Dolores Hart Was Once Elvis’ On-Screen Sweetheart – But Then She Had A Sudden Realization

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Do you remember your first proper job? Former actress Dolores Hart certainly does, and who can blame her? In 1957, you see, she made her feature film debut alongside none other than Elvis Presley. Yet while that movie kick-started what could have been a glittering career, Hart ultimately wasn’t destined to be a silver-screen icon. In fact, after just ten films ‒ including a second with the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll ‒ she virtually disappeared from the spotlight. But Hart had a reason for going AWOL, as she was taking her life in a completely different direction – one that’s practically as far away from Hollywood as you can get.

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Initially, though, that illustrious beginning in Loving You seemed to set the tone for Hart’s career trajectory. After that picture was a hit, she went on to play the beautiful love interest in movies such as Lonelyhearts and Where the Boys Are. And as Hart’s popularity grew, so did her list of leading men.

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Yes, from 1957 to 1963, Hart would share the screen with many of the era’s biggest male stars, including George Hamilton, Montgomery Clift and Stephen Boyd. But the up-and-coming actress didn’t just appear in movie theaters during that period.

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Hart also made a number of TV appearances during her career, with roles on Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Playhouse 90 introducing her to the audiences watching her at home. And the parts seemingly just kept coming. There was a second movie with Elvis, for one, as Hart and the musical icon joined forces once again for 1958’s King Creole.

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However, after starring in Where the Boys Are in 1960, Hart made a significant career move. Up until that point, she had portrayed somewhat frivolous characters on the big screen; now, though, she decided to take on a part that had considerably more weight. And playing St. Clare in 1961’s Francis of Assisi may well have had an effect on Hart. For while the film was both a critical and box-office flop, it nonetheless appears to have made the young star take stock of her life.

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It should be noted, though, that the failure of Francis of Assisi didn’t stop Hart from getting meaty roles. The Golden Globe-nominated The Inspector, for example, saw the young actress acclaimed for her performance as a Holocaust survivor. But just over 12 months on from the release of that movie, Hart made her last appearance on the big screen. Then, almost without a word, she disappeared from Hollywood. And the reason why may very well surprise you.

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To find out why Hart left Tinseltown behind, however, it makes sense to go back to the beginning of her story. Then known as Dolores Hicks, she entered the world in October 1938 as the only child of teenagers Harriet and Bert. And although the couple did marry, the relationship didn’t last; ultimately, Hart’s mom and dad split up when she was only three years old.

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Following the separation, the young Hart then moved to Chicago to live with her grandparents. And as it happens, it was while she was in the city that she first came into contact with Roman Catholicism. You see, Hart attended a local Catholic school called St. Gregory – although that institution was chosen simply because it was near her relatives’ home. And Hart would further explain the decision when talking to the Hartford Courant in 2008, saying, “My grandparents didn’t want me to get run over by streetcars.”

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But even though Hart lived away from her parents, Bert and Harriet still stayed in touch with their daughter. Then, within time, Bert – who was an aspiring actor himself – moved to Hollywood to pursue a movie career. It appears, too, that her dad’s relocation had an influence on Hart. In a 1998 interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the star revealed, “[My father] lived in Beverly Hills, and I used to visit lots with him. I was a Hollywood brat. I always wanted to be part of that life.”

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What’s more, when Bob landed a role in 1947’s Forever Amber, he brought his daughter along for the ride. Before she’d even reached her tenth birthday, in fact, Hart had already appeared in a Hollywood movie. And while the role was uncredited, it was nevertheless a start.

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After Hart had made her modest Hollywood debut, though, it seems that she went back to school. It was also around this time that she officially converted to Catholicism. Then, after moving to Los Angeles with her mother in 1949, Hart attended high school in California before taking up a place at the state’s Marymount College – another Catholic institution. And it was while studying at the university that Hart would get the news that would change her life.

