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Roger Smith

"The Animal" - A True Yankee from Jamtland

Ann-Margret Olsson from Valsjobyn in the county of Jamtland, well-known from Las Vegas and television, was a real success the final night at the International Film Festival in Cannes, France.

She entertained, she handed out prizes, she did a one-woman-show of the whole thing.

It made you glad to be Swedish. This Swedish-yankee lady came direct from the White House in Washington, where she had had dinner with the Fords, and their Iranian guests the Shah and his wife, Farah Diba.

She was then flown to Cannes in first a private jet to Nice, then helicopter to Cannes.

Getting an interview with "The Animal" was of course impossible. According to her press agent. Press agents often make more resistance than the stars themselves.

When Ann-Margret got to see Stig Svedfelt, with his camera, and me with a begging look, she escaped from the press agents tight leash, and said "You must be Swedish! Let's go up to my room." And so we did. If press agents looks could kill...

Ann-Margret is such big a star now, she can do what she very well pleases. And she wanted to speak Swedish, and tell us all about how it was to meet with President Ford. Ann-Margret is the first Swedish artist that has been invited to entertain at the White House.

What was it like?

"I had never dreamt of going to the White House, and to do my show there..., but it was wonderful. The President didn't want me to stop. He was a real sweetheart, and so was his wife. And the Shah of Iran was gorgeous, and his wife had the most incredible jewellery".

And so does Ann-Margret herself. "This one I got from Roger, when I had my fall in Reno, then it stopped hurting (she was also rewarded $1.000.000 in damages)".

Ann-Margret is like a Jamtlandish stream of water, and tells us that she had three dances with the President, that she loves handing out awards in Cannes, and that her latest film, "Tommy", was the closing picture of the festival.

Ann-Margret is a superstar. She's doing TV-shows in England and the U.S., a 10-day tour of Japan, and another big picture. The contract isn't signed yet, so she can't tell us what it is, or with whom.

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By Gunnel Hessel Photo by Stig Svenfelt

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