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Priscilla Presley
Priscilla presley and jerry schilling (cropped).jpg
Presley in 2019
Priscilla Ann Wagner

(1945-05-24) May 24, 1945 (age 79)
Other names Priscilla Wagner
Priscilla Beaulieu
Priscilla Beaulieu Presley
  • Actress
  • businesswoman
Years active 1973–present
(m. 1967; div. 1973)
Partner(s) Marco Garibaldi (1984–2006)
Relatives Riley Keough (granddaughter)

Priscilla Ann Presley (née Wagner, formerly Beaulieu; born May 24, 1945) is an American businesswoman and actress. She is the ex-wife of the late American singer Elvis Presley, as well as co-founder and former chairperson of Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE), the company that turned Graceland into one of the top tourist attractions in the United States. In her acting career, Presley co-starred with Leslie Nielsen in the Naked Gun film trilogy and played Jenna Wade on the long-running television series Dallas.

Early life

Priscilla Ann Wagner was born at Brooklyn Naval Hospital in Brooklyn on May 24, 1945. Her maternal grandfather, Albert Henry Iversen (1899–1971), was born in Egersund, Norway. He immigrated to the United States, where he married Lorraine Davis (1903–1984), who was of Scots-Irish and English descent. Their only daughter was Anna Lillian Iversen (1926–2021), who later was called, or her name was changed to, Ann. She gave birth to Priscilla when she was 19 years old.

Priscilla's biological father was US Navy pilot James Frederick Wagner (1921–1945), son of Kathryn (1901–1995) and Harold Wagner (1897–1958) of Cherrytree Township, Pennsylvania. At age 23 he married Priscilla's mother, Ann, on August 10, 1944; they had been dating for more than three years. Wagner died in a plane crash returning home on leave when Priscilla was six months old.

In 1948, Ann married a United States Air Force officer named Paul Beaulieu, from Quebec, Canada. The couple raised Priscilla along with half-siblings Donald (b. 1949), Michelle (b. 1954), Jeffrey (b. 1959) and twins Thomas (1962–2013) and Timothy Beaulieu (b. 1962). Priscilla took the Beaulieu surname on April 17, 1950. Over the next few years, the growing family repeatedly relocated as her stepfather's Air Force career moved them from Connecticut to New Mexico to Maine. Priscilla describes herself during this period as "a shy, pretty, little girl, unhappily accustomed to moving from base to base every two or three years." Priscilla later recalled how uneasy she felt having to move so often, never knowing if she could ever make friends for life, or if she would fit in with the people she would meet at the next place.

In 1956, the Beaulieus settled in Del Valle, Texas, but soon her stepfather was transferred to Wiesbaden, West Germany. Priscilla was "crushed" by this news, as just after junior high, her fear of having to leave friends behind and make new ones was once again justified.

Life in West Germany

When the Beaulieus arrived in West Germany, they stayed at the Helene Hotel, but living at the hotel soon became too large a financial burden to sustain. After three months living at the hotel, the Beaulieus sought another home to rent. The family settled into a large apartment in a "vintage building constructed long before World War I.”

Life with Elvis


On September 13, 1959, 14-year old Priscilla Beaulieu met 24-year old Elvis Presley at a party at his home in Bad Nauheim, Germany, which he had rented during his military service. Her presence is said to have made Elvis seem "awkward" and "embarrassed; however, he composed himself by the end of the evening. Priscilla's late return home on the night of that first meeting upset her parents, who insisted that she never see Elvis again. However, his eagerness for another rendezvous and his promise to never bring her home late again led Priscilla's parents to relent. Thereafter, Priscilla and Elvis were frequently together until his departure from West Germany in March 1960. After Elvis left, Priscilla was inundated with requests for interviews from media outlets around the world. Priscilla received fan mail from Elvis fans, some positive and some negative, as well as mail from "lonesome G.I.s.". With gossip-magazine rumors swirling about his relationship with Nancy Sinatra, Priscilla became convinced that her romance with Elvis was over, and she was concerned she would never see him again.

