Elvis Presley has had women at the centre of his life and rise to fame. From his mother, Gladys, to his eventual wife Priscilla, Elvis is known for his huge number of relationships with women, as well as close male friends. Here is a look at some of the women who shaped him before his sad death.
They say the most important woman in a man’s life is his mother, and that is certainly something which has been mooted about Elvis.
He gave interviews about this, saying: “My mama never let me out of her sight. I couldn’t go down to the creek with the other kids.”
He was even reportedly called a “mama’s boy” at school.
But as Elvis continued to do well in the music, Gladys alledgedly struggled to cope, and began to drink heavily, eventually being diagnosed with liver problems.
She died on August 14, 1958, two days after Elvis was brought home from the military on emergency leave to see her.
The singer was deeply upset by her death, and as chronicled in Peter Guralnick’s book, Carless Love.
He and his father, Vernon Presley, even kept a broken piece of windowpane which Gladys had reportedly fallen into, as a result of their deep grief.
Speaking of Presley’s pain at his mother’s passing, his friend Judy Spreckels reportedly said: “I have never seen anyone as sad as Elvis was.
“He cried continuously. We were in the front hall at Graceland, and he stood there hugging me for a half-hour.
“He was crying and crying and crying. It was the saddest thing I’d ever seen.”
There were many women who Elvis dated between his mother’s death and his marriage to Priscilla Beaulieu, which took place in 1967.
However, Priscilla had a huge influence on him, and bore Elvis’ only child, Lisa Marie.
The pair met in 1959 while Elvis was stationed in Germany, and Priscilla was just 14 years old.
Elvis had a number of relationships with teenage girls, though biographer Brent D. Taylor said of these relationships: “Elvis’s closest female relationships were usually with young girls of around 13 or 14, ending as they reached late teens.
“He didn’t have sex with these young girls, but had pajama parties, pillow fights and indulged in ‘girl talk’, just as he did with Gladys.”
In the early 1960s, Elvis convinced the Beaulieu family to let their teenage daughter live with Presley’s father and step-mother Dee, at a home purchased by Elvis at the back of Graceland.
Priscilla described Elvis as a “passionate man” though said he was not sexual towards her.
She admitted the pair did not have sex until their wedding night on May 1, 1967, where they married in Nevada.
Their daughter Lisa Marie was then born nine months later on February 1, 1968, in Memphis.
According to Priscilla, Elvis became fascinated with the occult and addicted to prescription drugs, which she believes changed his personality.
The pair separated in February 1972 before divorcing a year and a half later, though according to one biographer, Priscilla’s decision to leave Elvis for her karate teacher left his ego “damaged beyond repair.”
After Priscilla left him, Elvis became entangled with beauty queen Linda Thompson, who, it has been claimed, lost her virginity to the singer in “marathon love-making sessions in Vegas hotel rooms.”
However, Thompson has stated the pair did not consummate their relationship for some time after they started dating, and Linda eventually moved into Graceland where she stayed for nearly four and a half years.
Speaking of their relationship she said: “There were times when he was very, very difficult.
“There was a lot of heartache and he exhibited a lot of self-destructive behaviour, which was very difficult for me, you know, watching someone I loved so much destroy himself.”
Elvis with Ginger Alden (Image: Getty)
Thompson left Elvis and he began dating Ginger Alden, who was the one to find him on the day he died.
Alden revealed in her 2014 memoir the pair had sex during their short relationship, and Elvis had even given her an engagement ring, although the pair were only together for around nine months.
Elvis had a huge number of women in his life, though there are also many men who affected him, including his father Vernon, manager Colonel Tom Parker, and his friendship group of employees known as the Memphis Mafia.
He was also close friends with singer Tom Jones, though it has also been reported that the singer did not have many close friends at all as he rose to fame.