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Hart herself explained this moment further in a 2018 speech at the Women’s Morning of Spirituality event in Tennessee. “I was told by the fellow that I dated, who said he was my agent… that I might get a phone call,” she remarked. And when that call came, it brought incredible news: Paramount wanted her to audition for a role in an Elvis Presley movie. Still, there was just one hitch, though. You see, Hart had no idea who Elvis was. And after bagging the part, the young actress proved her naivety when first meeting the King. She told her audience in Tennessee, “I said [to Elvis], ‘I’m so glad to meet you. What do you do?’”

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Elvis, ever the gentleman, simply replied, “Well, I’m a singer.” Loving You, in fact, was his second ever movie and provided his first leading-man role. Hart – now using her stage name – portrays Elvis’ girlfriend on screen, and at one point she even kisses the musical icon. The former star is still asked what smooching Elvis was like, too, leading her to once quip, “I think the limit for a screen kiss back then was 15 seconds. That one has lasted 40 years.” But that embrace wasn’t the only thing that the two shared.

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Hart had denied that there was any romance between her and Elvis, although she has admitted that the pair studied Bible verses together. At one point, the legendary singer even asked her out – an offer that Hart ultimately rejected. And while the actress did suggest that the two of them meet up after the shoot ended, that date never materialized. Even so, Hart and Elvis did work together a second time – just one year later – on King Creole.

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The two stars once again played romantic roles in the drama, which went on to break into the top five at the U.S. box office. But as it happens, the flick almost didn’t get made. You see, the musical icon was due to begin his military service during production, although he was finally allowed to delay this for two months in order to complete the picture. And the King may have made the right choice, too. While one critic disliked the movie’s portrayal of women, another praised Elvis for giving his “best acting performance to date.”

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Then, following Hart’s initial success, she signed a seven-year Hollywood contract. Working almost continuously for the next few years, the actress was well on her way to becoming a star. In 1958 she even made her Broadway debut in The Pleasure of His Company – a play in which she’d appear for over a year. But during the show’s run, extreme fatigue began to creep up on Hart. So, she turned to a friend, and they ended up giving her some unusual advice.

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Specifically, Hart’s buddy recommended that she take a couple of days off and visit the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Connecticut. That site is the home of a Benedictine monastery where the nuns have devoted themselves to God. The actress took those words on board, too, and was ultimately glad that she did. Hart later explained to the New England Historical Society (NEHS), “I went and loved it. It was peaceful, and I found inner certitude.” And while she was there, the star had an interesting chat with the Mother Superior.

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During Hart’s talk with the senior nun, she expressed concern that her Hollywood career didn’t fit with Catholic values. “I was worried,” she later told the NEHS, “because you could be sexually aroused by boys and get involved with men.” But the nun, as it happens, had a rather surprising answer.

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“Well, why not?” the other woman reportedly said. “Chastity doesn’t mean you don’t appreciate what God created. Chastity says, ‘Use it well.’” The Mother Superior also advised the actress not to give up her day job. “Go back and do your movie thing,” she replied when Hart asked about religious vocation.

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Taking the Mother Superior’s advice, Hart did exactly that, going on to star in Lonelyhearts that same year and Where the Boys Are in 1960. And along the way, she met Don Robinson – an architect from California who seemingly fell quickly for the actress. Later, Hart told her audience in Tennessee, “[Don and I] went out a couple of times, and he said, ‘Would you marry me?’” She refused, however – on that occasion, anyway.

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Then Hart and Robinson dated for a few years, and, eventually, she accepted his proposal. But while both Hart’s career and personal life looked to be going well, all was not as it appeared. You see, after having taken on the role of St. Clare in Francis of Assisi, the actress subsequently met Pope John XXIII. The pontiff praised her work, too, telling Hart, “You are Clare.” And it’s said that this meeting had a profound effect on the young star.

