Priscilla Presley Is “Humbled and Honored” by the Response to the ‘Priscilla’ Movie

priscilla presley smiles and waves while looking left of the camera, she wears a black blouse with sheer long sleeves, a group of photographers takes pictures in the background
Priscilla PresleyGetty Images
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Priscilla Presley Now: Celeb Praises Priscilla Movie and Cailee Spaeny’s Portrayal of Her

Priscilla Presley had to wipe away tears when Priscilla, the new movie based on her life and relationship with Elvis Presley, received a 7-minute standing ovation at its Venice Film Festival debut in September. Now, the 78-year-old will get to see how moviegoers react following Priscilla’s wide release on November 3.

The film stars Cailee Spaeny as Priscilla and Jacob Elordi as Elvis, with Sofia Coppola writing and directing. An executive producer of Priscilla, Presley has said she is “humbled and honored by the great reviews and love” the movie received following its debut. “Sofia did an amazing job. She did her homework, we spoke a couple of times, and I really put everything out for her that I could,” Presley said at Venice. She also lauded Spaeny’s portrayal on social media, saying she wouldn’t be surprised if the actor wins an Oscar for her performance.

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Who Is Priscilla Presley?

Actor and businesswoman Priscilla Presley is the ex-wife of musical icon Elvis Presley and mother of late singer-songwriter Lisa Marie Presley. Married to Elvis for six years, Presley later ran Elvis Presley Enterprises and helped to turn Graceland into a multimillion-dollar tourist attraction. She starred in three Naked Gun movies with Leslie Nielsen and played the character Jenna Wade on the television series Dallas in the 1980s. Director Sofia Coppola adapted Presley’s best-selling memoir, Elvis and Me, into a new movie titled Priscilla that released in theaters in November 2023.

Quick Facts

FULL NAME: Priscilla Ann Beaulieu Presley
BORN: May 24, 1945
BIRTHPLACE: Brooklyn, New York
SPOUSE: Elvis Presley (1967-1973)
CHILDREN: Lisa Marie Presley and Navarone Garibaldi Garcia
GRANDCHILDREN: Riley Keough, Benjamin Keough, Harper Lockwood, and Finley Lockwood

Early Life

Priscilla Presley was born Priscilla Ann Wagner on May 24, 1945, in Brooklyn, New York. Her father, James Wagner, was a U.S. Navy pilot who was killed in a plane crash when Priscilla was only a few months old. Her mother, Ann, remarried Paul Beaulieu, an Air Force officer, in 1948.

Her family moved several times during her childhood and was stationed in Germany when she was a teenager. It was there she met Elvis Presley in 1959, when she was 14. At that time, 24-year-old Elvis was serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. They began a romance, and Priscilla eventually followed Elvis to the United States.

Marriage to Elvis Presley

priscilla presley wearing her wedding dress and veil and smiling for a photo with elvis, also smiling and wearing a black tuxedo
Priscilla and Elvis Presley met when she was only 14 years old. They married in 1967.Getty Images

Eight years after they met, Priscilla and Elvis were married in Las Vegas on May 1, 1967. Their daughter, Lisa Marie, was born the following year, in 1968. Ultimately, their marriage didn’t last, ending in divorce on October 9, 1973. However, Elvis and Priscilla remained friends and raised Lisa Marie together until his death in 1977.

Two years later, Priscilla became the executor of Elvis’ estate, including Graceland, and proved herself to be a successful businesswoman, turning Elvis Presley Enterprises into a profitable business. Graceland opened to the public in 1982, and the company had expanded its ventures to shopping centers and Elvis Presley Automobile Museum by the late 1980s.

In 1985, Presley released a memoir, Elvis and Me, which detailed her courtship and marriage to Elvis.

Son and Grandchildren

Although she never remarried, Presley began living with her boyfriend and Italian screenwriter Marco Garibaldi in 1984. The couple had a son, Navaronne Garibaldi Garcia, in 1987. Ultimately, the relationship didn’t last, with Presley and Garibaldi splitting in 2006.