Move to Graceland

Graceland Memphis Tennessee

After Elvis's return to the US, Priscilla managed to stay in touch with him by phone. The pair did not meet in person again until the summer of 1962, when Priscilla's parents agreed to let her visit for two weeks. They allowed her to go, on the condition Elvis pay for a first-class round trip ticket and arrange for her to be chaperoned at all times. She was also expected to write to her parents every day. Elvis agreed to all these demands, and Priscilla flew to Los Angeles. Elvis told her they were going to Las Vegas, and to confuse her parents, he had Priscilla write a postcard for every day they would be away, with the intent that each would be mailed daily from Los Angeles by a member of his staff.

Priscilla's parents let her move to Memphis in mid-March 1963. Part of the agreement was that they would eventually marry. She would finish her senior year at an all-girls Catholic school, the Immaculate Conception High School and live with Elvis's father and stepmother, in a separate house, a few streets away from the Graceland mansion at 3650 Hermitage Drive, until she graduated in May.

Priscilla was keen to go to Hollywood with Elvis, but he kept telling her he was too busy and had her stay in Memphis. During that period, Priscilla read reports about an affair between Elvis and his Viva Las Vegas co-star Ann-Margret. Priscilla confronted Elvis, who explained the reports as rumors to promote the film, urging her to not trust the press. Over the next few years, Elvis had numerous intimate relationships with his co-stars, but denied each of them to Priscilla. Eventually, she was allowed to visit him in Hollywood, but her visits were kept short.

Marriage and pregnancy

Elvis Presley and Priscilla with Lisa Marie February 1968
Elvis and Priscilla with newborn Lisa Marie, February 1968

Shortly before Christmas 1966, Elvis proposed to Priscilla, after being reminded of the record contract's RCA "morals clause" by his manager, Colonel Tom Parker. Priscilla suggested, in a 1973 interview with Ladies' Home Journal, that she and Elvis were quite happy to just live together, but "at that time, it wasn't nice for people to [just] live together". According to his cook, Alberta, and friend, Marty Lackner, Elvis was reluctant to marry and upset about not having a choice. Others, such as Joe Esposito, have asserted that Elvis was excited to marry Priscilla.

The couple married on May 1, 1967, at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas. The wedding, arranged by Parker to maximize publicity, featured very few guests and was over in only eight minutes. It was followed by a quick press conference and a $10,000 breakfast reception, attended by friends, family, and business associates from MGM, RCA, and the William Morris Agency. The wedding caused rifts between Elvis and several of his closest friends, including Red West, who were not invited to the actual wedding ceremony. Although the blame mainly fell on Parker, resentment was held for years to follow.

Following the reception, Priscilla and Elvis boarded a private jet and enjoyed a short honeymoon in Palm Springs. On May 4, they flew back to Memphis and retreated to their private ranch, just over the Mississippi state line, for a three-week break. Many of Elvis's inner circle joined them, although, for the most part, the couple were left alone and were able to enjoy each other's company, without the intrusion of the Memphis Mafia. "I loved playing house,” she later remarked, adding, "Here was an opportunity to take care of him myself. No maids or housekeepers to pamper us." In an attempt to heal rifts, Elvis and Priscilla held another reception at Graceland on May 29 for the friends and family who were unable to attend the original ceremonies.

Soon after, Priscilla found out that she was pregnant. She was upset at such an early pregnancy, certain that it would destroy the closeness she had finally found with Elvis. Their only child, Lisa Marie, was born exactly nine months after their wedding, on February 1, 1968.

Priscilla wrote, in Elvis and Me, that she began taking private dance lessons around the time her husband was filming Live a Little, Love a Little (1968). She found herself deeply attracted to the instructor, known simply as Mark, in the book, and she confesses to having a short affair. She implies regret, however, saying, "I came out of it realizing I needed much more out of my relationship with Elvis".

Despite Priscilla's affair and Elvis's on-and-off affairs with his co-stars, the first few years they were married seemed a happy time for the couple. However, when Elvis's career took off, again, after his 1968 television special, he was constantly touring and playing in Las Vegas, while Priscilla stayed at home to care for their daughter, Lisa Marie.