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That effect became evident when, just two years later, Hart disappeared from Hollywood completely. Yes, after having secretly visited the abbey on several further occasions, the star made an incredible decision: she gave away everything she owned and joined the monastery as a novice nun. And both Hollywood and Robinson were shocked.

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Not long after the couple’s engagement party, Hart had come clean to Robinson. The architect had originally feared that she had met someone else, in fact, but was more relieved to hear the truth. And although Hart would claim that she did love her fiancé, she explained that her calling to the monastery was “an affair of the heart.” Then, following that meeting, the soon-to-be-nun drove to Bethlehem to begin her training.

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In 1963 Hart therefore made her final on-screen appearances. At the movies, she bowed out in British flight attendant comedy Come Fly with Me; on TV, meanwhile, her swansong came in an episode of The Virginian, where, in an eerie foreshadowing of her real life, she played a Catholic missionary. And with that, Hart left Tinseltown for good and made her way to the Benedictine Abbey of Regina Laudis.

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The Abbey of Regina Laudis was originally founded in 1947, although it almost wound up in a completely different part of the country. Yes, according to Hart, the original Mother Superior was actually heading to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, but somehow wound up in New England. And it’s lucky that the nun did, as a local Connecticut businessman made her an interesting proposition.

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Indeed, when factory owner Robert Leather heard of the Mother Superior’s purpose, he donated part of one of his buildings to the cause. Then, over the years, the site expanded to include more land that had been bequeathed to the abbey. Now sprawling over a whopping 400 acres, the grounds house 37 nuns.

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In service to God, the abbey’s nuns dedicate their lives to prayer and hard work. This includes performing Gregorian chants each day in praise of the Lord; there’s even a CD available of the monastery’s melodical daily worship. But regular singing wasn’t the only thing to which Hart had to quickly acclimatize.

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Hart had to adapt to manual labor, too, as the sisters are expected to pitch in and make everything themselves where possible. The erstwhile star also had to share a bathroom with at least ten other women. And then there’s the small matter of the dividing petition between the nuns and their visitors.

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Indeed, although the abbey’s nuns have not vowed to be silent, they aren’t necessarily allowed to mingle willy-nilly with the general public. As such, large, ornate metal grilles separate the sisters from the guests. And as Hart recalled during that 2018 talk, her family took a while to adjust to this new state of affairs. “I refuse to call this a grille,” Hart’s mother apparently said of the screen. “[These] are just lovely places for vines to grow up.”

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Then, in 1970, Hart took her final vows and officially became Sister Dolores, after which she has spent the rest of her life in dedication to God. But the nun didn’t quite leave everything behind when she joined the monastery. One particular friend stuck around for 50 years, in fact, despite his broken heart. Yes, Robinson – the former star’s ex-fiancé – stayed in touch.

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That contact didn’t run to the odd letter or phone call, either; instead, Robinson visited Hart at least twice a year until his death in 2011. After his engagement ended, you see, the architect reportedly told his former partner that “every love doesn’t have to wind up at the altar.” And with nearly 50 years of devoted sojourns to Connecticut under his belt, he seems to have meant every word.

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Plus, although Hart left Hollywood behind in 1963, she has admitted that she wouldn’t be where she was without her experiences in California. During that 2018 talk, the nun even confessed, “If it hadn’t been for getting into my film career, I would never have known [the abbey]. I did not leave Hollywood because it was a scam.” And perhaps for those reasons, fellow actors have supported the monastery over the years.

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Paul Newman and Patricia Neal both helped, for instance, when the monastery needed a theater and lighting grid for the site. The abbey has a thriving community arts program, too, with Hart at the middle of this thanks to her unrivaled previous experience. And when it came to raising cash – whether for those arts activities or an expansion to the grounds – the former actress once again took center stage.

