She still loves him tender. It’s been 37 years since Elvis Presley‘s death at age 42, but his ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, cherishes their time together now more than ever. The actress, 69, spoke with the UK’s Daily Mirror recently in advance of the Elvis at The O2 exhibition opening in London next month, telling the paper about her first meeting with the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
“I remember when I set eyes on him, he was just so kind, so authentic,” Priscilla recalled of the late icon, whom she married in 1967 and divorced in 1973. She was just a teenager at the time, she noted, but she saw something special in him.
“I just thought how he was the real deal. Elvis wasn’t putting on any pretense, he never did,” she continued. “What you saw with him is what you got. Not everyone knows that. People know his music, but they don’t necessarily know the real Elvis. I want the world to know he was a lovely, loyal man.”
Not just to her and their daughter Lisa Marie Presley, either. Priscilla says Elvis truly appreciated his fans and never took for granted how lucky he was to have them. “You don’t get that with so many musicians or celebrities these days,” she told the Mirror of the “All Shook Up” crooner. “They don’t value their fans.”
His fans, in fact, are why Priscilla opened Graceland to the public in 1982, and why she’s sending his possessions to London for the O2 exhibit.
“There are so many wonderful things,” she said of the items on display, which include his high school diploma, his gold lame outfit from 1957, and his wallet with pictures of Lisa Marie in it. “We are all so proud of him, and I can’t wait for others to see what Elvis was really like and understand properly the legacy he left.”