Elvis Presley was truly the King: incredibly handsome, blessed with abundant talent as a singer and actor, and beloved by millions of fans the world over. People felt like they knew him, which made them adore him even more.
He was also understandably appealing to beautiful women. Presley was divorced from his wife, Priscilla, in 1973. The romantic relationship he had at the end of his life was with Ginger Alden. Despite the considerable age difference between them, they envisioned getting married and sharing their lives forever.
What happened to her after Presley died in 1977? We looked into the latest on what Ginger Alden is doing now, and here’s what we found.
Ginger Alden Met Elvis When She Was Only 20
Alden was very young when she first crossed paths with Elvis. He was 41 when they met; she was just 20. Still, there was an undeniable attraction between them.
She “was the last serious love he would let into his heart,” Alden wrote in her memoir, Elvis & Ginger: Elvis Presley’s Fiancee and Last Love Finally Tells Her Story. They began a relationship in 1976, and they were together until his death in August 1977.
They were only a couple for nine months, but Alden referred to that time as “life-altering.”
The way Alden described Presley, it seemed almost as if he was a mentor of sorts for her—an older, sophisticated, and extremely worldly man advising “a young, impressionable woman.”
When they were together, it wasn’t all heady glamour and dizzying glitz. There were cozy domestic times, such as when they got a dog. Alden liked Great Danes, so she bought one in April 1977 without telling Presley. She named him Odyssey for the theme music that played before Presley’s concerts.
Presley gave her an engagement ring on January 26, 1977. Like many of the gifts he lavished on her, it was splashy, with an enormous center gemstone. Alden said he told her, “I’ve loved before but I’ve never been in love.” She was thrilled with his generosity and sweet expression of caring.
They planned to marry on Christmas Day 1977. When they agreed on the date, Alden recalled that Presley said to her, “That will be our gift to God.” Fate intervened, however, when Presley died suddenly on August 16, 1977.
On a Facebook post dated April 9, 2018, Alden angrily countered the rumors about Presley having committed suicide. She vehemently denied allegations that he took his own life. “I encourage all Elvis fans to please know and understand that Elvis Presley would never and did not commit suicide.”
Alden contended that he was busy making plans for the future, like their nuptials, having kids, doing more movies, and going on concert tours. He was not downcast or morose, Alden claimed, but was looking forward to the milestones he planned in his life and hers.
Alden found him dead in a bathroom at Graceland. According to a story in Express, Presley’s family soured on Alden after he died.
Presley’s dad, Vernon, allegedly did not want her around anymore. Presley’s Uncle Vester reportedly said of her, “Ginger Alden is dead now as far as the family is concerned. We don’t even recognize her as a human being.”
He continued, “We’re not interested in her. She took advantage of Elvis’ name.”
She was even barred from Graceland after Presley’s death. If she wanted to visit his grave, she had to call first and ask permission.
Alden Later Became An Actress
Alden was in several films and TV shows in the 1980s and 1990s. She had a role in a film called Living Legend: The King of Rock and Roll (1980), which was about a fictional music superstar named Eli Caulfield whose off-the-charts popularity and prescription medication abuse echoed that of Presley.
Alden played the title role in Lady Grey (1980), about a woman who becomes a music star but suffers through heartache on her way to the top. She also had guest roles in shows like Hollywood Beat (1985) and Capitol (1986), as well as a cameo as a talk show guest in Canaan Land (2020).
She Married And Had A Family Post-Elvis
Alden married Ronald Leyser, a 1990 graduate of Syracuse Law School who became an attorney, in 1991. They were together until his death in 2015. In an eerie coincidence, Leyser and Presley both died on August 16.
Alden and Leyser share a son named Hunter. When he was seven years old, he came home from school peppering Alden with questions about Presley. Hunter brought jumbo-sized sunglasses to school that day. Other kids were teasingly calling him Elvis, which piqued the boy’s curiosity.
She was uncertain about just how much to share with Hunter. Alden kept her responses to him brief and straightforward: “Elvis was a very nice man I met long ago. He was someone who loved to sing and make people happy.”
In 2014 when her book was published, Alden was a guest on Today. She explained why she chose to write the memoir of her time with Elvis when she did.
“I went forward with my life [after Presley died]. I worked, I got married, had my son [and] raised him…” When Hunter went off to college, Alden felt “the time was right…I wanted to get the truth out.”
On a small table between Alden and Today host Willie Geist were two treasured mementos of her years with the King: that colossal engagement ring and a gold chain with a pendant that had three letters, each encrusted with diamonds. The letters were T-L-C for Tender Loving Care along with a lightning bolt, also drenched in sparklers.
Alden Released A Memoir About Her Time With Elvis In 2014
The story Alden told in her book was not one of unblemished happiness with Presley. There were incidents of his bizarre behavior that might have made another woman run out the door.
He reportedly shot a gun at a television. He allegedly hit Alden when they were in Hawaii and she refused to get him more papaya juice, which he had been drinking in copious amounts that day, according to Alden.
She described the scene: “Our bedroom door flew open, Elvis stormed into the room with a wild look in his eyes, and slapped me on the side of my rib cage. ‘No one ever walks out on me when I’m talking,’” he reportedly told her.
His weight was another sensitive topic with Presley. As he got older, he looked much heavier. He got so enraged when Alden mentioned it to him that he threw a dish of ice cream. When she appeared on Inside Edition, however, Alden downplayed the talk of Presley’s binge overeating.
“He could be compulsive sometimes when eating certain foods,” she said. “I never once saw him eating fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches.”
Overall, though, Alden remembers her relationship with Presley fondly. “Elvis could be difficult at times,” she acknowledged, “but for me, his goodness and loving spirit outweighed any faults.” She still posts loving memories of him on Facebook to the delight of his fans.
Ginger Alden knew Elvis Presley during what turned out to be the final months of the superstar’s life. Although his behavior could be erratic and sometimes even kind of mean, she has always recalled him with kindness and affection. Alden moved on with her life after Presley died, but it seems like he will always be a cherished part of it.