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Yes, when fire hazard issues threatened to close the abbey in 2011, Hart shifted her fundraising into high gear to save her home. Using her fame to raise awareness ‒ and money ‒ the actress-turned-nun completed a speaking tour and gave lots of press interviews. She also published an autobiography that delved into detail about her Hollywood career, her vocation and, of course, Elvis.

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The book, Ear of the Heart: An Actress’ Journey from Hollywood to Holy Vows, came out in 2013, and as of 2015 was on its third print run. Hart has also lent her artistic talents to a children’s book, for which she provided the illustrations. And in 2012 the erstwhile screen star found herself once again appearing in a movie.

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That starring role came about when a documentary team decided to make a film about Hart. Entitled God Is the Bigger Elvis, the 37-minute-long feature earned rave reviews as well as a nomination for the Best Documentary (Short Subject) Oscar. And, incredibly, Hart actually attended the award ceremony in Los Angeles.

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Yet while God Is the Bigger Elvis didn’t end up winning its category, Hart still has one very special accolade under her belt. Owing to the nominations of that movie and The Inspector back in 1960, Hart joined the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. And as such, she remains the only nun to be an active, voting academy member in its entire history.

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So, after having spent over 50 years in a religious order, Hart is thriving – as is the abbey, with the now Mother Dolores’ involvement in the site’s expansion continuing apace. And even though Hart is now in her 80s, she carries on working. But if an actress-turned-nun-turned-documentary-star doesn’t carry enough interest for you, there’s another sister that may catch your attention.

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You see, the Abbey of Regina Laudis also boasts an artisanal cheese-making member. Sister Noella Marcellino, who possesses a Ph.D. in microbiology, specializes in studying ‒ and producing ‒ the delicious foodstuff. And she, too, has appeared in her own documentary: a PBS film called, you guessed it, The Cheese Nun. Mind you, that nickname is one that Marcellino really didn’t like until Hart gave her some excellent advice.

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Hart told her sister to accept the moniker, as cheese sounds a lot more appealing than fungus. And she’s definitely not wrong. So, did the one-time screen star make the right choice to leave her film career behind? Well, it seems that she thinks so. During a 2017 appearance at New York City’s The Leo House, Hart said, “I never felt I was walking away from Hollywood. I felt I was walking into something more significant. And by [doing] that, I took Hollywood with me.”

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Yes, Hart’s story and her connection to Elvis are as beautiful as they are unexpected. And someone else who shares a surprising link to the King is his grandson. That’s right: Benjamin Keough is Elvis’ one living grandson – and he bears an eerie resemblance to the late superstar.

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You’d be forgiven for not knowing that Elvis has a living grandson, as Benjamin – the individual in question – has seemingly been determined to live out his life away from the spotlight. Yet although Benjamin appears to want to maintain his privacy, his family sometimes share pictures of him. And one photograph of Elvis’ relative particularly wowed fans across the world, as they couldn’t get over just how much the young man resembled the King.

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The story of how Benjamin came into the world is a long and complicated one. As almost every Elvis fan will know, the rocker was married once, to Priscilla Presley. And when the pair first began dating, he was 24 years old, while she was ten years his junior. Apparently, some of the star’s friends raised objections to this sizable age gap, too. But Elvis and Priscilla’s relationship nevertheless flourished, and the iconic musician finally tied the knot with his girlfriend once she reached her early 20s.

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Then the couple’s only child, Lisa Marie, came into the world exactly nine months after their wedding on February 1, 1968. Yet Priscilla apparently disliked that she had become pregnant so early. She had even reportedly planned to go on birth control, but it’s said that the young woman had been advised not to by Elvis. Priscilla is rumored to have considered having an abortion, too, but supposedly she eventually decided against it.

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In a 1985 piece for People magazine, Priscilla wrote about how she had discovered that she was pregnant. And during the time she was expecting a child, it seemed as though a major priority had been not losing her husband. She said, “I still kept up with my ballet, rode my motorcycle and my horse Domino right up until the eighth month of pregnancy. Elvis thought I was absolutely incredible to keep up with him in every way. That made me happy. I was pleasing him and still by his side every day.”

