Even when Presley was an adult, mother and son shared a secret language in which ice cream was called 'iddytream' and milk was known as 'butch'.
When she died of hepatitis in 1958, a 23-year-old Presley was so distraught that he tried to throw himself into the grave after her.
Most famously there was his future wife, Priscilla Beaulieu, who was just 14 - ten years his junior - when they met in September 1959.
Although sexual from the start, their relationship was portrayed as a sweet and innocent triumph of love across the age divide.
Gladys's controlling influence left Presley emotionally stunted.