A Look At Elvis Presley's Wild Relationship History

In the 1950s, Elvis Presley helped popularize the relatively new genre of rock n' roll, bringing about a musical revolution and making himself a superstar in the process. More than a growler of rave-ups like "Hound Dog" and a crooner of sweet ballads like "Love Me Tender," Presley could attribute much of his success to his sex appeal. When he performed, he seemingly couldn't help but shake, dance, gyrate, and wiggle his hips in such a provocative manner that it made audiences, primarily young women, scream. Pair that with a classically handsome appearance, and Presley's animal magnetism was undeniable. 

Presley certainly enjoyed the trappings of celebrity and the power he held over women. He held down several long-term relationships, including a marriage, but for the entire time that Presley was a famous, professional rock n' roll singer, he pursued women at a rapid pace, be they collaborators, other celebrities, fans, or strangers he thought were good-looking or seemed interesting. The interest went both ways — a great many women were receptive to the advances of "The King," and they would get to know Presley intimately. Here, then, are the many loves in the life of Elvis Presley.

Judy Spreckels

In 1956, future author and editor Judy Spreckels sat down in the lobby of the Las Vegas hotel where she was living to write a letter. Newly minted 21-year-old rock n' roll star Elvis Presley checked into that same hotel, and he approached the 23-year-old Spreckels. "He just came up to me and started talking. How could you not know who he was even then?" Spreckels recalled to the Los Angeles Times in 2002. "I was friendly and told him I loved his record, 'Heartbreak Hotel.'"

Presley quickly welcomed Spreckels into his small band of trusted associates, the Memphis Mafia. Contrary to the buddies and relatives in the group, Spreckels acted as something between a friend and a lover to Presley, a companion with whom he had an emotionally intimate relationship. "He told me secrets that I never told and will never tell," Spreckels said. "Anything he told me was not going to go to any publication."

Spreckels visited Graceland, Presley's Memphis home, shortly after he bought it. "We stayed up all night listening to Elvis singing and playing the piano," Spreckels recalled. At one point in their years-long relationship, Spreckels drew Presley's portrait, but he's the one who wrote the inscription: "To Judy Spreckels, I love you, baby. Elvis Presley." "We loved each other, as it says on my picture," Spreckels said." But it was just a really terrific friendship."

June Juanico

In 1955, Biloxi, Mississippi, teenager June Juanico attended a concert at the nearby Keesler Air Force Base. The performer: a local rock n' roll singer just starting out named Elvis Presley. After the show, Presley met Juanico, felt a spark, and they made plans for a date. "After one wonderful evening together, a combination of bad luck and the demands of Elvis's touring conspired to keep them apart," Juanico wrote of her first date with Presley in her book, "Elvis: In the Twilight of Memory." Presley's stardom exploded in the months after he met Juanico, but he didn't forget about her. About a year after their first meeting, they reconnected and resumed the romance, spending large swaths of the summer of 1956 together in Memphis.

Presley told Juanico that he wanted to marry her, but she doubted his devotion because she'd seen articles reporting on his carousing with dancers in Las Vegas. That was the doing of Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, who thought that if his client were photographed with gorgeous and glamorous women, it would raise his level of celebrity. It worked — and it also led to Juanico feeling so jealous and insecure that she ended the relationship. "Elvis did not have to go along with him, so I can't totally blame the Colonel for making me bow out because Elvis had a part in it, too," Juanico told the San Francisco Chronicle in 1997.

Natalie Wood

Natalie Wood, the former child star of "Miracle on 34th Street" and fresh off of an Oscar-nominated performance in 1955's "Rebel Without a Cause," set her romantic sights on rising rock n' roll star Elvis Presley. He was pals with "Rebel Without a Cause" cast member Dennis Hopper, so Wood asked for an introduction. Presley, a fan of "Miracle on 34th Street," accepted the invite. The two went out on some dates, and Presley dazzled Wood with his grand romantic gestures. "To go to the movies, he bought out the theater," Wood's sister, Lana, recalled to Closer Weekly in 2018.

