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Roger Smith

Family Girl and Fiery Flame!

Swedish born Ann-Margret, born Olsson, is a girl with a voice and rhythm. She wants a career that's envied and admired.

"Swedish women just can't let Hollywood be these days. At the moment record- and movie executives, gossip-columnists etc all want a piec of 'that Olsson girl'. She calls herself Ann-Margret. She dropped the Olsson just in case she'd flop, and drag the family name in the mud. If you want it very much, you could say she's from the County of Jamtland. Her mother and grand mother ran a café there, where she heard the accordion for the first time. That accordion has meant quite a lot to her career. Her first years however, were spent in Stockholm, and when she was 5, her parents emigrated to Wilmette, Illinois.

When Zsa Zsa Gabor presented the Golden Globe for Newcomer of 1962 to Ann-Margret, everyone applauded like mad, totally enchanted by her charm. When the film 'Pocketful of Miracles' premiered, the following names were in bold type on the marquee: Glenn Ford, Bette Davis, Hope Lange, Arthur O'Connell and introducing Ann-Margret. She didn't make her start way down among the smaller print.

It's not that she only can sing so well that movie producers forget they should actually be bored. She can also move those hips in a way that make her competitors in the business wish her not all the best, making them practice even harder, and popping vitamin-pills like mad.

Ann-Margret is 21, sweet and tender, and she can make a man blush just by flashing those green eyes at him. Hollywood wants to label her 'The new Hayworth', something she doesn't approve of. She had her long brown hair partly down her face when she arrived to Hollywood. But you have to label her, and if the new Rita isn't good enough, maybe 'The female Elvis' will do. She has the same rhythm in her body, and the great Elvis has offered her a part in one of his films. He has even accepted a few of her demands. Other young girls would have done anything to see their names just in tiny print along his on the film poster. Ann-Margret wants equal billing, and she also asks for more money than other female actors. She knows she's in demand, all right!

Ann-Margret's mind is set on a career, and she wants to make a famous woman out of her person. No one can tell her what to do, how to do her hair, and she fights to not just be another girl in the film system. She doesn't smoke or drink, she doesn't want luxury (well, she wants beautiful clothes eventually, but first a nice home for mum and dad). The wolfs of Hollywood, professional lady-hunters, will be put off, Ann-Margret letting them know they must have called the wrong person. They see her perform, like a devil or goddess, hear her sing, dark and sensual, hear her purr like a kitten, and believe they can take her home. That's not part of her plans, however.

She has 10 men calling on her, 10 men who are very attentative. She was for a short time engaged to business man Burt Sugarman. She thought the engagement would protect her from the nerve-wrecking dating-game that is Hollywood. She promised, however, her parents to wait with a wedding. Burt is still courting her, but will he wait another 6 years? Ann-Margret won't marry till she's at least 27 or 28.

One of the more famous of her boyfriends is Eddie Fisher, he's so sweet, she says. When ever he's on a trip, he buys me presents.

One day, Ann-Margret will have a degree from university. She suddenly left school in Wilmette, thanks to school dance, and won't return until her career takes a slow turn.

It all started at a school show. Ann-margret was to be the surprise attraction. Noone knew what she was going to perform, they all just knew she was agreat singer and dancer. She entered the stage doing 'Heat Wave' like noone had ever entered a stage in Wilmette before. That she could be so sensual and sexy! Most people admired her courage and skill, while others were upset, that went without saying, and so it has continued. Ann-Margret and her trio had half a promise of an engagement and went to Las Vegas, just to find out the gig had gone to someone else. Her agent was sorry, but 'you youngsters know what it's like'. They didn't, but they were bginning to.

Mum and Dad Olsson sent her the money to make her dream come true, to be on stage, singing and dancing in night clubs. When George Burns saw her in 1960, she was discovered. She performed with him in Vegas, and everyone, card-sharks and all, fell for her. Then they came, record companies, movie studios, fame and fortune. Noone Swedish has ever been near that kind of thing since the days of Ingrid Bergman.

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