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Elvis Presley‘s relationship with Linda Thompson was as well known as his marriage to Priscilla Presley. The couple dated for four years until 1976. Thompson lived with Presley at his Graceland mansion within months of meeting him. However, Presley’s drug use escalated during that period, leading Thompson to admit that she probably “extended” the king of rock and roll’s life “by a few years” when they dated.

Elvis Presley and Linda Thompson photographed in March of 1976.
Elvis Presley and Linda Thompson photographed in March of 1976 | Tom Wargacki/WireImage

Linda Thompson and Elvis Presley were the epitome of rock and roll royalty

Less than one year after divorcing his longtime love Priscilla Presley, Elvis Presley met and fell hard for Linda Thompson. She was Miss Tennessee in 1972 when she first met Presley. She was in her early 20s at the time.

Thompson stayed in a relationship throughout the height of his Las Vegas years. They broke up eight months before his death. After Thompson, Presley fell and became engaged to Ginger Alden, who was at Graceland when the king of rock and roll died.

“I don’t have such an ego that I think I could have made a difference,” Thompson admitted to Closer Weekly. “But I know I did take very good care of him and probably extended his life by a few years.”

At Elvis Presley’s funeral, his dad Vernon Presley thanked Linda Thompson for staying by his son’s side

Elvis Presley and Linda Thompson photographed in the back of a car in the mid 1970s.
Elvis Presley and Linda Thompson photographed in the back of a car in the mid-1970s | Tom Wargacki/WireImage

After Elvis’ untimely death in August 1977, Linda attended the king of rock and roll’s funeral, which was held at Graceland. She was surrounded by Presley’s family, inner circle, and business associates.

However, it was Presley’s father, Vernon, whose words meant the most to Thompson during the service. She revealed Vernon’s generosity toward her regarding his son.

“His father came to me the night of his funeral and said, ‘Don’t think I don’t know that you kept my son alive,’” she recalled in an interview with Closer Weekly. Thompson said of Presley, “He was my first love, the one who altered my life the most.”

She continued, “He was the first, and that’s always very special. Time and circumstances will express themselves no matter what you do.”

Linda Thompson met Elvis Presley at a midnight movie screening


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In an interview with the official Elvis Presley Australia Fan Club, Thompson claimed she first met the King of Rock and Roll after TG Shepard invited her to a midnight film screening hosted by Presley at The Memphian Theater.

Thompson said when she first saw Presley that evening, he was a “vision.” She said, “It was the middle of July in Memphis, and it was very humid, just sweltering. 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?’ so you see, we both shared a sense of humor that was very much like the other.”

“We just hit it off immediately because we grew up in Memphis and had the same religious beliefs, love for our family, devotion to our mother and father, and the same sense of loyalty. We enjoyed the same cuisine because we were both Southerners,” Thompson continued.

The couple split due to Linda’s desire to have a family and a more normalized existence. “When I broke up with Elvis, I knew I wanted to be a mother and have a more normal existence. Elvis and I lived like vampires,” Thompson told The Doctors. “I knew I couldn’t have a child and bring a child into that kind of world.”