Actress Dolores Hart appeared in two Elvis Presley vehicles as one of the King's love interests: Loving You (above) in 1957 and King Creole in 1958. The fresh-faced Hart later starred in Where the Boys Are as well as more dramatic films, and had a very promising career ... until 1962, when she exchanged one King for another, so to speak. Hart surprised Hollywood by leaving to become a nun in a cloistered Benedictine community in Connecticut.
I knew that 1950s actress June Haver had entered a convent in the early 1950s, but left after only a few months and eventually married Fred MacMurray. I hadn't realized that another rising Fifties actress had actually taken the veil and stuck with it. Former beach-movie ingenue Hart is now the Reverend Mother Dolores Hart. She's in the news this week because she's back in Hollywood, promoting awareness of and research for a rare neurological disorder.
Even in the abbey, Hart didn't break ties entirely with Hollywood: the 67-year-old is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and votes for Oscars every year. The tone of this article on Hart sounds shocked that Hart watches even the most "adult" nominated films, but I didn't find it surprising. My aunt the Benedictine sister is about the same age as Hart, and she delighted in teaching controversial books to her college-level English classes. They're not all like the nuns in The Sound of Music or The Penguin in The Blues Brothers, you know.