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Priscilla Presley (1945)

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  Summary  

Priscilla Presley is an American actress and businesswoman. She is the ex-wife of singer Elvis Presley, and the mother of singer-songwriter Lisa Marie Presley.

Priscilla was chairwoman of the board of Elvis Presley Enterprises from 1982 to 1998, helping to turn Graceland into a multi-million dollar tourist attraction. As an actress, Priscilla is best known for co-starring with Leslie Nielsen in the three successful Naked Gun films between 1988 and 1994, for her five-year run playing the character Jenna Wade on the television series Dallas, and for co-hosting the short-lived ABC television series Those Amazing Animals.

  Biography  

 career
Hal B. Wallis, a Hollywood producer who had financed many of Elvis' earlier films, had shown an interest in signing Presley to a contract. Elvis, however, had no intentions of allowing his wife to have a career of any kind; in his opinion, albeit a very common one at the time, "a woman's place was in the home looking after her man". Presley had shown an interest in dancing and modeling, but her knowledge of Elvis' opinion meant that she kept them as hobbies instead of pursuing them as careers. She did get the opportunity to model for a local store once, but when Elvis heard about it he asked her to give it up.

 Bis & Beau
In 1973, after her split from Elvis, Presley set up a joint venture with her friend and stylist Olivia Bis. Together they opened a clothing boutique in Los Angeles called Bis & Beau. In a 1973 interview to promote the opening of the store, Presley said, "After the separation, I had to make up my mind about what I wanted to do, and since I had worked with Olivia for such a long time on my own clothes, I decided to try it professionally. We both do the designing for the shop, and have people who sew for us." The shop closed in 1976.

 Business in Graceland

After Elvis' death in 1977, Vernon Presley served as executor of his estate. Before his death in 1979 he chose Priscilla to serve as the estate executor for Elvis' only child, Lisa Marie, who was only 11. Graceland itself cost $500,000 a year in upkeep, and expenses had dwindled Lisa Marie's inheritance to only $1 million. Taxes were due on the property, those and other expenses due came to over $500,000. Faced with having to sell Graceland, Presley examined other famous houses/museums, and hired a CEO, Jack Soden to turn Graceland into a moneymaker. Graceland was opened to the public on June 7, 1982. Presley's gamble paid off; only four weeks after opening Graceland's doors the estate made back all the money it had invested. Presley became the chairwoman and president of Elvis Presley Enterprises, or EPE, stating at that time she would do so until Lisa Marie reached 21 years of age. The enterprise's fortunes soared and eventually the trust grew to be worth over $100 million.

 Acting
Presley made her television debut on Tony Orlando's special in 1979, and followed it up as co-host of Those Amazing Animals in 1980. In 1983, she got her first chance to act professionally on a season 2 episode of The Fall Guy titled "Manhunter". She then found a role in a television film titled Love is Forever, before landing the role of Jenna Wade on the popular television soap Dallas. She played the role of Wade for five years, leaving the show in 1988 to focus on other parts. She has appeared in several well known television series' including Melrose Place, Touched by an Angel, and Spin City.

Presley has also appeared in a few roles in feature films, most notably Lt. Frank Drebin's girlfriend and wife in the Naked Gun film series. Other big screen roles have included parts in The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, and Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.

 Other outlets
In 1988, Presley launched her own range of fragrances, and followed this up with a range of linen. She has also helped produce a couple of films, including Breakfast With Einstein, and Finding Graceland. Presley lent her support to the Dream Foundation, a charity set up to help terminally ill people achieve their dreams.

 Dancing with the Stars
Presley was a contestant on Season 6 of Dancing with the Stars.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Priscilla Presley", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.