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But Priscilla’s fears were realized when Elvis suddenly asked for a trial separation. Later, she wrote of this period, “I wanted to die. I was seven months along and could not believe what I was hearing. I don’t think Elvis really intended to leave me. It wasn’t his style. I later realized he had questions about how a baby would affect his life.”

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Priscilla further mused on her then-husband, “Would his public accept him as a father? He wasn’t even sure if his fans had adapted to his becoming a husband. How loyal would they be?” Luckily, though, the decision to split was soon reversed. She went on, “Within a short time, Elvis’ sensitive nature brought him back to his senses. Two days had passed. The idea of a trial separation was never mentioned again. We both acted as if nothing had been said.”

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And once Lisa Marie came into the world, both Elvis and Priscilla were apparently united in their admiration for the new arrival. Priscilla said, “The nurse brought [Lisa Marie] into my room, and I cradled her in my arms. She was so tiny – so beautiful. Elvis came into the room and kissed me, thrilled that we had had a perfectly normal, healthy baby. Then he took us both in his arms and held us.” Unfortunately, though, the happiness didn’t last.

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Priscilla went on to write for People, “As the months passed, I realized that now that I was a mother, Elvis was uncertain how to treat me. He had mentioned before we were married that he had never been able to make love to a woman who’d had a child. But throughout my pregnancy – until the last six weeks – we had made love passionately. He’d been very careful each time, afraid that he might hurt the baby or me. Now months had passed.”

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And, sadly, the couple’s problems continued to grow. Finally, then, amidst the problems of affairs, legal troubles and drug abuse, Elvis and Priscilla officially divorced on October 9, 1973. Both parents would go on to share custody of their young daughter, and the two were seemingly fine with this arrangement. Then, just four years on from the end of the marriage, Elvis tragically died.

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Lisa Marie was just nine years old when her father passed away, in fact. Yet despite the turmoil that racked Elvis’ life, his daughter would always remember him as a good parent. For instance, during a 2007 appearance on Good Morning America, Lisa Marie told Diane Sawyer, “He’d always wake me up to sing in the middle of the night – get on the table and sing. I remember him as my dad, but he was a very exciting dad.”

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Lisa Marie also explained that, after Elvis had passed away, she “couldn’t really process what was happening.” And, apparently, one moment in particular was a real struggle for the young girl: the time when she had had to view her father’s body. Lisa Marie said, “I did a lot of strange things that day because it didn’t really settle in. I rode my golf cart. I ran around and smoked cigarettes at nine, in the guard shack somewhere. I was crazy. I don’t know, I did, like, wacky things.”

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So there’s no doubt that Lisa Marie’s childhood was far from ordinary. For one, owing to all the money that her famous father had amassed throughout his life, she grew up as the heir to a vast fortune. And after her grandparents Vernon and Minnie passed away, the young woman was therefore worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

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But although Lisa Marie’s life began in a rather unconventional manner, her adulthood saw her embark on a common rite of passage: marriage. And in the end, Elvis would have four grandchildren whom he would never know. The first two came from Lisa Marie’s relationship with musician Danny Keough, whom she wed in 1988. These children were Danielle Riley Keough, born in 1989, and Benjamin Storm Keough, who entered the world in 1992.

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Lisa Marie divorced Danny in 1994 when Benjamin was still a toddler – although the former couple remained good friends. In 2003 she told the Star Tribune, “I don’t know how, but we’ve managed to stay close… There’s others that I have pain or betrayal associated with that I won’t have anything to do with. But [Danny] and I had a special thing.”

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Meanwhile, during her 2007 Good Morning America interview, Lisa Marie considered the similarities that Benjamin and Riley – the name she goes under – share with their famous grandfather. She said, “They both have traits. My son has got this very regal thing about him. He’s just got this dynamic energy that is familiar. And then my daughter, just – the humor, you know. She’s got the intelligence, and she’s smart – although I find her more like my mother than I do [Elvis].”