Separation and divorce

Elvis and Priscilla Presley after divorce hearing
The Presleys in October 1973 after their divorce was finalized

Priscilla took up karate after Elvis, a keen karate student, convinced her to do so. Priscilla, keen to share her husband's interests, thought it was a good idea, as a hobby to concentrate on would pass the time she spent alone. Following disruptions from Elvis, Priscilla began taking lessons from Mike Stone, a karate instructor she met in 1972, backstage, at one of Elvis's concerts. She soon began an affair with him.

Priscilla and Elvis separated on February 24, 1972, and the two filed for legal separation on July 26. To avoid Priscilla having to make her home address available on public records, risking the security of her and Lisa Marie, Elvis filed for divorce, on his 38th birthday, January 8, 1973. The divorce was finalized on October 9, 1973.

The couple agreed to share custody of their daughter, Lisa Marie, and Priscilla was awarded an outright cash payment of US$725,000, as well as spousal support, child support, 5% of Elvis's new publishing companies, and half the proceeds from the sale of their Beverly Hills home. Originally, the couple had agreed upon a much smaller settlement; a $100,000 lump payment, $1,000 a month in spousal support, and $500 a month in child support. Priscilla was keen to make it on her own and prove that her marriage to Elvis was not about money. After consulting her new lawyers, her demands increased, pointing out that a star of Elvis's stature could easily afford more for his former wife and child. Priscilla and Elvis remained close, leaving the courthouse hand-in-hand on the day of their divorce.

Personal life post-1973

Though she has never remarried, she has had romantic relationships since her divorce from Elvis. Immediately afterwards, she lived with karate instructor Mike Stone, but the relationship dissolved by 1975.

Beginning in 1978, Presley had a six-year intermittent live-in relationship with model Michael Edwards, until he began developing feelings for the teenage Lisa Marie.

Presley's longest relationship has been with Brazilian screenwriter-turned-computer-programmer Marco Antonio Garcia (a.k.a. Marco Garibaldi), with whom she lived for 22 years. The two were introduced by a mutual friend in 1984 after he wrote a script that she read, hoping to produce. Their son, Navarone Garibaldi, was born on March 1, 1987. (Presley was starring in the primetime soap opera Dallas at the time and her pregnancy was written into the storyline.) In 2006, they ended their relationship. At the beginning of their romance, Presley ensured Garibaldi sign a promissory agreement that if they should break up, he would not write a book about her.

Through her daughter, Lisa Marie, Presley has four grandchildren including actress Riley Keough. Presley became a great-grandmother through Riley Keough in 2022. Her daughter, Lisa Marie, died after suffering a heart attack on January 12, 2023, at age 54.


Designation of Graceland Mansion as a National Historic Landmark 2006
Designation of Graceland mansion as a National Historic Landmark in 2006, l-r Jack Soden, Priscilla Presley and United States Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton

In 1973, following her separation from her husband, Presley set up a clothing boutique in Los Angeles called Bis & Beau with her friend and stylist Olivia Bis. In a 1973 interview to promote the opening of the store, Priscilla said, "After the separation, I had to make up my mind about what I wanted to do, and since I had worked with Olivia for such a long time on my own clothes, I decided to try it professionally. We both do the designing for the shop, and have people who sew for us." Elvis, supportive of Priscilla's business, contacted several friends in public relations to help promote the launch. The shop was a successful business venture, with celebrity clients including Diana Ross, Carol Burnett, Jill Ireland, Mary Tyler Moore, Victoria Principal, Michelle Phillips, Dyan Cannon, Julie Christie, Suzanne Pleshette, Cher, Liza Minnelli, Lana Turner, Barbra Streisand, and Natalie Wood shopping there regularly. The shop closed in 1976.

