Inside Elvis Presley's gorgeously mischievous but short-lived time with daughter Lisa Marie

13 January 2023, 08:17

By Thomas Curtis-Horsfall

Elvis absolutely adored his only child.
Elvis absolutely adored his only child. Picture: Getty

Lisa Marie Presley only knew her father for the first nine years of her life.

Born on 1st February 1968, Lisa Marie came into the world when Elvis Presley was still one of the world's biggest stars.

Despite his fame and fortune, he still made plenty of time to form a beautiful bond with his only child.

Even though Elvis and Lisa Marie's mother Priscilla broke up in 1972, she would regularly go to visit The King at his Graceland home on school holidays as she took up residency in Los Angeles with Priscilla.

And being the parent that she only saw on special occasions, it meant they spent their time together getting up to all sorts of mischief and fun.

In interviews speaking about her father in the years since his death, she playfully self-described herself as a "terror".

Because of Elvis' hectic touring and promotional schedule, as well as his fondness for living excessively, he'd often sleep all day having partied throughout the night.

Lisa Marie had full reign of Graceland when she visited her father.
Lisa Marie had full reign of Graceland when she visited her father. Picture: Getty

This meant that Lisa Marie had full roam of his Graceland home, without the prying eyes of her mother to worry about.

But when they were both together, it sounds like they certainly made the most of it.

Lisa Marie recalled how she spent her days in Memphis when she appeared on CBS’ The Talk in 2013:

“He would sleep all day so me and my friends pretty much had the run of Graceland. And I knew that nobody was going to tell me what to do because they would get fired."

"I was, truly a terror to be honest. He and I spent a lot of time together upstairs; the upper part of Graceland is basically his room and my room."

"That’s when I got to be with him. He’d set up a little chair in my room and a TV.”

The upstairs rooms in Graceland are notoriously private, and remain closed off to the public to this day.

Likely because Lisa Marie - who owns the mansion which was opened as a museum 40 years ago - still respects how private Elvis was, and the fact it's where they bonded the most.

Lisa Marie Presley Talks About Growing Up at Graceland on CBS's 'The Talk'

Even the 'Memphis Mafia' (the name given to his inner circle of friends that frequented his home) didn't have complete access to the entire estate.

It's no secret that Lisa Marie had a difficult life at times.

First having to deal with the very public death of her father aged just nine, but then having to deal with the death of her son Benjamin Keough in 2020 who was only 28.

So like any child that loses a parent, she no doubt tried to preserve the short-lived relationship and flurry of moments they had together.

Danny Smith, the son of Elvis' cousin Billy recently shared fond memories of the two together on his YouTube channel, the Memphis Mafia Kid.

He revealed about how Elvis would rent out whole movie theatres and took them all to see the latest films, being a movie buff himself.

Lisa Marie with her mother Priscilla in Las Vegas, 1995. (Photo by Bryan Steffy/WireImage)
Lisa Marie with her mother Priscilla in Las Vegas, 1995. (Photo by Bryan Steffy/WireImage). Picture: Getty

If it wasn't cinemas, it was theme parks with The King rented out Liberty Land for days at a time so he could ride the rollercoasters endlessly with his daughter and girlfriends like Linda Thompson and Ginger Alden.

He'd also take Lisa Marie shopping regularly, and had a lot of fun riding golf carts together around Graceland.

Reportedly, his last ever Christmas present to his daughter was her very own one to drive around the estate in 1976.

Danny Smith recalled: "There was never a dull moment when she was at Graceland, I can guarantee that."

Although they certainly had a raucous time together out in the world, Elvis ensured he maximised his quality time alongside his beloved daughter.

"They had their father-daughter private times, he would play with her and they talked," Danny remembers from his time at Graceland.

"He loved when he had Lisa."

It was clearly one of the most special times in her life, and seeing the preview for the Baz Luhrmann directed Elvis biopic can only rekindle those precious memories.

Lisa Marie who had seen the film several times, and had described the movie as "absolutely exquisite", approving of Austin Butler's portrayal of her father.

She tragically died at the age of 54 in 2023.