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Roger Smith

Ann-Margret returns to Branson

Andy Williams is incredibly organized, says Ann-Margret, singer and actress.

"I am completely disorganized. Never can find anything," she says.

But they work well together on stage, she says. The duo will perform together for eight weeks at the Moon River Theatre in Branson; the show opens Friday and runs through July 26.

When school lets out, shows in Branson pick up, says Lynn Berry, director of public relations for Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce.

"That is the difference between Branson and any other destination in the United States. We have a bonanza of live entertainment with more than 100 shows offered each week," Berry says.

Ann-Margret first met Andy Williams in 1962, when she appeared on his show with Dick Van Dyke and Andy Griffith.
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Then, three years ago he contacted her about performing at his theater. Once she heard him sing, she was sold.

"I said 'How in the world can you hit those high notes?' It's like he's still in his whatever age. Age really does not matter, that voice of his is beautiful," she says.

They will sing together and individually during the show's run.

When asked what songs she will perform, Ann-Margret began to sing into the telephone "Your love keeps lifting me higher," and then later transitioned into "You'll never know ..."

Born in Sweden, she moved to the United States when she was 5.

She is a singer and actress, having appeared in films such as "Bye Bye Birdie," "Stagecoach" and "Viva Las Vegas" with Elvis Presley.

Ann-Margret has been married for 41 years to Roger Smith, a man who hides her anniversary gifts and it drives her crazy. (During this interview, she wondered where the gift for her upcoming anniversary might be stashed).

She says she is thankful for her marriage and is grateful to be alive. While she enjoys performing with Williams, Ann-Margret says she also loves this area.

"I've said this to so many people, they (the people in Branson) are down-to-earth, hardworking people, patriotic. They never ask anyone for anything," she says.

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By Juliana Goodwin

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