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How Kurt Russell Ended Up As Elvis’ Voice In Forrest Gump

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In the film’s narrative, Forrest Gump (Michael Conner Humphreys) spent much of his early childhood in unwieldy leg braces as the result of a crooked spine. At one point, his mother Mrs. Gump (Sally Field) had taken to renting out rooms in their home for extra money. As Forrest would tell us, “There was always folks coming and going … One time, a young man was staying with us, and he had [with] him a guitar case.”

That young man, of course, was Elvis Presley. In the film, Elvis shows Forrest “a thing or two on the guitar.” Because of his leg braces, Forrest could only dance by shaking his hips as best he could. After Elvis saw him dance, he asked Forrest to “show [him] that crazy little walk you did there.” Forrest obliged while Elvis sang “Hound Dog.” Director Robert Zemeckis cleverly hides Peter Dobson, who plays Elvis, either out of focus in the background or by filming him from behind.

It wasn’t until years later that people would learn that Zemeckis hid Dobson from us in a totally different way. Although it was Dobson on screen as Elvis, audiences were hearing someone entirely different. Zemeckis even left Elvis’ voice actor off the “Forrest Gump” credits. It was a secret that was kept hidden for decades.

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