After Elvis's death in 1977, his father Vernon was one of the executors of his estate, which was held in trust for his daughter Lisa Marie. Vernon named Priscilla to be his successor upon his death. She assumed the role following Vernon's 1979 death. Graceland itself cost $500,000 a year in upkeep, and expenses had dwindled Lisa Marie's inheritance to only $1 million. Taxes due on the property and other expenses due came to over $500,000. Faced with having to sell Graceland, Presley examined other public homes and museums. She hired a CEO, Jack Soden, to turn Graceland into a tourist attraction. Graceland was opened to the public on June 7, 1982. Only four weeks after opening Graceland's doors, the estate made back all the money it had invested. Priscilla became the chairperson and president of Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE), stating that she would remain in the position until Lisa Marie reached 21 years of age. Under Priscilla Presley's guidance, the enterprise's fortunes soared and eventually the trust grew to be worth over $100 million.

In 1988, Presley launched her own fragrance, Moments, and followed this up with a range of best-selling perfumes in the 1990s – Experiences in 1993, Indian Summer in 1996, and Roses and More in 1998. She has also successfully sold her line of products live on the Home Shopping Network and was coached by veteran HSN host Bob Circosta.

In 2006, Presley flew to Sydney, Australia for the debut of her worldwide line of bed linens called the Priscilla Presley Collection. She partnered with Australian designer Bruno Schiavi for the line.

She has helped to produce feature films including Breakfast with Einstein and Finding Graceland. In September 2000, Presley was elected to the board of directors at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. In 2015 Presley became the executive producer of a 14-track album titled If I Can Dream: Elvis Presley With the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. She said, "If Elvis were here, he would be evolving and taking risks, seemingly like everybody else today". Also in that year the U.S. Postmaster General Megan Brennan and Priscilla Presley dedicated an Elvis "forever" stamp, which featured a 1955 black-and-white image shot by photographer William Speer. It was Priscilla's second dedication of a USPS stamp honoring her ex-husband. The first Elvis stamp, issued in 1993, were the most popular stamps sold in the Postal Service's history. This second contribution also made Elvis Presley the first musical artist to be featured in two different issues of its commemorative stamps collections.

On August 16, 2019, it was announced that Presley, in conjunction with John Eddie, as well as Sony Pictures, would create and produce Agent Elvis, a Netflix adult animated fictional series about her former husband working as a spy by night while remaining a musician during the day. The series' first teaser was published on the official Elvis Instagram account on June 15, 2022. The image showed an illustrated Elvis donning a black trench coat. Presley was featured as a cast member in the show, voicing her own animation character.

Acting career

Presley had shown an interest in dancing and modelling. She did model for a local store one time. Hal B. Wallis, a Hollywood producer who had financed many of Elvis's earlier films, showed interest in signing Priscilla to a contract. However, during her marriage she never pursued these activities as a career, instead calling acting or filmmaking a hobby. Priscilla was sensitive about Elvis's opinion, because he did not want to let Priscilla have her own career, repeating the then-popular saying, "A woman's place is in the home looking after her man". Priscilla neither pursued fashion modelling nor did she sign any exclusive contracts, instead choosing to comply with her husband's wishes.

Presley had originally been offered a role as one of the angels on Charlie's Angels. She turned down the role because she disliked the show. Presley made her television debut as co-host of Those Amazing Animals in 1980. In 1983, she had her first professional acting role on a season 2 episode of The Fall Guy titled "Manhunter". She then went on to play in a television film titled Love is Forever, starring alongside Michael Landon. Although she was treated well by most of the cast and crew, and her acting was praised by several of her co-stars, she found Landon difficult to work with on set. After the television film aired, Presley took on the role of Jenna Wade in the soap opera Dallas. As the third actor portraying Jenna, she played the role for the longest of the three. In 1988 after five years, Presley left the show. Also during her tenure on the series, she was offered the role of Bond girl Stacey Sutton in A View to a Kill (1985), but due to scheduling conflicts, she had to decline the role.

In 1988, Presley starred opposite Leslie Nielsen in The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! as Jane Spencer. Critic Roger Ebert praised Presley's performance, saying her "light comic touch" helped balance out the film's more over-the-top humor. She would go on to act in the next two movies in the series: The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear (1991) and Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult (1994). All three films performed solidly at the box office. In between, she acted in The Adventures of Ford Fairlane (1990) with Andrew Dice Clay. During the mid-to-late-1990s she made guest appearances on the hit television shows Melrose Place, Touched by an Angel, and Spin City.