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After splitting from Danny, however, Lisa Marie went through a chaotic period in her life. A mere 20 days after the divorce went through, for example, she married Michael Jackson – a decision that she would later claim to regret. In a 2007 interview with Marie Claire, when asked what her biggest mistake so far had been, the star would say, “Leaving my first marriage for the person that I left it for.”

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Lisa Marie even reportedly considered having kids with Jackson, although she ultimately decided against it. In 2010 she told Oprah, “I was looking into the future, and I was thinking I don’t ever want to get into a custody battle with [Jackson]… I don’t want to go head to head with him, so I need to make sure that everyone around is good. I know; I’ve had children. I knew bringing children into certain circumstances – you have to make sure everything’s safe and secure and okay.”

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Then in 2002 Lisa Marie married for the third time to actor Nicolas Cage – who is reportedly a massive Elvis fan. The then-13-year-old Riley served as the flower girl, while Benjamin and Cage’s young son Weston were the pageboys. At the time, the media also speculated that Lisa Marie was pregnant with Cage’s baby.

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However, Lisa Marie was not pregnant, while the marriage itself lasted barely any time at all. The pair were wed in August, you see, and in November of the same year Cage filed for divorce. In fact, the divorce proceedings ended up lasting longer than the couple’s union: it was May 2004 when the paperwork finally went through.

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Seemingly undeterred, Lisa Marie married her fourth husband, producer Michael Lockwood, in 2006. The wedding was held in Japan, with Danny Keough as the best man. Then, two years later, the by now 40-year-old Lisa Marie announced that she was pregnant with twins after newspapers had started criticizing her weight gain.

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By the time the two new children were born in October 2008, moreover, Riley was 19 years old and Benjamin 15. And the babies, both girls, were named Harper Vivienne Ann and Finley Aaron Love. In fact, twins are common within the Presley family: Elvis had a stillborn twin brother, and Priscilla had brothers who were twins, too.

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So, Lisa Marie now had a big family of her own. And in 2009 she spoke about her life and her children on The Oprah Winfrey Show. She was still very close to Danny, she revealed, saying, “I knew that no matter what happened, we would always be connected. And I don’t know how I knew that at such a young age, but I instinctively knew that and had those children with him. And we are like best friends: brother and sister.”

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In the interview, Lisa Marie also explained that Danny actually lived on the same property as her. She added, “It’s hard to have that kind of relationship with your ex… but I think it’s very important if you have children with somebody to keep your responsibility. You don’t need to put what you guys went through or what you had with each other on the children.”

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Then, when Oprah asked Lisa Marie, “What do you think you’re best at as a mother?” she answered, “Just overwhelming [my children] with affection and love. They need to push me off of them… And then having that versus being their friend – trying really hard to be their friend as well as be a mother. That’s the fence you walk, which is important because you can’t go too much on one side or the other.”

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And Oprah also asked, “How do you instill in [your children] what’s important as a human being? As a citizen of the world, your community, when you’ve got everything?” Lisa Marie replied, however, “You have to be an example. I’m not somebody who sits around. I’m not happy unless I’m helping other people. And they watch me, and they see that.”

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That same year, there were rumors that Benjamin was going to try and make it in the music industry – just like his grandfather. In October 2009 U.K. newspaper the Daily Mail reported, “The slicked-back hair, full lips and rock star swagger are all present and correct. All [Benjamin] needs now is a pair of blue suede shoes.”

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The Daily Mail quoted Benjamin as saying, however, that his “music will be nothing like Elvis – nothing like him at all.” Meanwhile, an unnamed spokesman was reported to have said of the young man, “He’s a typical 17-year-old. He doesn’t get up before midday and then grunts at you.” It was reported, too, that Benjamin’s record deal was worth a whopping $5 million.

