Priscilla Presley's Life in Photos

The actress and ex-wife of Elvis Presley turns 78 on May 24, 2023

Priscilla Presley, the actress and ex-wife of the late Elvis Presley, turns 78 on May 24, 2023. Though she's been through many hardships in life — most recently, the death of her only daughter, Lisa Marie — she's had some incredible highs, too. Here, her life in photos, in celebration of her latest birthday.

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Priscilla Presley Is Born

Priscilla Beaulieu, Elvis Presley's "girl back home," plays a record album by the teen idol. Elvis was serving in the US Army in Germany. The couple were married in 1967 and divorced in 1973.
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Priscilla Anne was born in New York City on May 24, 1945, ultimately the eldest of six children in a military family.

In a 1978 interview with PEOPLE, reflecting on the transient nature of her childhood, she said, "I always knew that something extraordinary was going to happen to me."

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Priscilla Meets Elvis Presley

Portrait of American rock and roll singer Elvis Presley (1935 - 1977) and his girlfriend and later wife Priscilla Beaulieu, 1960s. (Photo by Max B. Miller/Fotos International/Getty Images)
Max B. Miller/Fotos International/Getty

It did, in fact, when she was 14 years old and met Elvis Presley in Bad Nauheim, Germany, where her family was living at the time and near where Elvis was stationed with the Army.

In her 1985 biography Elvis and Me (excerpted in PEOPLE), Priscilla wrote of the pair's early days.

"I found myself deeply involved with Elvis. Something in his Southern upbringing had taught him that the 'right' girl was to be saved for marriage. I was that girl. At the same time, he molded me into his woman. I wore the clothes, hairstyle and makeup of his careful choosing," she shared.

"My parents became confused and bewildered by our relationship. We tried to make them believe that it was proper and platonic, and they wanted to believe me. Whenever they tried to stop us from seeing each other, I pleaded and cried and made them and myself miserable," she continued. "In retrospect, I don't think anything could have stopped me from seeing Elvis."

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Elvis and Priscilla Presley Wed

(Original Caption) 5/1/1967-Las Vegas, NV- Singer Elvis Presley and his bride Priscilla Ann Beaulieu, pose for photograph following their wedding at the Aladdin Hotel. Presley, 31, met his 22-year-old bride when he was stationed in Germany during his Army service.
Bettmann Archive

The couple quietly exchanged vows in Las Vegas on May 1, 1967, in a wedding arranged by the singer's manager, Col. Tom Parker, and was meant to throw off the press.

"Elvis and I followed the Colonel's plan," Priscilla wrote in Elvis and Me. "Our vows were taken and we were now husband and wife. I remember flashbulbs popping, my father's congratulations and my mother's tears of happiness. Mrs. Elvis Presley."

"[Elvis] was determined that our wedding day be special," she continued. "He carried me across the threshold of our house singing the 'Hawaiian Wedding Song.' He stopped and gave me a long, loving kiss, then proceeded to carry me upstairs to our bedroom."

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Elvis and Priscilla Presley Welcome Daughter Lisa Marie

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 10: The American singer/actor Elvis PRESLEY walking beside his wife Priscilla, pictured carrying their newborn daughter Lisa Marie, on February 10, 1968. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

Nine months later, the lovebirds welcomed their first and only child together, daughter Lisa Marie.

"The nurse brought her into my room and I cradled her in my arms. She was so tiny, so beautiful," Priscilla wrote. "Elvis came into the room and kissed me, thrilled that we had had a perfectly normal, healthy baby. Then he took us both in his arms and held us."

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Elvis and Priscilla Presley Have Problems in Their Marriage

Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie Presley & Elvis Presley in Hawaii, California (Photo by Magma Agency/WireImage)
Magma Agency/WireImage

Though Lisa Marie was a great joy in the couple's life, "As the months passed, I realized that now that I was a mother, Elvis was uncertain how to treat me," Priscilla wrote in Elvis and Me.

What followed was a brief affair with her dance instructor, which Priscilla wrote opened her eyes to what she needed in her marriage to Elvis. But his touring and filming schedules also weighed on their marriage, as Priscilla often stayed at home — Graceland in Memphis — while her husband hit the road.

"With Elvis," she told PEOPLE in 1978, "my life was his life. He had to be happy. We never disturbed him. My problems were secondary."

06of 16

Elvis and Priscilla Presley Divorce

(Original Caption) Entertainer Elvis Presley leaves Santa Monica California Superior Court after being granted a divorce from his wife Priscilla. The couple had been married six years and in spite of the October 9 divorce proceedings, they appeared very amicable as they left the courtroom.
Bettmann Archive

After months of back-and-forth within the marriage, the pair officially divorced on Oct. 9, 1973, though walked out of the Santa Monica, California, courthouse together.

"The dream I had had of a perfect union was over," Priscilla wrote in Elvis and Me. "The hope of an ideal marriage, which had consumed all my thoughts and energy since I was 14, had ended with the simple stroke of a pen."

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Priscilla Presley Opens Graceland

Priscilla Presley (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
Ron Galella/Getty

Elvis died five years later, on Aug. 16, 1977, and according to the Graceland website, "While the estate he left was by no means broke, there was a cash flow problem, especially with Graceland costing over half a million dollars a year in maintenance and taxes."