Any romance promise quickly evaporated after Presley introduced Wood to his parents at their home. Presley's mother, Gladys, didn't care for Wood. "Natalie wore a very flimsy nightgown around the house," Presley biographer Ray Connolly said. "Gladys was like, 'Not in my house!'" The objection was mutual. During the visit, Gladys asked Elvis to sit in her lap, and the 20-year-old dutifully obliged. "They were very affectionate, and it bothered Natalie," Lana Wood said. "She called and asked our mom to make up a story about why she had to come home."

Rita Moreno

Following his brief dalliance with Natalie Wood, Elvis Presley embroiled himself in a relationship with another future star of "West Side Story." His romance with Rita Moreno would not last long and was built upon an ulterior motive. Across a relationship that would stretch eight years through multiple breakups and makeups, Marlon Brando was often unfaithful to Moreno. "I found lingerie in his house and, of course, I was heartbroken, and I went home in tears," Moreno remembered on "The View" in 2021. A day later, she received a phone call from Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, who told her that the singer had seen her at a studio commissary, thought she was pretty, and wanted to take her out. "And I thought of those panties, and I said, 'Yes I would!'" Moreno said.

Presley subsequently took out Moreno a few times, but the relationship quickly ran its course because The King didn't much thrill the Oscar winner. "He was sweet, but he was a country boy," she said. But the dalliance succeeded in making Brando jealous: "He was so angry. It was wonderful."

Anita Wood

From 1957 to 1962, Elvis Presley dated Anita Wood, a host of the Memphis TV show "Top 10 Dance Party." Presley dispatched a friend to ask out Wood over the phone. She said no — she had plans — but when Presley asked again, she accepted. He pulled up to her boarding house in a huge Cadillac packed with friends. "And so then Elvis started around like we did many, many dates that we had," Wood told Elvis Australia — they wandered around Memphis, at one point stopping for the guys to eat about 30 Crystal hamburgers. Then he took her to Graceland, and on other dates, they'd go skating, motorcycle riding, to the Channel restaurant, to a movie theater he'd rented out, or they'd stay in and watch television or listen to records. Presley called Wood "Little," a nickname he'd use when ordering her to make him a peanut butter and banana sandwich.

Presley remained with Wood during his stint in the U.S. Army, when he was stationed in Germany. While serving, Presley started a relationship with Priscilla Beaulieu, but continued to write love letters to Wood. When he returned in early 1962, Presley resumed his relationship with Wood, who ended it after she found a letter from Beaulieu and overheard the singer tell his father he couldn't decide between his two partners. "I must say that was probably the most difficult decision that I've ever made in my life," Wood said.

Priscilla Beaulieu

Priscilla Beaulieu met Elvis Presley for the first time in September 1959. Her father, an officer in the U.S. Air Force, was stationed in Wiesbaden, West Germany; Presley lived in a house near the base, serving out his enlistment in the U.S. Army. While spending time in the Eagles Club, a hangout for American military families, Presley's friend, Currie Grant, invited Beaulieu to a party at the singer's house. She and Presley quickly found each other in the crowd. Presley speculated that Beaulieu was an upper-classman in high school; she clarified that she was in the ninth grade. The 24-year-old singer set about courting the 14-year-old student, taking her out many nights a week until March 1960, when Presley received his discharge and returned to the U.S. The night before he left, Beaulieu claimed, she tried to make love to Presley and he refused, because of her age.

For the next two years, the relationship was a long-distance affair, consisting of random phone calls from Presley. In 1962, he arranged for Beaulieu to visit him in Los Angeles, take a trip with him to Las Vegas, and later, spend Christmas in Memphis. Early the next year, Beaulieu convinced her parents to let her move to the U.S. to be closer to Presley. She resided with Presley's father, Vernon, and graduated from a Memphis high school. While Presley was away making the movie "Fun in Acapulco," Beaulieu moved into his home, Graceland, without permission.

Priscilla Presley

After cohabiting as an unmarried couple for more than three years, Elvis Presley proposed to Priscilla Beaulieu in December 1966. "Even though we were perfectly content the way we were, at that time it wasn't nice for people to live together," Priscilla Presley told Ladies Home Journal (via Elvis Australia). The wedding took place in a suite at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas in May 1967. Exactly nine months later (and after Elvis floated the idea of a trial separation) the couple's only child, Lisa Marie Presley, was born. 

