a hit, “Scott ‘dropped out’ in the late 60’s. In 1970 he moved to Joshua Tree, a California desert town near Palm Springs.” He then lived in Virginia Beach, Virginia for a decade before touring as part of The Mamas & the Papas into the 1990s. In 1988, he co-wrote the Beach Boys hit “Kokomo” with John Phillips, Mike Love and Terry Melcher. McKenzie performed off and on until recently, and he recorded “Gone to Sea” in 2009. He had been in and out of the hospital since 2010 and he likely had a heart attack earlier this month. He asked to leave the hospital and died at home . . . in Los Angeles. RIP.

  • What Are The Mamas & the Papas Singing About in “Creeque Alley”?
  • Was Kurt Russell’s Voice in “Forrest Gump” as Elvis Presley?
  • How Camera Movement Dramatizes Speech In Cinema
  • Brian Wilson’s Life in “Love & Mercy” (Short Review)
  • “The Right Time” To Hear a New Brian Wilson Track
  • The Groundbreaking Rock and Roll Movie, “The T.A.M.I. Show”
  • (Some related Chimesfreedom posts.)