Austin Butler is continuing to mourn Lisa Marie Presley following her shocking death. The 54-year-old musician died on 12 Jan. after being rushed to the hospital following an apparent cardiac arrest. At the Oscars luncheon in Beverly Hills on 13 Feb., Butler told People about his close relationship with Lisa Marie, saying the pair had "bonded very, very fast" after he took on the role of her father, Elvis Presley, for 2022's "Elvis."
"All those special moments of just getting to share life with her, I'll treasure that forever," Butler said, calling Lisa Marie "such an honest person." He continued, "There was no filter of how she felt. And she really opened her heart to me very quickly."
In the past, Butler has been open about the closeness he felt with Lisa Marie as well as his grief following her death. In a 30 Jan. episode of "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," Butler described their connection as "immediate," saying he'd "never had an experience where I met somebody and felt an immediate depth of relationship." He added that "she's a person who didn't have anything to prove and wouldn't open up to anybody and she opened up to me. We got so close so fast, and it's just devastating," he continued, describing the experience of being nominated for an Oscar for "Elvis" after the loss of Lisa Marie as "bittersweet." "So much great stuff is happening, but I'm just devastated for her family," he said. "And for her to not be here celebrating with us . . ."
Lisa Marie herself had been open about her affection for Butler and his portrayal of her late father. "Austin Butler channelled and embodied my father's heart & soul beautifully," she tweeted in May 2022. "In my humble opinion, his performance is unprecedented and FINALLY done accurately and respectfully," she continued, adding, "If he doesn't get an Oscar for this, I will eat my own foot." She and Butler attended a number of events together while promoting "Elvis," including the Golden Globes on 10 Jan., where Butler took home the award for best actor in a drama motion picture.
Lisa Marie's death has also been publicly mourned by her mother, Priscilla Presley, and her daughter Riley Keough, as well as countless others. "Today would have been Lisa's 55th birthday," Priscilla wrote on 1 Feb.. "My wish is to protect my three grandchildren and keep our family together. From the first moment I held Lisa in my arms, I've protected, loved and guided her, as I have my son. Our hearts are broken, and I am having to learn to live without my only daughter. We truly love all of you, and we feel your prayers. Thank you so much for caring so deeply for our family."
Lisa Marie was Priscilla's only daughter with her late husband, Elvis. She left behind three children — Keough and Harper and Finley Lockwood — and was laid to rest near her late son, Benjamin Keough, and Elvis in Graceland on 22 Jan..