The world lost Lisa Marie Presley on January 12, 2023. Elvis’s daughter died after suffering cardiac arrest. She was just 54 years old. Lisa Marie is survived by her mother Priscilla Presley and three daughters, including the up-and-coming actress Riley Keough.
Lisa Marie lost her only son, Benjamin Keough, to suicide in 2020.
Riley Keough was born in 1989 to Lisa Marie Presley and the Chicago musician Danny Keough. Her brother Benjamin was born in 1992, but their parents divorced soon after.
Lisa Marie continued on with a string of high-profile husbands like Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage, meanwhile the Keough kids were were raised between Hawaii and Los Angeles. They also spent ample time at the Presleys’ Graceland Estate in Memphis, Tennessee. It was a rock-and-roll upbringing, and Lisa Marie went on to have two more children, twins Harper and Finley Lockwood, with the guitarist Michael Lockwood.
Growing up in the shadow of celebrity, Riley began modeling as a teen and made her film debut in 2010, playing punk icon Marie Currie in The Runaways. She’s also acted in Mad Max: Fury Road, American Honey, and The Girlfriend Experience, in which she played a grad-student-turned-escort. Each project earned Keough further acclaim, but her amusing turn in the stripper drama Zola served as the actress’ true breakthrough in 2021.
Zola is adapted, quite literally, from a viral Twitter thread that engrossed the internet back in 2015. A’ziah “Zola” King posted her full, unvarnished account of a “hoe trip” gone terribly wrong, broken into 148 separate tweets.
Zola had been working as a waitress at Hooters in Detroit when she met an all-too-friendly patron, Jessica Swiatkowski. Both women were strippers on the side and bonded quickly. Before long, Jessica invited Zola on a road trip to Tampa, Florida. The two women were accompanied by Jessica’s dumb boyfriend, and “Z,” a “friend” who turned out to be a violent pimp. Suddenly, in Tampa, Zola found herself thrown directly into the terrifying underbelly of dangerous sex work.
In 2021, the crazy story came to the screen, starring Taylour Paige as Zola and Riley Keough as Jessica. It was an intense part for the young actress, but Riley shone as a sex worker whose character swings wildly between bubbly, provocative, and manipulative.
The death of Lisa Marie Presley shocked the world. As the only child of Elvis Presley and Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie lived her life in the spotlight. And when her father died in 1977 at age 42, little Lisa Marie was the sole heir to his estate.
But sadly, that was not the last tragedy in the Presley line. Lisa Marie’s son Benjamin Keough, Riley’s only full sibling, took his own life in 2020 with a gunshot wound. The suicide was devastating for the whole Preslsey-Keough family. In November 2022, Lisa Marie shared a heart-wrenching essay with People about the experience. She wrote:
“I already battle with and beat myself up tirelessly and chronically, blaming myself every single day and that’s hard enough to now live with, but others will judge and blame you too, even secretly or behind your back which is even more cruel and painful on top of everything else.”— Lisa Marie Presley via People
Then, mere months later, Lisa Marie herself would die too. At the age of 54, she succumbed to cardiac arrest.