Austin Butler says his heart is ‘shattered’ in tribute to Lisa Marie Presley

The US actor, who played the singer’s father in Baz Luhrmann’s award-winning biopic, paid tribute to Presley’s ‘warmth and authenticity’.
Austin Butler says his heart is ‘shattered’ in tribute to Lisa Marie Presley

By Naomi Clarke and Mike Bedigan, PA Entertainment Reporters

Austin Butler said his “heart is completely shattered” by news of Lisa Marie Presley’s death and he would “forever cherish” moments they spent together.

The US actor, who played the singer’s father in Baz Luhrmann’s award-winning biopic Elvis, said Presley’s “warmth and authenticity” would always be remembered.

Presley’s death at the age of 54 came two days after she attended the Golden Globe awards, where Butler won best actor for his role in Elvis.

Butler said, in a statement shared with the PA news agency, “My heart is completely shattered for Riley, Finley, Harper and Priscilla at the tragic and unexpected loss of Lisa Marie.

“I am eternally grateful for the time I was lucky enough to be near her bright light and will forever cherish the quiet moments we shared.

“Her warmth, her love and her authenticity will always be remembered.”

In his own tribute on Instagram, Luhrmann captioned a photograph of Butler and Presley laughing: “Over the last year, the entire Elvis movie family and I have felt the privilege of Lisa Marie’s kind embrace.

“Her sudden, shocking loss has devastated people all around the world. I know her fans everywhere join me in sharing prayers of love and support with her (family)… Lisa Marie, we will miss your warmth, your smile, your love.”

Olivia DeJonge, who played Priscilla Presley in the film, also wrote on her Instagram Story that she is “Shattered (by the news and) privileged to have felt her magnificent presence.

“And forever indebted to her, for the kindness and love she showed me, and the entire Elvis family.”

Elvis special screening – London
Austin Butler, Olivia DeJonge and Tom Hanks all starred in Elvis (Ian West/PA)

Tom Hanks, who also starred in the recent Elvis biopic, and his wife Rita Wilson recalled spending time with Presley and her family during the film’s promotional tour last year, and said she had been “so honest and direct, vulnerable, in a state of anticipation about the movie”.

Donatella Versace, Sarah, Duchess of York and Presley’s former husband Nicolas Cage were also among those who paid tribute to Presley.

La Toya Jackson, the sister of Michael Jackson, also said the late singer would “forever be in our hearts”.

Presley’s marriage to Michael Jackson, between 1994 to 1996, was arguably her most famous as it brought together the so-called King of Pop with the daughter of The King.

She was married another three times, first to musician Danny Keough, then after Jackson to Hollywood star Cage, and later to music producer Michael Lockwood.

In a statement shared with PA, Cage said: “This is devastating news.

“Lisa had the greatest laugh of anyone I ever met. She lit up every room, and I am heartbroken. I find some solace believing she is reunited with her son Benjamin.”

The pair were married briefly in August 2002, though Cage filed for divorce shortly after in November, which was finalised in 2004.

Following in the footsteps of her father, Presley pursued a career in the music industry, releasing three albums – To Whom It May Concern in 2003, Now What in 2005, and Storm and Grace in 2012.

In 2018, she featured on a new record, titled Where No One Stands Alone, which was released to celebrate her father’s love of gospel music, and featured 14 original performances recorded by him.

The title track was a reimagined duet, in which Lisa Marie sang with her father, who died at the age of 42 in 1977.

Days before her death, she visited Graceland to celebrate his birthday on January 8.

Upon her father’s death, when she was only nine years old, she became the joint heir to his estate, with her grandfather, Vernon Presley, and her great-grandmother, Minnie Mae Hood Presley.

In 1993, when she turned 25 she took full control of the estate and formed The Elvis Presley Trust, to continue its successful management.

A statement shared with PA by Presley’s family, announcing her death, said: “Priscilla Presley and the Presley family are shocked and devastated by the tragic death of their beloved Lisa Marie.

“They are profoundly grateful for the support, love and prayers of everyone, and ask for privacy during this very difficult time.”

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