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Elvis Presley and Priscilla Presley | Source: Getty Images
Elvis Presley and Priscilla Presley | Source: Getty Images

Priscilla Presley Reminisced about Elvis Presley's Life 45 Years after He Passed Away

Bettina Dizon
Nov 30, 2022
07:30 P.M.

Although Elvis Presley was among the most sought-after music icons worldwide, the King of Rock 'n' Roll's reality was far from desirable. His wife, Presilla Presley, continued to love and honor him years after he passed away.

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Like many famous musicians, Elvis Presley battled demons that nobody else could understand, leading to some of the darkest moments in his life. His wife, Priscilla Presley, attested to all his ups and downs.

Bearing witness to someone's darkest moments could not have been easy, but Priscilla has spoken out about what it was like to live with Elvis as well as experience death.

Elvis laughing circa 1975 | Photo: Getty Images

Elvis laughing circa 1975 | Photo: Getty Images

In 2022, a biopic of the singer's life, titled "Elvis," hit the big screens. Chronicling his childhood to his transition into a rock 'n' roll/movie star, the film relived the King's most glorious days. Actor Austin Butler stars as Elvis in the Baz Luhrmann-directed biopic alongside Tom Hanks and Olivia DeJonge.

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At the movie's premiere were three generations of Presleys, including his wife, Priscilla, their daughter Lisa Marie, and their granddaughter, Riley Keough.

When it comes to Elvis' life story, there is no one better to attest to his most significant and challenging moments than his wife of several years, Priscilla.

Elvis Presley promoting "Girl Happy." | Source: Getty Images

Elvis Presley promoting "Girl Happy." | Source: Getty Images

Priscilla Fell in Love with Elvis Presley When She Was a Teenager

Priscilla first crossed paths with Elvis when she was 14, and he was 23. Remembering her first memories of the singer, Priscilla noted that his voice stood out. "When he sang, it was like he was singing to you," she said. Priscilla added:

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"He wasn't bad to look at either. Everyone had a crush on him. They're still having crushes on him. He was truly beautiful. He woke up beautiful. I used to stare at him. I used to look at him and go, 'Oh my gosh.'"

With a wide age gap, many found their relationship inappropriate, including her parents. At one point, her father asked why Elvis chose his daughter, to which he highlighted her maturity and good company.

Elvis Presley, Priscilla Beaulieu Presley, and Lisa Marie Presley on February 5, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. | Source: Getty Images

Elvis Presley, Priscilla Beaulieu Presley, and Lisa Marie Presley on February 5, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. | Source: Getty Images

After several trips to her home, Priscilla's mom and dad grew fond of Elvis, eventually allowing their romance to flourish. "My parents became confused and bewildered by our relationship," she recalled. "We tried to make them believe that it was proper and platonic."

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When they tried to make her cut ties with the singer, she would beg, cry, and show them how miserable she could be.

Priscilla and Elvis finally tied the knot on May 1, 1967, in Las Vegas when she was 21. Priscilla had admitted that being so young when she got married caused many insecurities that she now realizes were unnecessary.

The couple seemed blissfully happy from the outside, but their marriage was somewhat tumultuous behind the scenes. After the birth of their daughter, Lisa Marie, the couple seemed to be on a good track.

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However, as the years progressed and Elvis' dependency issues worsened, Priscilla realized they could not spend more time together as a married couple. The couple divorced five years after their daughter was born.

Elvis Presley's Final Months

Although Priscilla and Elvis were no longer married, they were good friends until Elvis died in 1977. Priscilla ensured that Lisa Marie had a relationship with her father and was always there for Elvis when he needed someone.

During his final few months, Elvis' addiction to prescription pills had worsened. He had also developed an addiction to junk food at the time. Between his addiction to eating unhealthily and prescription pills, the star's health was rapidly declining—however, he maintained his career through shows and TV appearances.

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In Sally Hoedel's book, "Elvis: Destined to Die Young," she revealed how Elvis would complain about pain in his eyes and other body parts. He even asked Kathy Westmoreland, his backup singer, to rub his legs.

According to his physician, Dr. George Nichopoulos, Elvis had chronic back pain from several problems that resulted from severe arthritis. The singer's hairstylist, Larry Geller, said:

"Elvis knew there was something terribly wrong with his body, something more than the colon, the liver, the medication."

By the 1970s, Elvis had lost his relevance in pop culture at the time but was trying his best to stay popular. Shortly before his passing, Elvis had scheduled tours but also had everyone around him worried about his health.

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Hoedel's book suggested that Elvis, semiconscious during one of his shows, had his head in a bucket of ice-cold water. However, his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, only cared about the show. He allegedly said, "the only thing that's important is that he's on that stage tonight!"

Elvis died on August 16, 1977, after he was found unconscious in his Graceland home. He was 42 years old at the time.

Priscilla Remembers Her Late Husband after His Death

Following the star's death, it was ruled as an accidental overdose of prescription pills. The lapse in judgment led to an icon's untimely death. However, those close to the star have said this could not be further from the truth. Priscilla believes that Elvis knew precisely what he was doing when he took the pills and revealed that he was depressed.

Elvis' stepbrothers also spoke up to tell the public that Elvis Presley was depressed at the time and that many people were worried about the star. The rumors of depression seemed to be confirmed in suicide notes found after the star's death.

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Years after his passing, Priscilla still keeps Elvis' memory alive. "I love him," she said in 2016. "I still love him. I've never not loved him. Ever."

In 2022, 45 years after the King's death, Priscilla shared new details about his life, revealing that he did not like doing classic beach movies and instead hoped to pursue serious films. She said she witnessed her ex-husband's career controlled by Parker, who took steps unaligned with Elvis' dreams.

Priscilla witnessed arguments between Elvis and his manager, who convinced him to do movies with many girls on beaches. She also shared how many memories flashed back while watching "Elvis," but praised the cast and crew for portraying Elvis well.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "help" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741, or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

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