Presley has three living grandchildren, all born to her daughter. Lisa Marie and her first husband, Danny Keough, had daughter Riley Keough in 1989. Then, in 2008, Lisa Marie had twin daughters Harper and Finley Lockwood with her fourth husband, Michael Lockwood. Today, Riley has built a successful acting career, having earned a 2023 Emmy nomination for her starring role in the Amazon Prime series Daisy Jones & the Six.

Presley’s grandson, Benjamin Keough, was born in 1992 to Lisa Marie and Danny. Tragically, he died by suicide in July 2020 at age 27. “These are some of the darkest days of my family’s life,” Presley posted on social media shortly after his death. “The shock of losing Ben has been devastating. 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.”

Acting Career and Beyond

Presley began studying acting while she was married to Elvis, and after a few TV appearances, she joined the cast of the hugely popular night-time soap opera Dallas in 1983. The next year, she won a Soap Opera Digest Award for her role as Jenna Wade Krebbs. Presley left the show after five seasons.

Presley then starred in three Naked Gun movies with Leslie Nielsen between 1988 and 1994. Also in 1988, she produced a TV movie based on her best-selling memoir Elvis and Me.

In the late 1990s, Presley started a line of fragrances and developed a line of clothing and skincare products. In 2002, she was announced her intent to co-produce a musical theater production, Elvis and Priscilla, based on her romance with the King of Rock ’n’ Roll.

In 2008, Presley garnered new fame, this time for her dancing skills, when she performed as a contestant on Season 6 of the hit series Dancing with the Stars.

Estate Dispute with Riley Keough

In January 2023, Presley suffered the loss of her daughter. Lisa Marie died suddenly from a small bowel obstruction shortly before her 55th birthday. “Our hearts are broken, and I am having to learn to live without my only daughter,” Presley shared.

Following Lisa Marie’s death, Presley mounted a legal challenge over a 2016 amendment to her daughter’s will. In the amendment, Lisa Marie replaced Priscilla as well as her former business manager, Barry Siegel, as co-trustees of her estate with her children, Riley and Benjamin Keough. (Benjamin died in 2020.)

Presley filed a petition questioning the will’s validity, arguing the change was never witnessed or notarized and that she never received proper correspondence. At stake was control of the famed Graceland property, as well as a 15 percent stake in Elvis Presley Enterprises.

The ensuing legal battle reportedly created a rift in the family: Keough was said to be “deeply upset,” and the pair weren’t on speaking terms. However, the two sides reached a settlement agreement in May 2023, with Keough filing an official petition in court the next month. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge approved the arrangement in August and officially ratified the motion in October.

Per the agreement, Keough became the sole trustee—in control of Graceland—with Presley receiving a $1 million payout and an annual $100,000 salary for acting as a special adviser to the Promenade Trust. Additionally, Presley will receive a burial site at the Memphis, Tennessee, property near her ex-husband and daughter. “My feelings [about being buried there] are great. That’s, you know, what I want and wanted,” she told television host Piers Morgan.

Early reports of the terms also stated that her son Navarone would receive a one-ninth sub-trust, with Presley acting as trustee.

Elvis and Priscilla Movies

Olivia DeJonge portrayed Priscilla in the 2022 biopic Elvis, which starred Austin Butler as her ex-husband and gave a stylized portrayal of his career and their relationship.

A 2023 movie based on Priscilla’s memoir simply titled Priscilla reached theaters November 3. It stars Cailee Spaeny as Priscilla and Jacob Elordi as Elvis, with Sofia Coppola writing and directing. Presley is an executive producer. The film debuted at the Venice Film Festival on September 4, and Priscilla wiped away tears as it received a standing ovation. “It’s very difficult to sit and watch a film about you, about your life, about your love,” Presley said at a press conference for the movie.

Because of its portrayal of some of the more unsavory aspects of Priscilla’s relationship with Elvis, the film received criticism from the Elvis Presley estate and, reportedly, their daughter, Lisa Marie. According to Variety, Lisa Marie requested prior to her death in January 2023 that Coppola revise the movie’s “vengeful and contemptuous” script so that its unflattering portrayal of Elvis wouldn’t further strain her relationship with Priscilla.

Priscilla Presley Net Worth

As of May 2023, Presley’s net worth is estimated to be around $50 million.

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