Presley made her pantomime debut in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the New Wimbledon Theatre, Wimbledon, London, during Christmas of 2012, starring opposite Warwick Davis. She reprised her role of the Wicked Queen at the Manchester Opera House in 2014.

Charity work and activism

Priscilla Presley (2003)
Priscilla Presley in 2003

Since 2003, Presley has been the Ambassador of the Dream Foundation, a Santa Barbara-based wish-granting organization for terminally ill adults and their families.

Priscilla Presley joined the Church of Scientology along with her daughter after Elvis's death. In 2006, she helped inaugurate Narconon's Stonehawk Rehabilitation Center in Michigan. When Lisa Marie left Scientology by 2016, it was reported that Priscilla had also distanced herself from the church at the same time, however, in October 2017 Priscilla Presley's representative denied that she had left the church.

In 2013, Presley spoke out against the Tennessee Ag-Gag Bill in a letter to Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. Presley cited her and Elvis's love of horses and expressed her concern that the bill would hinder animal cruelty investigations and reduce protections for horses and other farm animals.


Presley was conferred the degree of Doctor of Humanities by Rhodes College in 1998. She was named godmother of the largest river steamboat ever built, American Queen, christened April 27, 2012 at its home port in Memphis. The AutoZone Liberty Bowl chose her as its 2018 Distinguished Citizen Award winner. On July 22, 2022, Theatre Memphis honored her contributions to Memphis art and tourism with a gala, "Honoring Priscilla Presley: The Artist, The Woman", featuring more than a dozen speakers and a live musical tribute. She has a square named after her in Egersund – Priscilla Presleys plass. The area is in the street outside the house where her grandfather was born in 1899, and lived.


Priscilla Presley film work
Year Title Role Notes
1980–1981 Those Amazing Animals Co-host
1983 Love Is Forever Sandy Redford TV film
The Fall Guy Sabrina Coldwell Episode: "Manhunter"
1983–1988 Dallas Jenna Wade Series regular, 143 episodes
Soap Opera Digest Award for New Actress in a Prime Time Soap Opera (1984)
1988 The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! Jane Spencer
1990 The Adventures of Ford Fairlane Colleen Sutton
1991 The Naked Gun 2+12: The Smell of Fear Jane Spencer Nominated for a MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss
1993 Tales from the Crypt Gina Episode: "Oil's Well That Ends Well"
1994 Naked Gun 33+13: The Final Insult Jane Spencer Drebin
1996 Melrose Place Nurse Benson Episodes: "Peter's Excellent Adventure" "Full Metal Betsy" "Dead Sisters Walking"
1997 Touched by an Angel Dr. Meg Saulter Episode: "Labor of Love"
1998 Breakfast with Einstein Keelin TV film
1999 Spin City Aunt Marie Paterno Episodes: "Dick Clark's Rockin' Make-Out Party '99" and "Back to the Future IV: Judgment Day."
Hayley Wagner, Star Sue Wagner TV film
2008 Dancing with the Stars Herself Placed 8th
2019 Wedding at Graceland Herself TV film
2023 Agent Elvis Herself Also co-creator, executive producer


Since 1979, Presley has been portrayed in several screen and TV films focusing on various aspects of her life with Elvis Presley, her husband from 1967 to 1973. Actresses who played Priscilla Presley include Season Hubley in Elvis, the 1979 TV movie; Susan Walters in Elvis and Me, a 1988 TV miniseries; Kehli O'Byrnein in Elvis and the Colonel, a 1993 TV movie; Alyson Court in Elvis Meets Nixon, 1997; Antonia Barnath in Elvis, a 2006 TV miniseries; Ashley Greene in Shangri-La Suite, 2016; Olivia de Jonge in Elvis, 2022; and Cailee Spaeny in Priscilla, 2023.

See also

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