After his divorce from Priscilla, Elvis Presley’s next great lover was former Miss Tennessee model Linda Thompson. The 22-year-old lived with The King at Graceland from 1972 to 1976 and claims to have saved his life on several occasions. When the Baz Luhrmann biopic was released last year, some fans were furious that his relationship with the singer, along with latest girlfriend Ginger Alden, were not included in the film.
The Elvis movie manages to skip the last three years of the King’s life, 42 years old, with only Linda appearing for a split second of the archival footage. However, the 72-year-old regularly pays tribute to her intimate time with the star on social media, sharing photos of her life together.
Today marks what would have been the singer’s 88th birthday with celebrations at Graceland, including a rare appearance by his daughter Lisa Marie. To celebrate her old love, Linda posted some sweet photos of her with Elvis and pointed out the importance of him turning 88.
Linda wrote on Instagram: “There have been many famous people throughout history, but none more famous than the iconic legend that was Elvis. January 8th would have been Elvis’s 88th birthday! There are 88 keys on the piano… and something tells me they’re all playing for Elvis in heaven today. Having to share years of living and sharing love with this man will always feel like a fairy tale to me. I am so grateful for the rarefied memories that I cherish. Happy heavenly birthday Buntin!”
Around the release of the Elvis movie, Linda wrote on social media: “No, I haven’t seen it yet. The trailer looks very entertaining and Austin Butler seems to do a fantastic description. BUT since so many people who were very important and instrumental in Elvis’ life are left out, I wouldn’t call it a biopic. I spent four and a half years of my life living with Elvis and deeply caring for him on so many levels. I shared a hospital room with him every time he was in the hospital. I had my own bed next to his during those times. I traveled on all the tours with him. I was the only woman who did it in this lifetime. I was in all the Las Vegas engagements during those years. I literally saved his life on multiple occasions.”
READ MORE: Elvis ate the same food every day for six months, Priscilla claims
Linda broke up amicably with Elvis in December 1976 because she wanted a more normal life outside of the celebrity spotlight. She died of a heart attack eight months later, on August 16, 1977.
She added: “We kept in touch and loved each other until the day he died, even though we had broken up and I had moved from Graceland just eight months before. So any inclusion or exclusion in any movie ever made may erase the important role I played in his life and he played in mine. But every true fan already knows that. Thank you all for your loyalty.”
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