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Actor Red West, longtime Elvis confidant, dies

Associated Press logo Associated Press 7/20/2017

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Actor and songwriter Robert Gene "Red" West, a longtime confidant of Elvis Presley, has died in Memphis.

Danita Allen of Memorial Park Funeral Home said West died Tuesday. He was 81. His wife, Pat West, told The Commercial Appeal he died at Baptist Hospital after suffering from an aortic aneurysm.

West met Presley in high school and worked for him for 20 years. He was a friend, driver and bodyguard. He also took small roles in some of Presley's films and co-wrote some songs Presley sang including "Separate Ways" and "If You Talk In Your Sleep."

After being fired by Presley's father in 1976, West became a full-time actor and appeared on TV shows and in movies. His most famous role was in 1989's "Road House" starring Patrick Swayze.

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