In 1972, the Presleys filed for divorce. She admitted that she'd had a dalliance with her karate instructor, Mike Stone, and that she knew about her estranged husband's many extramarital affairs. "He wasn't faithful, not that he had someone special, but when you're in the entertainment business there is always that and I tried to turn my back on that, but I just didn't want to share him," Priscilla Presley admitted to Australia's "Sunday Night" in 2018.

Connie Stevens

A significant pop cultural figure in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Connie Stevens starred in a few musical films and had a hit single, "Sixteen Reasons," but was probably best known for her work as Cricket Blake on the private detective show "Hawaiian Eye." Elvis Presley noticed Stevens on that series, and he used his clout and connections to get a phone call through to the actress while she was on the set. "He said, 'Come on over, we're havin' a party,' or something," Stevens told "Larry King Live" (via Elvis Australia) in 2003. "I didn't believe him at first, but it was him." Stevens tentatively went over to Presley's Hollywood home, and the two entertained each other and various party guests by singing to each other.

Afterward, Presley took Stevens out on what she called "typical dates," but she had to push to attend a seemingly mundane movie, at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Los Angeles. Presley abruptly left the building partway through. "He was afraid of a large crowd," Stevens recalled. "And he was just panic-stricken." The relationship died slowly, turning into an increasingly sporadic series of encounters over the next two years.

Tuesday Weld

In the 1960s, Elvis Presley focused less on recording rock n' roll music and more on starring in movies, mostly romantic comedies with some Presley performances squeezed in, and often co-starring a young, up-and-coming female actor. In 1961, Presley played a small-town criminal with a gift for writing in "Wild in the Country," opposite former model Tuesday Weld.

The movie was filmed in Napa Valley, California, and an on-set romance quickly developed between Presley, 25 at the time, and Weld, 17. It was over almost as soon as it began. "Their affair lasted only a short while before it mellowed into a friendship," Presley's road manager, Joe Esposito, wrote in his memoir "Good Rockin' Tonight." "Tuesday was a free spirit; she would never have put up with Elvis, who liked to control his women." Esposito reflected negatively on Weld's behavior, mentioning how on a date with Presley, she threw objects out of a moving car for fun.

Presley may have lost interest in Weld because of the other female lead in "Wild in the Country." "He also spent time on location talking with Hope Lange," Esposito wrote. "He probably had eyes for her, but Hope wasn't the type to go for a casual movie location affair."

Anne Helm

By the time Elvis reported to the Crystal River, Florida, set of the 1962 movie "Follow That Dream," he was in the midst of a serious relationship with Priscilla Beaulieu, and the Hollywood rumor mill suggested that they were already engaged. Nevertheless, during filming, he had a fling with the movie's female lead, Anne Helm. "We did have a romance, it was quite wonderful," Helm told Elvis Australia of their brief relationship carried out almost entirely in a motel near the shooting site. "I had him all to myself every night."

Helm did have to share Presley with his entourage, who followed him to the "Follow That Dream" set, and they made her feel like a member of the gang. "We played poker every night, and they were really silly on the set. Elvis loved jokes, he was a real prankster that way," Helm said. When the movie shoot ended, and Presley and Helm returned to Hollywood, the romance died. "I continued seeing him when I came back, but it was very difficult; he had many lives, he had many women around him," Helm explained.


Singer, actor, and sex symbol Ann-Margret starred in back-to-back movie musicals: "Bye Bye Birdie" (1963), about a Presley-like figure, and "Viva Las Vegas" (1964), with Presley. While rehearsing, recording songs, and filming dance numbers for "Viva Las Vegas," the two connected deeply. "Music ignited a fiery pent-up passion inside Elvis and inside me," Ann-Margret wrote in "Ann-Margret: My Story." "We looked at each other move and saw virtual mirror images. When Elvis thrust his pelvis, mine slammed forward too." Ann-Margret said she and Presley tried to deny their mutual attraction. "But others saw sparks from the start," she recalled, pointing out how a writer from McCall's remarked, "An electricity from the two charges the crew with alertness."

