The highly acclaimed actress and musician Ann-Margret can be described as an all-round entertainer and a true Hollywood icon. In her showbiz career spanning more than five decades, the multi-talent has received numerous awards, of which 5 Golden Globe Awards, as well as nominations for 2 Academy Awards, 2 Grammy Awards, a SAG Award, and 6 Emmy Awards, are the most remarkable.
In addition to her exploits on screen and on stage, Ann-Margret also made headlines for her romantic involvement with late music icon Elvis Presley, the “King of Rock and Roll”. The two were co-stars in the 1964 musical Viva Las Vegas, and thanks to her own amazing musical talent, Ann-Margret was widely regarded as the female Elvis Presley. Let’s take a closer look at Ann-Margret’s personal life, her relationship with Elvis Presley, her family life, and everything there is to know about the iconic Hollywood star.
Who Is Ann-Margret?
At a time when very few were interested in show business, the legendary entertainer Ann-Margret Olsson was born on April 28, 1941, in Valsjöbyn, County Jämtland, Sweden. Her parents were Anna Regina (née Aronsson) and Carl Gustav Olsson. Her father emigrated to the United States in 1942 as an employee of the Johnson Electrical Company. In November 1946, she finally moved to the United States with her mother, and the family settled in Wilmette, Illinois. She was naturalized as a US citizen in 1949.
Ann-Margret was initially enrolled for dance classes at the Marjorie Young School of Dance. She completed her high school education at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, and she performed in several talent shows during her teenage years. She enrolled in 1959 at Northwestern University for college but did not complete her studies. Ann-Margret began as a singer, performing in several cities in the USA as a member of a group called “Suttletones”. In 1961 she got a recording contract with RCA Victor. Her music career was quite successful under RCA Victor, as she performed at the 34th Academy Awards and also achieved a Billboard Top 40 hit “I Just Don’t Understand”.
Just like her music career, Ann-Margret’s acting career began in 1961 when she got a 7-year contract with 20th Century Fox. She made her screen debut in the comedy film Pocketful of Miracles (1961), for which she won the Golden Globe Award as New Star of the Year. The lead role in the comedy musical Bye Bye Bye Birdie (1963) earned Ann-Margret a second Golden Globe nomination and, more importantly, catapulted her to Hollywood stardom. The talented actress appeared opposite Elvis Presley in the musical film Viva Las Vegas (1964), and her acting career continued steadily throughout the 1960s.
Ann-Margret came on stage in the late 1960s when her acting career experienced a brief lull. At the beginning of the ’70s, the talented actress returned to the film business with a bang. In 1971 she received an Oscar nomination for best-supporting actress for her performance in Carnal Knowledge (1971). She won a Golden Globe Award and also received a second Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her leading role in the British musical drama Tommy (1975). Ann Margret’s career continued steadily throughout the 1980s when she was cast for her roles in Who Will Love My Children? she received 2 Golden Globe Awards for her roles in Who Will Love My Children? (1983) and A Streetcar Named Desire (1984).
Over the years, Ann-Margret distinguished herself by effectively pursuing her music career alongside her acting career. She received her first Grammy nomination for Best New Artist in 1961 and her second Grammy nomination in 2001 for her gospel album God Is Love: The Gospel Sessions.
What Was Ann Margret’s Affair With Elvis Presley Like?
During her long showbiz career, Ann-Margret had very few relationships, at least by Hollywood standards. The most remarkable among her romantic relationships were with the late music icon Elvis Presley. The two came together after they had played against each other in the 1964 musical film Viva Las Vegas. Their chemistry on the screen in this film was transformed into a year-long relationship that recurs from time to time and a lifelong friendship of trust and respect.
As Ann-Margret and Elvis Presley were at the height of their respective careers at the time, they were a beautiful Hollywood couple who did not make it to the altar. Insider reports say that Presley believed in the traditional role of the woman as a housewife, and there seemed to be no way to “shape” the career-oriented Ann-Margret into his “ideal woman”.
A few years after their separation, the two married their future spouses, Ann-Margret to Roger Smith and Elvis Presley to Priscilla Presley. As Margret’s 1994 memoir Ann-Margret: My Story” shows, Elvis Presley continued to declare his love for her, even until his tragic death in 1977.
Husband and Kids
Ann-Margret was married for 5 decades to the Hollywood actor, producer, and screenwriter Roger Smith. The couple married on May 8, 1967, and Smith became their manager. Ann-Margret had no children with her husband Smith, but she is the stepmother of his three children from a previous marriage; a daughter named Tracey and sons Jordan and Dallas. Their marriage was a model of longevity. It lasted 50 years and ended in June 2017, when Smith passed away.