Hollywood Icon Pat Boone Reflects on the Death of Lisa Marie Presley

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Hollywood Icon Pat Boone Reflects on the Death of Lisa Marie Presley

By Movieguide® Staff

Singer and actor Pat Boone recently reflected on his relationship to music icon Elvis Presley and the death of the star’s daughter, Lisa Marie Presley on Jan. 12, 2023.

The former Movieguide® Grace Prize award-winner wrote:

Still shocked and sorrowed by this latest news about Lisa Marie, I’ve been deep in thought and memory. Elvis was my friend from the time we first met, both 21, at a Cleveland “sock hop” in Oct of 1957. He was “the opening act,” promoting his first and only record on Sun Records out of Memphis–and I was the headliner, because of the three million-seller hits I’d recorded since March of that year. He was shy and not talkative, confessing to me later “Hey, you were a star, man, and I didn’t know how to talk to you!”

Well, he sure got over his initial awkwardness, and quickly became a major star himself. But his startling and unprecedented swoop to stardom didn’t immediately change the young kid inside. He remained, by his own confession, “Mama’s boy”–and that was good. But when she died so early–at 46–it tore him up. And he may have partly blamed his frenetic success, and her concern for him, for that death. You can never just “shake that off.” And it ate at him from then on.

And the unrelenting pressure and demands of his own success and the loss of his own marriage and parenting of Lisa Marie took their own deep toll on his soul, his self-image. Drugs didn’t help, and all the adulation of millions of fans couldn’t fill the hole.

His shocking death seemed almost intentional–and perhaps, psychologically…it was.
And now, his daughter suffered the death of her own 27-year-old son–and she has succumbed to the disappointments and unfulfilled career hopes and dreams gone sour. Her most intimate dreams didn’t come true, and her heart couldn’t take it.

A huge lesson emerges, I think. The pressures of fantastic success so often bring incredible and unexpected…or even unavoidable…stresses. Having too much, too soon, can be more damaging than too little, too long.

My career began right alongside Elvis’, and also brought sudden success and unforeseen stresses that could have wrecked my teen marriage to Shirley and our unplanned family of four girls, all of them born before we were 24! And all while I was plunged into movies, constant recording, my own national TV show, and doing college homework till 3 a.m. and attending classes at Columbia University!

How did we and our marriage survive? Only because of the deep commitments we’d both made not only to each other–but to God, who we seriously asked to help us navigate through all the demands, obligations and overwhelming pressures.

I hope all of us, the millions who love and grieve for the Presley family, will pray often and diligently to God, asking Him to see the survivors through their own pressures–and especially for Elvis’ wife, Priscilla, who loves her husband and daughter so much, and has lost them in this earthly life. She, too, has had to bear up under stresses few of us could survive. God… as always… is the answer.

-Pat Boone

Read More: Priscilla Presley Calls for Prayer After Daughter Lisa Marie Presley Dies at 54

Editors note: Statement provided to Movieguide® by Pat Boone