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Yet that turned out in the end to be a false story. That same month, U.K. newspaper the Daily Mirror reported that Peter LoFrumento, the executive vice-president of the company Universal Music, had told the media, “This story is totally untrue.” And indeed no music by Benjamin – Elvis-like or not – has ever been released.

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Then in 2012 Lisa Marie released a music video for the track “I Love You Because” that featured footage of her parents and all of her children. And Benjamin – who was 19 at the time – particularly caught people’s eyes. In October of that year, TV network CMT asked Lisa Marie of her son, “He looks so much like Elvis. Does he get that reaction a lot?”

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Lisa Marie answered, with a laugh, “He does! He was at the [Grand Ole] Opry and was the quiet storm behind the stage! Everybody turned around and looked when he was over there. Everybody was grabbing him for a photo because it is just uncanny. Sometimes I am overwhelmed when I look at him.”

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And several years later, the family resemblance became all the clearer. In June 2019 Lisa Marie posted an Instagram picture of herself and all four of her children, captioned “Mama Lion with cubs.” What’s more, people were seemingly awestruck at how much like Elvis Benjamin appeared. One commenter wrote, for example, “Your son is almost a twin to your dad! Thanks for sharing this pic!”

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Newsweek magazine wrote of the snap, meanwhile, “Following a family picture posted Thursday by Elvis Presley’s daughter, Lisa Presley, Twitter users had to do a double-take after seeing her son, Benjamin” and declared that the young man “looks to be a spitting image of his famous grandfather.” Benjamin himself, however, said nothing about the viral pic.

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In fact, despite his family’s fame, Benjamin keeps a very low profile. He seemingly has no social media, for instance, and gives no interviews. Over the years, he’s only really popped up on his mother’s Instagram and on a 2005 documentary called Elvis by the Presleys. And the only snippets about his life that people know were mostly revealed by his mother or older sister.

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In a 2013 interview with HuffPost, Lisa Marie revealed that, like many kids, her own children didn’t always have time for their mother. Apparently, Benjamin “loves touring. It’s on his time frame. Always.” Lisa Marie added of her son, “Then when he’s ready to see me, he’ll come.” Both Benjamin and Riley, she continued, “always have something pressing going on at that age.”

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Riley has made a name for herself, in any case, as an actress, having appeared in movies such as Mad Max: Fury Road, Logan Lucky and Magic Mike. And in interviews about her ever more successful career, the rising star has occasionally shared some tidbits about what life was like for her and Benjamin growing up.

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In 2017 Riley told U.K. newspaper The Guardian, “I grew up very privileged with my mother, but my dad didn’t live like that. And I think experiencing both sides has been helpful. My father had mattresses on the floor of his apartments. He lived in cabins and trailer parks. He just didn’t have much money.” It’s probably safe to say, then, that Benjamin experienced the same.

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Furthermore, Lisa Marie made sure that her kids knew who their grandfather was. In 2014, when Benjamin and Riley were adults and the twins were five, she appeared on the show Oprah: Where Are They Now and said, “They kind of know, because they heard music and stuff, and they’ve gotten the idea.”

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Lisa Marie went on, “I just say [that Elvis] was a very special person who sang, and he touched a lot of people in the world, [and] people loved him and they’re going to love you because of him. And they kind of understand that.” There’s no doubt, though, that that’s a very big legacy to try and live up to.

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In the same Oprah interview, meanwhile, Lisa Marie talked about how she parented and continued to parent her children. She announced, “I’m very, very protective, number one. Also, [I] want to be their friend and protect them but also get them to learn how to live in the world that we’re living in.”

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So if Benjamin does decide to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and become a music star, it seems that he’s got a good support system in place. At the moment, though, he’s still keeping a low profile, and those who want to see more of his Elvis-like features will just have to keep tabs on his family’s social media – even if one day that may all well change.

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