Lisa Marie Presley was just nine years old when her father died at 42 in 1977. During her first decade, she spent many happy months at Graceland, which turned into a Christmas treat for her when Elvis Presley and Priscilla Presley divorced in 1973. Such as is the case in today’s tours, the upstairs of the mansion was off-limits during the King’s lifetime as it was his private sanctuary. She can even see the one-way mirrors on the security wall on the first floor landing from the bottom of the main staircase to this day. The main rooms in the secret space were Elvis’s bedroom, bathroom and office, as well as Lisa Marie’s childhood bedroom, rooms that have been preserved “exactly the same” as the star left them in 1977 as a kind of shrine in his honor.
Before she died at 54 last week, Lisa Marie treated Elvis movie star Austin Butler on a tour of the upstairs of Graceland. In his tribute to the King’s daughter, the 31-year-old Golden Globe winner told E!: “My heart is completely broken for Riley, Finley, Harper and Priscilla for the tragic and unexpected loss of Lisa Marie. I am forever grateful for the time I was lucky enough to be around her bright light and will always cherish the quiet moments we share. Her warmth, her love, and her authenticity will always be remembered.”
Upon first meeting her, Butler told The Hollywood Reporter: “She hugged me tearfully and just said, ‘Thank you.’ She took me upstairs and we went into Elvis’s room and sat on his bed and talked for hours.” In a previous interview, Lisa Marie shared how upstairs at Graceland, where she would sit and watch TV in her bedroom with her father, was a place of true comfort for her.
Speaking with Lorraine, Lisa Marie said: “Absolutely! It’s the only place where I feel safer. I keep the key to the upstairs with me. It’s just her room and my room [it was Elvis’] kind of sanctuary. If I take the key… and just close that door… I feel as safe and calm as I could ever feel.”
When asked how religious her father was, she said: “Very… He always had books stacked up by his bed and they were all religious. If you go up to her bedroom, there is a small office connected to it. And there is nothing but books of all religions… a million bibles. He was in constant search and was very connected to the gospel. She went on to describe the King’s bedroom.
READ MORE: Austin Butler dresses in black after the death of Lisa Marie Presley
Paying tribute to Lisa Marie following the news of her death, Ginger wrote on Facebook: “I remember Lisa walking into Elvis’s room one night, she sat on his bed and while watching TV he quietly touched me behind her. “She has the same look in her eyes as me,” he said. That look isn’t too far off from her father’s now. I really wish we could have talked later in life as I’m sure she had a lot of questions. Rest in peace Liza. You were loved and will be sorely missed.”
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