Along with the fans, Lisa Marie Presley is being remembered by those who got to share some of their lives with the only child of legendary rocker Elvis Presley following her sudden death at the age of 54 after suffering cardiac arrest.
Among them: Linda Thompson, who got to witness Elvis shower Lisa Marie with love as a little girl when she dated the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll for four years, beginning in 1972 until late 1976.
In an interview with People, Thompson, 72, confessed to being ‘absolutely devastated and shocked’ when she learned of her death on Thursday, which came four days she attended the annual birthday celebration for Elvis at Graceland and less than 48 hours after her appearance at the Golden Globes in support of the recent Elvis biopic.
Heartbroken: Elvis Presley ex-girlfriend Linda Thompson, 72, is mourning the death of Lisa Marie Presley, first sharing on Instagram after confirmation of her death: ‘My heart is too heavy for words’
‘I was so happy to see her at Graceland to celebrate what would have been Elvis’s 88th birthday, and then, of course, at the Golden Globes,’ Thompson, 72, revealed about Lisa Marie, who was four-years-old when they first met.
Both were rare public appearances for the mother of four, since the tragic suicide of her late son Benjamin Keough, 27, in July 2020.
‘She seemed to be on a more positive trajectory emotionally after the unfathomable loss of her beloved son, Benjamin,’ the former actress and beauty pageant winner said of Lisa Marie.
Thompson was 22-years-old when she first met the Jailhouse Rock star in the summer of 1972, shortly after he separated from Priscilla Presley, when she attended a private movie screening hosted by Elvis at the Memphian Theater in Memphis.
Public appearance: Lisa Marie went to the Golden Globes in support of Elvis (2022) biopic star Austin Butler, who played Elvis Presley, and director and co-writer Baz Luhrmann; Lisa Marie was joined by her mother Priscilla Presley at the event held on Tuesday, January 10
Heartbroken: Presley had made few public appearances in the wake of her son, Benjamin Keough’s death by suicide at 27 in July 2020; they are pictured together in January 2012
During those four years that they dated she got to see how similar Lisa Marie was with her beloved daddy, calling it ‘uncanny.’
‘She had his deep, soulful eyes, his pouty lip, and his raucous, irreverent sense of humor. She was a beautiful contradiction like Elvis… complicated in her simplicity,’ she said the singer-songwriter, who released three studio albums during her own career between 2003 and 2012.
Thompson continued, ‘She was brutally honest, straightforward, loving and loyal. I don’t think there was a phony cell in her body. I believe she lived her life authentically.’
The two Memphis natives kept in contact with each other over the years, according to Thompson, who said they most recently communicated by text.
‘In fact, the very last text to me was a simple “Love you Linda” with a heart emoji,’ she shared.
The way we were: Thompson was 22 when she stared dating Elvis Presley in 1972, when Lisa Marie was four-years-old, which lasted through until late 1976
On Sunday, January 8, fans all over the world remembered Elvis on what would have been his 88th birthday.
‘There have been many celebrated individuals throughout history, but none more enduringly famous than the iconic legend that was Elvis,’ Thompson wrote in an Instagram post along with an assortment of photos of the former couple. ‘January 8th would have been Elvis‘s 88th birthday! There are 88 keys on the piano…& something tells me they are all playing for Elvis in heaven today. That I got to share years of living with & sharing love with this man will always feel like a fairytale to me. I am so grateful for the rarefied memories I hold dear. Happy Heavenly Birthday “Buntin”!’
And then, just for days later, came the initial news reports of Lisa Marie’s health emergency at her home in Calabasas, California. She would again take to Instagram and post a series of throwback snaps of herself and Elvis with Lisa Marie.
‘I am fervently praying for someone I have always held so near & dear to my heart @lisampresley,’ she wrote in the caption, adding, ‘Please join me in sending out your best thoughts, love, prayers, and well wishes for a full and speedy recovery for her. Thank you…’
Thompson is seen with Elvis in 1974, three years before his death
But then just hours later came the confirmation of her death from Priscilla Presley, who described her daughter as ‘the most passionate, strong and loving woman I have ever known,’ before asking for privacy in order ‘to deal with this profound loss.’
“My heart is too heavy for words…’ Thompson wrote in her follow-up post on Instagram alongside a photo of Elvis kissing the top of his young daughter’s head as he held on to her.
The mother of two – sons Brandon Jenner and Brody Jenner – would go on to disclose that it was Lisa Marie who notified her of her father’s death back on August 16, 1977.
‘I will always be profoundly grateful to the little nine-year-old Lisa Marie, who had the presence of mind to call me from Graceland the fateful day her daddy died to give me the news,’ she told People. ‘I was the first person she called. To me, that spoke volumes of how close we were, and how sure she was of my love for her daddy. In fact, if there is any solace to be found now, it’s in my knowing that Lisa Marie was sure I loved her and her daddy, without reservation and without any agenda…’
Thompson went on to share that ‘Lisa Marie was, without a doubt, the greatest love of Elvis’s life.’
After making the connection between all parents and their children ‘that can compare to no other’, she said Elvis was always happiest and most complete when he was with Lisa Marie.
Very much alike: During the four years that Thompson dated she got to see how similar Lisa Marie was with her beloved daddy, calling it ‘uncanny’