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Red West, Actor and Elvis Presley’s Friend, Dies at 81

Film and TV actor died on Tuesday after suffering an aneurysm

Red West, a film/TV actor and former close associate of Elvis Presley, has died at the age of 81.

According to USA Today, West died after suffering an aortic aneurysm at Baptist Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, on Tuesday night.

A friend of The King, West served as Presley’s driver and bodyguard, also co-writing songs including “Separate Ways,” “If Every Day Was Like Christmas” and “If You Talk in Your Sleep.” He was fired by Presley’s father shortly before the singer’s death.

West later went on to become an actor, with small roles on the TV series “Baa Baa Black Sheep,” “Magnum P.I.” and the Patrick Swayze film “Road House.”

He also earned critical acclaim for his leading role as a suicidal man in “Goodbye Solo” in 2008. His other recent credits include “The Riches,” “Rectify,” “Safe Haven” and “Nashville.”

West is survived by his wife, Pat West; two sons, John Boyd West and Brent West; a brother, Harold West; and six grandchildren.