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The story of how Linda Thompson pranked Elvis fans


Linda Thompson might not be the most familiar name to everybody, but she is an American songwriter/lyricist, former actress and beauty pageant winner. Coincidentally, she’s well known for some of her significant romantic relationships, as well as some of her entertainment industry accomplishments and her beauty pageant wins, like her title of Miss Tennessee USA.

Fitting for a one Miss Tennessee, the beauty queen had a relationship with Elvis Presley. The pair met when she was 22, when she attended a private movie screening hosted by the singer. The pair hit it off then and there, and dated for four years before breaking up in 1976. She wanted a more normal life, much like Priscilla Presley, and the couple split. However, they remained on good terms until Elvis passed away.

One thing plenty of people can say about beauty queens and actresses alike is that they have plenty of charm and wit to spare—in the best cases, anyway—and it seems that can be said of Thompson, considering she used to prank Elvis fans with a little inside joke whenever the two were in public together and got spotted.

As the story goes, when the couple went to see a movie in 1975, he was spotted by fans who started “going crazy.” In order to handle this, Linda Thompson decided to pull a trick out of her sleeve. She said loudly to Elvis, “Charlie, you’re not using that Elvis bit again, are you? Come on, you’re not telling these people that you’re Elvis again, are you?”

Apparently, her trick fooled the fans well enough, considering that they left right after she made the scene. There are plenty of ways to handle obsessive fans following you around, and while it would have likely been just as effective to tell them to go away or handle it in a more straightforward way, there’s something to be said for having a little bit of fun with it every once in a while.

This might have also foreshadowed a little bit of Thompson’s attitude in ending the relationship with Presley, considering that she simply wanted to have a more normal life. However, the little prank definitely communicates the fun-loving nature of her personality. 

What’s more, she’s not the only star to pull stunts like this one. Hayley Williams of Paramore has described doing a similar thing when fans see her in public. Who knows? Maybe she started a bit of a trend.