Presley had already taken up with Priscilla Beaulieu by this time, and, told Ann-Margret that, although he wanted to, he couldn't marry her. In 1964, Ann-Margret let slip to a reporter that she and Presley had been dating a little, which a publication turned into an engagement announcement. Presley thought Ann-Margret betrayed him by gabbing to the media, and he broke up with her. They remained friends, however, with Presley sending Ann-Margret flowers whenever she sang in Las Vegas in the 1970s.

Cybill Shepherd

While promoting her TV series "Moonlighting" in 1988, Cybill Shepherd revealed that before her acting career took off in the early 1970s, and when she was living in Memphis, she had a fling with local resident Elvis Presley. "I don't think I've told anybody this, but yes, I went out with Elvis," Shepherd told Vanity Fair in 1988. She received a call to accompany Presley and his friends on a night out at a movie, as the rock star had rented the whole theater for a few dozen people. "People sort of got up around me and drifted away, and suddenly there he was in the aisle, and then he was sitting next to me, all dressed in white," Shepherd said.

Soon after, Shepherd attended a family dinner at Presley's home and accompanied the musician on a jaunt to Las Vegas. "I really liked him. I thought he was very warm. And one of the most beautiful men I'd ever seen." Shepherd lost interest after realizing the extent of Presley's drug misuse. "As I spent more time with him I realized he did have a drug dependency — and I've never been interested in drugs at all. It was like 'Well, it's time to go to sleep now, here're your pills.'"

Peggy Lipton

The breakout star of the 1968-1973 youth-oriented cop show "The Mod Squad": Peggy Lipton. The actor received four Emmy Award nominations for the series, and, in 1971, the attention of Elvis Presley. "I ended up spending three long weekends with him. Two in Lake Tahoe and one in Las Vegas," Lipton recounted in her memoir, "Breathing Out." Two of Lipton's friends were both casually dating Presley, and they wanted her to meet him, too, but she reservations. "They adored Elvis but they also agreed he was a piece of work — by which they meant that fragile, outsized, damaged ego of his." But when Presley made a call requesting that Lipton join him in Nevada, she agreed to meet him, and he picked her up in a plane.

When they arrived at their hotel, heavy physical affection ensued, but then abruptly stopped. "Elvis knew he was sexy; he just wasn't up to sex," Lipton revealed. "He was virtually impotent. Then again, who could get it up with all those drugs in him?" Lipton reported that Presley got embarrassed, fled to the bathroom, and left a self-deprecating poem on her pillow. Similar disappointing trysts occurred a few more times, and that, combined with Lipton's worry over Presley's heavy drug use, led her to break away from the relationship.

Barbara Leigh

Barbara Leigh is an actor best known for 1970s movies like "Terminal Island" and "Pretty Maids All in a Row," and a model who twice appeared in the pages of Playboy. She met Elvis Presley in 1970, in his dressing room after a performance in Las Vegas. At the time, she was dating MGM president Jim Aubrey, who was negotiating for the distribution rights to the Presley concert film "Elvis: That's the Way It Is." "He spotted me in the audience that night and was prepared to get my phone number that night without anyone seeing," Leigh told the Elvis Information Network. "He got a great delight out of stealing Jim Aubrey's girlfriend."

With his concert schedule and marriage taking up a lot of his time, and modeling gigs occupying most of her time, Presley and Leigh saw each other whenever they could over the next two years, often discussing spiritual matters or singing religious songs together. "Elvis told me I had a beautiful voice and always made me feel special," Leigh recalled. She also found Presley to be generous, gifting her numerous pieces of jewelry and a Mercedes. They broke up over professional and personal issues. "Our schedules became more and more difficult to align," Leigh explained, "and gradually after he met Linda Thompson in 1972, it was pretty much over."

Linda Thompson

When Elvis Properly rose to super-stardom in the 1950s, six-year-old fan Linda Thompson told her parents that one day she'd marry the rock n' roll singer. She came close, dating Presley for four years in the 1970s. In July 1972, shortly after being crowned Miss Tennessee and Miss Tennessee Universe, Presley invited the 22-year-old Memphis resident to a private movie screening. "He had on this black cape with a high collar and a red satin lining and I said, 'dressed a little like Dracula aren't we?'" Thompson told "Larry King Live" (via Elvis Australia). "We just hit it off immediately." They shared a love of Memphis and Southern cooking and had similar religious backgrounds. Presley was also fascinated with Thompson's perceived purity. "I was still a virgin when I met him," Thompson told "Entertainment Tonight" in 2016. "I think that is what added to the allure of me for him. Because he was a very territorial man. And a very jealous man."

