As executor of Elvis’ only heir, Lisa Marie, Priscilla suddenly found herself responsible for the upkeep of Graceland, which cost more than $500,000 a year to maintain.
After barely staying afloat and spending much of her inheritance, she finally decided to turn Graceland into a tourist attraction. Just four months after it opened to the public in June of 1982, Priscilla had made back all of the money she invested into the project. She remained the chairwoman and president of Elvis Presley Enterprises until Lisa Marie was old enough to take on the role herself.
Death at a Funeral
As thousands stood outside of Graceland to mourn the loss of their idol, a car drove through the crowd killing two and seriously injuring a third.
Alice Hoverter and Juanita Johnson were just 19-years-old at the time and had driven 200 miles to Memphis to attend the funeral proceedings. In addition to being friends, the girls were also roommates and coworkers. The four teenagers who were in the car were arrested after the incident, the driver being intoxicated behind the wheel.
Cause of Death
Medical examiner Dr. Jerry Francisco performed the autopsy the day Elvis died. He claimed that Elvis’ cause of death was cardiac arrest likely caused by narcotics. The report stated that he suffered from anaphylactic shock caused by the pills his dentist prescribed, to which he was mildly allergic.
Testing later found fourteen types of narcotics in the musician’s system, most in high quantities. His physician, Dr. George Nichopoulos, was largely to blame for this as he prescribed him more than 10,000 doses of different substances between January and July of 1977 alone. He was exonerated of all criminal charges but lost his medical license.
Finding Work on Television
It wasn’t long before Priscilla got into acting. Her first television appearance was in 1980 as the co-host of "Those Amazing Animals". She went on to star on "Dallas" and made guest appearances in shows like "Spin City", and "Melrose Place".
Priscilla was offered to play one of "Charlie’s Angels", an offer she declined since she didn’t like the show. She eventually went on to appear in films including "The Naked Gun" franchise.
Joining the Church of Scientology
Not long after Elvis’ death, Priscilla became heavily involved with the Church of Scientology. Both she and Lisa Marie worked through the steps involved, as many other celebrities have done over the years.
As Lisa Marie struggled with substance abuse, however, she became unwelcome in the Scientology community. Priscilla begged the church to save her daughter but Lisa Marie ultimately left in 2016. She recalls slowly self-destructing and having everything taken away from her by the church. There were reports that Priscilla had left the church as well, but they were never confirmed.