Priscilla Presley has been no stranger to untimely deaths of people she’s close with throughout her life. With the recent events involving her daughter, Lisa Marie, who died from cardiac arrest earlier this year, let’s look back at who else the former actress and ex to the King has lost.
Priscilla was born in 1945 in Brooklyn, NY on a Navy base. Her mother, Anna Lillian Iversen, married Navy pilot James Wagner, and gave birth to Priscilla at only 19 years old.
Six months later, James died in a plane crash, leaving Anna to look after their only daughter.
Three years later, Anna married Paul Beaulieu, an Air Force pilot, and the couple welcomed five children within the following decade. As a military family, they moved around quite a bit, sometimes out of the US.
By 1959, Priscilla and her family were living in Bad Nauheim, Germany, where Beaulieu was stationed as a pilot. Nearby, though, a 24 year old funky dancer who sang and played guitar was also stationed as an Army officer.
His name was Elvis Presley, and the two would first cross paths at a military party in Germany.
Right away, Priscilla’s stepfather was hesitant on the two being romantic with each other, considering their ten-year age gap (as well as Priscilla being in high school). However, Elvis ultimately used their shared military lifestyle as a method for connecting with Paul.
“[Elvis] came absolutely decked out in white gloves, hat, everything!” Priscilla told Closer Weekly about the first time Elvis met her father “in full uniform”. “Already he won my father over! They talked for an hour and a half.”
Priscilla and Elvis eventually wed in 1967, but stayed married for only six years, divorcing in 1973. During their time together, they welcomed their only daughter, Lisa Marie.
They maintained a friendship and did their best to co-parent Lisa, but Elvis’ life came to a sudden end in 1977, which came as an utter shock to Priscilla.
“It was just too hard to believe,” she said on Today in 2018. “Going out the gates in the limo and seeing the streets lined up on both sides all the way to the cemetery. You’d see glimpses, you’d see people crying, hysterical, fainting, and that’s how impactful it was. And still to this day, people come around the same time and they’re all there.”
Priscilla went on to fall in and out of relationships, welcoming a son (Navarone Garibaldi), and trying to maintain Elvis’ estate in which he left to his only daughter. Untimely death wouldn’t plague her until 2020, when her grandson, Ben Keough, took his own life, only two years after her stepfather, Beaulieu, passed away.
Ben’s death shook the entire Presley family, especially Lisa Marie. Priscilla spoke about the pain of losing Ben by posting to Facebook when it happened back in 2020.
“These are some of the darkest days of my family’s life,” she wrote. “Trying to put all the pieces together of all the possible whys has penetrated my soul. Each day I wake up I pray it will get better. Then, I think of my daughter and the pain she is going through as she was a doting mother. Ben’s father, Danny [Keough], who is completely lost, as Ben was his only son.”
A year later, Priscilla’s mother died at the age of 95.
“I am heartbroken. My beautiful mother passed today,” she said at the time. “She was the light of our lives. She never wanted any attention on herself. Her children were her everything. May you Rest In Peace mom. You will always be with us.”
Now, two years after that, she lost her only daughter at the young age of 54. Although things have been tough, regarding lawsuits, custody complications, and other legal issues, Priscilla must be struggling to accept yet another too soon death in her life. Even though her and Lisa’s relationship saw its fair share of ups and downs, she was still her daughter.
Hopefully the family can work things out without having to hinder any relationships further. But, they can get through it if they just keep Lisa—and their other deceased loved ones—in their thoughts and through their actions.