In part to help recoup costs, Priscilla opened Graceland to the public in June of 1982, through The Elvis Presley Trust and its business entity, Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. It remains a popular tourist destination to this day.

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Priscilla Presley and Robert Kardashian

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 27: Priscilla Presley and boyfriend Robert Kardashian on March 27, 1976 pose for an exclusive photo session at her home in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty

Priscilla's love life was under much scrutiny in the years following her divorce from Elvis and the singer's death; in the '70s, she was even linked to Robert Kardashian (left).

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Priscilla Presley in Love Is Forever

LOVE IS FOREVER, Michael Landon, Priscilla Presley, 1983

Priscilla had long expressed interest in acting, and her first credit following her divorce came in 1983 in Love Is Forever, alongside Michael Landon.

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Priscilla Presley on Dallas

A promotional still from the American television series 'Dallas' shows cast member Priscilla Presley (as Jenna Wade), dressed in a satin shirt and blue jeans, as she sits on a mechanical bull, 1983. (Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)
CBS Photo Archive/Getty

Where she really found success, though, was on the popular '80s series Dallas, as Jenna Wade Krebs.

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Priscilla Presley Welcomes Son Navarone

Priscilla Presley and son Navarone Anthony Garibaldi (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
Ron Galella/Getty

In that time, Presley began dating writer and MTV producer Marco Garibaldi; together, they had son Navarone (pictured) on March 1, 1987. (He is a musician and in February of 2022, got married in Switzerland.)

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Priscilla Presley in Naked Gun

Editorial use only. No book cover usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Elliott Marks/Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock (5880364b) Leslie Nielsen, Priscilla Presley The Naked Gun - 1988 Director: David Zucker Paramount USA Scene Still Comedy Naked Gun - From The Files Of Police Squad! Y a-t-il un flic pour sauver la reine?
Elliott Marks/Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock

Her biggest silver screen credit was with Leslie Nielsen in the Naked Gun films, in which she played Jane Spencer.

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Priscilla Presley on Melrose Place

MELROSE PLACE, Jack Wagner, Priscilla Presley, 1992-1999. © Paramount Television/ Courtesy: Everett Collection

She also found a new audience in the '90s as Nurse Benson on a handful of episodes of Melrose Place (here with Jack Wagner).

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Priscilla Presley on Dancing with the Stars

UNITED STATES - MARCH 18: DANCING WITH THE STARS - Episode 601A - Last night, the male stars strut their stuff when "Dancing with the Stars" returned for its sixth season on Walt Disney Television via Getty Images. Tonight, TUESDAY, MARCH 18 (9:00-10:32 p.m., ET), the six female stars showed off their moves. All twelve couples will perform a second routine next week before the first elimination, where for the first time in the show's history, two couples' fates will be determined in a dramatic double elimination. (Photo by Kelsey McNeal/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)
Kelsey McNeal/Disney General Entertainment Content/Getty

After taking a break from the small screen, Priscilla returned to television in 2008 on season 6 of Dancing with the Stars; she and partner Louis van Amstel placed 8th.

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Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley

LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 23: Actress Priscilla Presley (L) and singer Lisa Marie Presley attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony during the grand opening of "Graceland Presents ELVIS: The Exhibition - The Show - The Experience" at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino on April 23, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bryan Steffy/WireImage)
Priscilla Presley and Lisa Marie.Bryan Steffy/WireImage

Though mom and daughter had their share of ups and downs, they frequently came together, like at the 2015 ribbon cutting of Graceland Presents ELVIS: The Exhibition - The Show - The Experience in Las Vegas.

Lisa Marie died on Jan. 12, 2023, at the age of 54.

Priscilla also has four grandchildren — actress Riley Keough, 33, Benjamin Keough, who died by suicide at 27 in 2020, and twin girls Finley and Harper Lockwood, 14.

Priscilla has been involved in a handful of projects involving Elvis in recent years, including the 2018 documentaryElvis Presley: The Searcher and a 1988 miniseries based on her book, Elvis and Me.

In a 1988 PEOPLE interview, she said that "telling his story wasn't something I wanted to do but had to do, because of all that's been said and written about him. I have to fight for his reputation, his ideas, his image. That's my main concern in this film. I have to protect Elvis — he was very misunderstood.''

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Priscilla Presley at the 2022 Met Gala

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 02: (Exclusive Coverage) Priscilla Presley arrives at The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating "In America: An Anthology of Fashion" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 02, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/MG22/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue )
Kevin Mazur/MG22/Getty

Most recently, Priscilla attended the 2022 Met Gala withElvis movie star Austin Butler. Days prior, she had praised the film on social media after an early screening.

"This story is about Elvis and Colonel Parker's relationship. It is a true story told brilliantly and creatively that only [director Baz Luhrmann], in his unique artistic way, could have delivered. Austin Butler, who played Elvis is outstanding," she wrote.

"The story, as we all know, does not have a happy ending. But I think you will understand a little bit more of Elvis' journey, penned by a directer who put his heart and soul and many hours into this film," Priscilla concluded.

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