[04/25/05 - 12:00 AM]
Priscilla Presley Discusses Her Relationship with the Late Elvis Presley and Her Involvement with the New CBS Special "Elvis by the Presleys," May 13

[via press release from CBS]

(Broadcast Date: May 13)


ELVIS BY THE PRESLEYS, is a new entertainment special that will feature a collection of new, intimate interviews with Elvis' former wife, Priscilla Beaulieu Presley, and their daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, and other family members, will be broadcast Friday, May 13 (8:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Exclusive never-before-seen television performances, photographs from the Presley Estate archives and Presley family home movies will be broadcast for the first time. In addition to the special CBS will air a four-hour mini-series entitled ELVIS on May 8 and 11.

CBS, SONY BMG, Crown Publishers and the Elvis Presley Estate unite in a multi-tiered effort to celebrate the life and legacy of Elvis Presley with the television special, a movie event, a commemorative two-CD set and a lavish book all coming in the month of May.

The following interview with Priscilla took place in Los Angeles in March 2005.

Q: How did this special come about?

PRESLEY: We had an influx of interest from a new generation of fans who are coming into Graceland and asking a lot of questions about Elvis. Lisa Marie and I decided to share what little we have about this incredible human so that the younger generation can learn more about him. It's been difficult, but the outcome has been very rewarding.

Q: Was the experience of taping the special emotional for you?

PRESLEY: It was emotional for both Lisa Marie and me. We spent many hours compiling all the data and all the stories that are told by not just Lisa Marie and me, but by various other members of the family. It was empowering and emotional to relive that period of time, which we all really cherished.

Q: What will be seen in the special?

PRESLEY: We are sharing a lot of what went on at Graceland which many people would have loved to have known about but very few got to see. So we are really opening not only our hearts, but the doors to Graceland to share the life that we lived together. Every year at Christmastime Lisa Marie and I go back to Graceland and relive our memories of our lives there.

Q: Your parents talk about their feelings about your relationship with Elvis which started when you were 14-years-old. How did your parents feel about you dating Elvis at such a young age?

PRESLEY: Well, 1959 was a different time. My parents were very conservative and my father was very strict. When I met Elvis, my parents were very reluctant to allow me to date him. They share their concerns about it in the special. My mother shares some incredible stories of what her fears were about my relationship with Elvis.

Q: Is this the first time your parents have spoken publicly about how they felt?

PRESLEY: They've been asked many times to be on talk shows and there were a few books that they were asked to participate in and they have turned everything down. People are interested in what they have to say because there are so many misconceptions and incorrect stories out there about how they felt at the time. Now, you get to hear it from them. You get to hear how frightened they were, not just for me but for their whole family.

Q: Will we get to see what it was like to live with Elvis?

PRESLEY: In this special you will really get a glimpse of how close we were and how much fun we had behind those gates and everywhere we went. We had an entourage of people who stayed with us for many years and we truly were a family. We lived and traveled together and we shared our problems with one another.

Q: What home video will be seen in the special?

PRESLEY: You will see us playing on the golf cart. Elvis used to take us all out on the golf cart and give us rides. The funniest clip is when my mother is on the golf cart trying to hold it together and trying to keep a smile on her face. But you can see that her eyes are huge and Elvis is laughing and getting a big kick out of how scared she was. You get to see the little boy in Elvis. We've all seen Elvis in movies and concerts but in these home videos you really see the spirit of play he had.

Q: What would Elvis think about how popular he is today?

PRESLEY: I think it would be pretty overwhelming for him to see the love that is poured out every day from his fans as well the folks who visit Graceland and the amount of interest people have in him.

Q: Why did you decide to do this special?

PRESLEY: Because a whole new generation is interested in learning more about Elvis. He gave us so much and he had so much talent. Younger children have been asking and e-mailing us questions about who he was, why was he so popular and so important to the history of music.


Priscilla Beaulieu met Elvis Presley in the late summer of 1959, and they were married on May 1, 1967. Though they divorced in 1973, they remained close friends until the time of Presley's death in 1977.

Priscilla made her television debut as the co-host of "Those Amazing Animals" in 1980. She was a regular on the long-running CBS series "Dallas" from 1983 - 1988. Her additional series credits include "Touched By An Angel," also on the Network, "Spin City" and "Melrose Place." Her television movie credits include "Hayley Wagner, Star" and "Breakfast with Einstein." Her feature film credits include "The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!," "The Naked Gun 2 �: The Smell of Fear" and "Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult."

Priscilla is the author of the New York Times best-seller Elvis and Me, which was produced as a mini-series on which she served as executive producer and writer. She is the founder and a board member of Elvis Presley Enterprises.

RATING: To Be Announced

  [april 2005]  


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