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Roger Smith

She's one of the best paid stars in the world - but deep inside, she's still the girl from Jamtland with her heart in the right place

When Jamtland (the county in Sweden where she was raised) calls me, I feel it's my duty to come. I am American now, but that's where I have my roots", says the beautiful Ann-Margret, one of Hollywood's biggest stars.

Even though she's well paid, and even though she once received a prize from American journalists as the most difficult star to interview, she didn't hesitate to accomodate this magazine when she visited her childhood home.

"Ever since me and my family emigrated to the U.S. some 20 years ago, Valsjobyn is always on our minds, and I hope to one day own a house here", she says.

Ann-Margret is no diva, and what American journalists found difficult, probably is shyness and quietness. That's a thing you won't notice when her relatives come and visit, then she's lively, alert and talkative - in Swedish!

Ann-Margret was named Olsson as a girl. She was born in Stockholm where she lived for a year, then her family moved back to the county of Jamtland, where she stayed until she was five. That's also where she learned her first song, "Violer Till Mor", a song she performs to this day. A song she also sang a couple of weeks ago, while performing for the local people, and she also sang it in Las Vegas, where audiences pay lots of money to see her night club act.

It was also in Las Vegas she was once discovered seven years ago. After that, success followed rapidly, something you understand when you know she loses thousands of dollars coming back to Sweden for three days. And she doesn't care, money isn't everything. Especially not for this fine young girl, who thinks the best part of her visit was visiting retirement homes making old people happy.

Even though her stay was short and intense, she had time to record scenes for an upcoming TV special, and she had time to tell us about her husband Roger Smith, who, unfortunately, couldn't make it this time.

"Next time however", she promised all her relatives.


Ann-Margret with her cousins, Håkan, 13 and Kaj, 18.

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By Kjell Gradin

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