Dolores Hart Elvis
Dolores Hart seen here with Elvis Presley 1958 will be returning to Hollywood to attend the Oscar ceremonies.
Dolores, now in her 70s Mother Dolores Hart, Prioress at the Abbey of Regina Laudis, Bethlehem, Connecticut, will be wearing the attire of a Roman catholic nun.After starring in 10 movies, two of them with Elvis, she left Hollywood in 1963.
ABC TV 20/20 Documented her amazing story some years ago.‘God is the Bigger Elvis’ to be voted at Oscars.
Her biggest break came in 1961 with Where the Boys Are, in which four college girls get away from the cold and spend spring break in Fort Lauderdale. Hey! Didn't Elvis use this plot in Girl Happy? That same year, Dolores made Francis of Assisi, in which our lady joins up with a monk to found her own order. A bit of foreshadowing, perhaps. She had reached a point where she was beginning to long for more than Hollywood could provide. She told Look magazine, "Before I was twenty, I learned that being in movies didn't bring me the ultimate joy I expected." In 1963, after finishing Come Fly With Me, Dolores entered a convent, and in 1970, took her final vows to become a nun. Today, she's Mother Dolores at the Convent of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem Connecticut.
Dolores has appeared in interviews, in the last decade, starting with a segment on 20/20, on 3/23/01. Mother Dolores talked about her life, and the painful decision to join the convent. Also interviewed was Don Robinson, her fiance at the time of her decision. Would you believe that he never married, and remained a close friend to Mother Dolores until his death? It was an incredible story, and it was great to see such a well done interview with Mother Dolores!
The abbey's official website will soon be set up to take donations, which are badly needed for the abbey's upkeep.
Dolores Hart, who walked away from Hollywood stardom in 1963 to become a nun in rural Bethlehem, Connecticut, now finds herself back in the spotlight.
But this time it's all about serving the King of Kings, not smooching the King of Rock and Roll.
The former brass factory that houses Mother Dolores and about 40 other nuns cloistered at the Abbey of Regina Laudis needs millions of dollars in renovations to meet fire and safety codes, add an elevator and make handicap accessibility upgrades.
Like 73-year-old Mother Dolores, the order's nuns have taken a vow of stability with the intent to live, work and die at the complex. The order was established in 1947 in Bethlehem, a small burg in Connecticut's rolling western hills.Now, the historically self-supporting nuns have launched a fundraiser for the $4million renovation project dubbed ‘New Horizons.’
They don't have much money, but they have Mother Dolores: a starlet-turned-supplicant whose unique story might lure the attention and donations of generations of movie fans, particularly those who adore all things Elvis.
‘This work may not be in my lifetime that it's finished, but we're sure trying,’ Mother Dolores said.
The upgrades are budgeted to run about $2million for the fire code and accessibility compliance work and another $2million for improvements to the housing and other facilities.
They hope to break ground in January.
They're not in imminent danger of needing to move out, but many of the older nuns can no longer navigate the narrow steps to the main building's third floor and must live in another building.
And without adequate fire escapes, the monastery has caught the eye of local inspectors, though they've worked closely with the nuns on the improvement plans and haven't ordered them to close the building.
For Mother Dolores, the monastery has been home since she was a 24-year-old actress in 1963 and walked away from Hollywood for a life of contemplation and prayer as a postulant.
The abbey's chapel, workshops, livestock pastures and other features are part of her soul now, and its wood-panelled monastery is the only home she's known for 50 years.
The abbey’s theater holds a special place in her heart, harkening to the former career that landed her on talk shows, in magazines and twice as Elvis Presley's co-star.