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Roger Smith

The Bachelor who has a key to Ann-Margret's bedroom

NOWADAYS ALMOST no one in Hollywood seems to raise an eyebrow when an unmarried actress talks openly about the bachelor who has a key to her bedroom. Brenda Vaccaro, who shed her clothes to steal a scene In "Midnight Cowboy"is the latest to speak frankly about her used-to-be unconventional situation. She lives, it seems, with Kirk Douglas' actor son, Mike. But there are no plans for any legal formalities. "We don't talk about marriage, there's so much else to talk about" she says - and goes on to explain "We've just moved into a wonderful old house on Hollywood Boulevard."

To make everything perfect Brenda's Persian cat and Yorkshire terrier have been brought out from the east "so we are quite a domestic Scene."
Brenda and Mike's set-up is all part of the new permissiveness. But even in Hollywood . married women continue to be more circumspect about their affairs. Most married women that is.

Ann-Margret has always been a bit different. Take the spelling of her name, for instance. Or the way she lives. In these days when new stars seem to go out of their way to avoid the old larger-than-tife style that was Hollywood, Ann-M and her husband, Roger Smith, follow it to the hilt; Their house once belonged to Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart. It's set on seven acres of landscaped rounds in Beverly Hills comes complete with tennis courts, swImming pool, and a den decorated in bright red.

Then there's her 'attitude toward her work' - While most current movie marquees are dominated by no-name names, Annie is still a Star with a capital S. She spent a fortune on costumes and choreography a year or so back when she was putting together a nightclub act. And when she unveiled it in Las Vegas, she coolly explained, "I didn't come here to make money. I came here to blow people's minds."

To her acting she brings an intensity that almost makes you believe the make-believe. Watching a clip from the TV special she did with Dean Martin, husband Roger was heard to mutter, "This film is grounds for divorce."

But there'll be no divorce. Different as it may be, Ann likes her life and is determined to hang on to it. "My wife is a very stubborn Swede," says Roger. This doesn't mean that there's no dissension in the household. Ann has frequently said that she likes a man to dominate her, but she doesn't always take it too kindly when it comes from Roger. She has a temper; she punches and she throws things. ("I once threw a phone at Roger but my aim was bad.") But these are only love spats and the Smiths have forgotten all about them by the time they retire to their king-sized bed at night.

Ann has her own special formula for keeping the marriage together in spite of the little flare-ups. "I feel it's my duty to be sexually attractive to Roger' she says and she works at this all day (and night) long. Like many a more ordinary wife, she likes to wear slacks and a blouse around the house but the slacks are form-fitting, the blouse frilly, and, as one writer put it, "Her shirtwaists are full of goodies." She also believes in keeping up the flirting that all too often ends when the courtship does. "Treat your husband as if he's still your best boyfriend," she advises. "After all, when you stop to think , about it, that's what he really is. " So Roger still gets treated like an eligible bachelor even in the privacy of his wife's bedroom. ("I do sexy dances for him," she admits with nary a blush.)

His response is to keep Ann-Margret glowing and her career spinning. His latest project for her is to try to buy the remake rights to Howard Hughes' classic "The Outlaw ," the picture that made Jane Russell, well, Jane Russell. Can you imagine what a sizzler that will be if Ann-Margret (who's already done one nude scene in "C.C. Ryder") takes advantage of the new screen freedom to show it like we wish it was. Roger won't be the only "bachelor" begging for a key to her bedroom...

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By Neva Hendricks

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