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Roger Smith

The Life Of A Superstar Becomes Film

A few weeks ago superstar Ann-Margret arrived in Valsjöbyn. That's where she lived her first 6 years, before moving to the U.S.

The reason for her return was the making of a documentary on her life. The question was, would there be any place in the tiny village where she and her husband Roger Smith could stay? There was only one alternative, of course, her old room in the house right in the middle of the village, where she used to live with her parents, Anna and Gustav.

"I had the best of times. I really loved that several of my old friends from that time came and visited", she says.

Ann-Margret told about how her uncle Kalle used to play the accordion and she used to dance for the soldiers who lived there during the second world war. Kjell-Åke Westlund, Doris Håkansson, Verna Frimert, Monika Brännmark, Anita Fjällskog and Göte Zetterberg, also had many memories to tell about the times they spent with Ann-Margret.

The house in Valsjöbyn is owned today by Lilly Lundemo-Aronsson. She was married to Kaj, who died a few years ago. Kaj was Ann-Margret's cousin.

"Those were busy days during her visit. Much to think about. Many people came to our dinners and we had long talks. You could tell she still has strong feelings for the place", Lilly says.

Lilly and her family have visited Ann-Margret in the U.S. several times. Once they saw her show in Las Vegas.

"She the told the audience about her years in Sweden, and when she grew up in Valsjöbyn", Lilly remembers.

Lilly also tells that each summer many tourists come and want to take pictures of 'the house where Ann-Margret lived'.

"She has put Valsjöbyn on the map in many ways", she says.

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By Per Lindahl www.vaajma.com

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Documentary Can Give The Place A Boost

Within a few months the documentary on Ann-Margret will be finished. The beginning of the film will be 10-12 minutes from her first years in Valsjöbyn, and then continues with her 60 years in the world of film and entertainment.

"We hope it will be on national television some time next spring, otherwise it will be on some other channel", Kay Wieståhl (executive producer) says. He also says, that most certainly, the film will be sold to other countries as well.

Many world famous stars will appear along with Ann-Margret.

"I'm sure that the film will mean much for Valsjöbyn and the county of Jämtland. This will mean more tourists, and I also hope that the people who live here will be proud over this place", Kay Wieståhl believes.

Anna Jonasson is project manager for tourism and enterprise for the region.

"The film most definetely will put Valsjöbyn on the map, and that means more tourists. Just take Mikael Niemi's book "Popular Music in Vittula", which did just that. The documentary will also mean more marketing to bring more film shootings to the region", she says.

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By Per Lindahl www.vaajma.com

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