Presley's continuous misuse of drugs and alcohol frightened Thompson, and it led to a confrontation. "I saw prescription medication on his nightstand, and when I questioned, 'Have you been ill?' he stammered and he didn't really have a good answer for it," she said. After Presley's prescription pill use and infidelity ramped up, Thompson broke off the romance in late 1976. She wanted to have kids and raise them in a normal home, and those things weren't in store in a life with Presley.

Sheila Ryan

Elvis Presley's road manager, Joe Esposito, arranged for his boss to meet Sheila Ryan, an actor and model known for appearing on the cover of Playboy in 1973. The introduction took place in Presley's crowded dressing room after a concert. "The first thing that happens is our eyes meet," Ryan told Elvis Australia. "And everyone noticed that, particularly the girl that he was seeing at the time." That would be Linda Thompson, and despite her presence, Presley flirted with Ryan. "He did throw a grape at me, yes, and I'm still not sure actually why he threw that grape at me. Joe Esposito has said that he threw it at me on purpose so that he could have a reason to cover over and talk with me."

They eventually had a real conversation, on another night, and connected romantically while Presley simultaneously dated Thompson. "He was seeing her and then I came along and then it was sort of like a horse race," Ryan said, then alluding to a "very active passionate romantic life." He preferred to go out on dates late at night, escorting Ryan via helicopter to go get ice cream or get their hair dyed. Ryan eventually left Presley because while he was dating another, so was she. The model chose James Caan over Presley, and she married the actor in 1976.

Mindi Miller

Actor and stunt performer Mindi Miller had a friend who knew a member of the Memphis Mafia, the inner circle of Elvis Presley. Early in 1975, that pal invited Miller to a party at Presley's Los Angeles home. "I got to the house and there was no party," Miller told the Elvis Information Network. Instead, she was directed to a room, where each member of the Memphis Mafia took turns interrogating her about her life, family, and religious background, determining if she'd make a good partner for their boss and friend. After an hour of questioning, Presley showed up, and the first date began. "I stayed that night all through the night until seven o'clock in the morning," Miller said. "He put on a karate exhibit for me," she added, which was one of the couple's many shared interests, along with guns, horses, Hawaii, and spiritual matters. In April 1975, Presley pleaded for Miller to accompany him on a concert tour.

Miller and Presley dated each other, as well as other people, throughout 1975 and 1976. They hadn't seen each other in two months when Presley placed a phone call to Miller just after his birthday in 1977. Miller used the opportunity to succinctly end the relationship. "I thanked him for all the wonderful things that he had done for me and for the quality time that I had been able to spend with him," Miller remembered. "We never spoke after that."

Ginger Alden

Ginger Alden's father worked in public relations for the U.S. Army, and met Elvis Presley when the singer served in the early 1960s. In 1962, five-year-old Alden encountered Presley at a Memphis fairground, and she received a pat on the head. A little more than 14 years later, Presley invited Miss Tennessee — Terry Alden — to Graceland. She brought along her sisters, Rosemary, and Ginger — Miss Mid-South and Miss Traffic Safety. Presley entertained all of his guests with readings from religious books and singing, but something clicked with the 20-year-old Ginger Alden.

Before long, they were a couple, and Presley showed his affection with gifts, buying Alden multiple cars, jewelry, and furs, and volunteering to pay off her mother's home mortgage. But there was also violence — Alden recalled Presley throwing a dish of ice cream at a wall after she pointed out his desire to lose weight, and that he struck her on one occasion.

Presley proposed marriage in January 1977, after just a few months of dating. Alden accepted. While Alden slept at Graceland on August 16, 1977, Presley, suffering from constipation due to his drug use, as well as insomnia, woke her. "I'm going to the bathroom to read," he said. "OK, but don't fall asleep," she replied, according to her memoir "Elvis and Ginger" (via the Sydney Morning Herald). Hours later, Alden discovered Presley's unconscious and unresponsive body in the bathroom. Presley, 42, was officially pronounced dead later that day.

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