Priscilla Presley

Active - 1983 - 2019  |   Born - May 24, 1945 in Brooklyn, New York, United States  |   Genres - Drama, Comedy

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Priscilla Beaulieu was the 14-year-old daughter of an American air force officer when, in 1959, she first met Army sergeant Elvis Presley. It was love at first sight, but the ever-gentlemanly Elvis courted Priscilla for a respectable eight years, waiting until she came of age before escorting her to the altar. Presley tried to make the marriage work, but a combination of drugs, liquor and too many female hangers-on virtually foredoomed the union. Still respectful of Priscilla, Elvis saw to it that she and their daughter Lisa Marie were generously provided for in the divorce settlement. After Elvis' death, Priscilla invested very wisely and launched her own performing career, co-hosting the 1980 television "reality" show "Those Amazing Animals" and co-starring for five years (1983-88) on the nighttime TV serial "Dallas." At age 43 (but looking at least 15 years younger), Priscilla made her cinematic bow as Leslie Nielsen's leading lady in the adventure spoof Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad (1988); she repeated the role, with ever-increasing comic expertise, in two Naked Gun sequels, the last released in 1994. That same year, Priscilla Presley became the world's most famous (and undoubtedly most surprised) mother-in-law when her daughter Lisa Marie wed rock-legend Michael Jackson. (Though Jackson and Presley later divorced). In the years to come, Presley would remain a figure in pop culture, notably appearing on Dancing with the Stars in 2013.

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  • Father, Navy pilot James Wagner, died in a plane crash shortly after Priscilla was born.
  • Met future husband Elvis Presley, then a U.S. Army sergeant, when she was 14.
  • Became the executor of Elvis Presley's estate, Graceland, in 1979, and subsequently turned Elvis Presley Enterprises into a profitable business.
  • Penned the autobiography Elvis and Me, which was made into a 1988 TV movie of the same name.
  • Was paired with professional dancer Louis van Amstel for the sixth season of ABC's Dancing With the Stars.
  • Has spoken publicly about her affiliation with the Church of Scientology.