Ann-Margret, a consummate entertainer, has been nominated twice for an Academy Award, won five Golden Globe Awards and received six Emmy nominations for her television work. She is a three-time winner of the Female Star of the Year award given by the United Motion Pictures Association; she has twice been honored as Outstanding Box Office Star of the Year by the Theatre Owners of America; and she was voted Song and Dance Star of the Year by the American Guild of Variety Artists.
Her two Academy Award nominations were earned for her portrayal of Bobby Templeton in director Mike Nichols' famous film, Carnal Knowledge, and for her powerful role as Nora Walker in the classic Ken Russell rock film, Tommy. Ann-Margret received an Emmy, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nomination as Best Actress in a Movie for TV, starring as the legendary Pamela Harriman in the Lifetime film, Life of the Party, based on the best-selling book. She co-starred in the Oliver Stone movie Any Given Sunday with Al Pacino and Cameron Diaz. Her Showtime movie, Happy Face Murders, was the highest rated original movie for 15 months.
Actress, singer, dancer. Born Ann-Margret Olsson, on April 28, 1941, in Valsjobyn, Sweden. Her parents, Gustav and Anna, migrated to America after World War II, and settled in the Chicago suburb of Fox Lake.
After graduating high school in 1959, Ann-Margret enrolled at Northwestern University as a speech major. Within her first few months at college, she teamed up with three male students to form a jazz combo - The Suttletones. After her freshman year, she withdrew from school, and headed for the West Coast with her newly formed band. They spent most of their time performing at various cabaret clubs in Reno, Las Vegas, and Southern California.
While performing in the lounge of the Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas, Ann-Margret was given the opportunity to audition for Hollywood veteran George Burns. Immediately after, he invited her to perform for a 10-night engagement at the Sahara Hotel, where the 18-year-old earned rave reviews. A succession of offers followed, including a record contract from RCA, and a seven-year film contract from 20th Century Fox.
In the early 1960s, Ann-Margret's burgeoning career was chronicled in Life magazine, who classified her as Hollywood's next young starlet. She made her film debut as Bette Davis' daughter in Frank Capra's Pocketful of Miracles (1961), and released her first album And Here She Is, Ann-Margret. In 1963, she co-starred in the film adaptation of the Broadway play Bye Bye Birdie, alongside Dick Van Dyke. By the end of year, she had also established herself as a recording star with two albums, and five additional hit singles that appeared on the Bye Bye Birdie soundtrack. In addition, she was invited to serenade President John F. Kennedy at his 46th birthday party.
In 1964’s Viva Las Vegas, Ann-Margret was noted for her performance as Elvis Presley's love interest, a role that she was rumored to play on and offscreen. She continued to make a series of mildly successful films, including Kitten with a Whip and The Pleasure Seekers (both 1964). Although big box-office draws, Ann-Margret's early roles merely exploited her sex appeal, including her portrayal as Karl Malden's promiscuous wife who makes a seductive play for Steve McQueen in The Cincinnati Kid (1965).
She recorded three duets with Presley for the film: "The Lady Loves Me," "You're The Boss," and "Today, Tomorrow, and Forever"; only "The Lady Loves Me" made it into the final film and none of them were commercially released until years after Presley's death
In 1964, Ann-Margret's romantic life also sparked when she began dating the former star of ABC's 77 Sunset Strip, Roger Smith, whom she had first met in 1961. The couple married in May 1967. Her new husband doubled as her personal manager. In 1968, Ann-Margret was contracted by CBS to host a number of television specials, which featured Lucille Ball, Danny Thomas, and Jack Benny. During her time with CBS, she continued to regularly perform in Vegas, where she was often referred to as "The Queen of Vegas" and "The Swedish Meatball."
Under Smith's influence, she attempted to shed her sex-kitten image by taking on more serious roles. She succeeded when Mike Nichols cast her as the tragic Bobbie Templeton in 1971's Carnal Knowledge, which starred Jack Nicholson. Ann-Margret’s supporting role was considered a breakthrough dramatic performance, establishing her as a credible actress, as well as earning her an Oscar nomination.
On November of 1972, while appearing in a Lake Tahoe Casino, Ann-Margret had a devastating brush with death. While performing an extravagant opening sequence, she plummeted from a 22-foot platform, landing face down. After a dramatic and life-saving rescue, she fell into a coma for three days suffering broken bones in her face. She was taken back to Los Angeles to recover. Shortly after, the actress lost her beloved father to cancer. Ann-Margret's accident, coupled with the death of her father, led to a growing dependency on alcohol. Her addiction took its toll, and before long, she spiraled into a severe depression. However, with the support of her husband, she worked to rebuild her life and career, emerging as a healthier and more vibrant woman.
Ann-Margret elicited favorable reviews for her part in the 1973 Western The Train Robbers, opposite John Wayne. She earned another Oscar nomination for her role in the film version of the rock opera Tommy (1975), and gave a notable performance alongside Anthony Hopkins in Magic (1978).
During the 1980s, Ann-Margret enjoyed a succession of Emmy Award nominations for her performances in some of the decade’s most acclaimed TV movies. She shed her glamorous image to give a convincing performance as a sickly Iowa farm wife in Who Will Love My Children? (1983). The following year, she played Blanche Dubois in the ABC remake of A Streetcar Named Desire (1984), and in 1987, she was cast in her first television miniseries, The Two Mrs. Grenvilles.
In the '90s Ann-Margret alternated between TV and films. She was introduced to a new generation with her role in the 1993 comedy hit Grumpy Old Men, and it's equally popular 1995 sequel Grumpier Old Men. She continued her television success, receiving her fourth Emmy nomination for the miniseries Queen (1993), in which she was barely recognizable in her portrayal of a woman who ages 60 years over the course of the film.
In 1998, Ann-Margret earned her fifth Emmy nod for her impersonation of Pamela Harriman in the Lifetime biopic Life of the Party: The Pamela Harriman Story. The following year, she returned to features with a supporting role as Cameron Diaz's mother in Oliver Stone's Any Given Sunday.
Her autobiography, "My Story" reached the New York Times Bestseller List a week after publication. In 2014, she began appearing in a recurring role in the Showtime original series "Ray Donovan." In 2018, it was announced that she had joined the second season of the Syfy series "Happy!" in a recurring role and also guest-starred in The Kominsky Method.
Ann-Margret is the national chairperson for the Myasthenia Gravis Division of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and a national spokesperson for What 60 Looks Like Now – a campaign to educate women about osteoporosis.
During her career, Ann-Margret has been romantically linked to Eddie Fisher, Hugh O'Brien, Frankie Avalon, Vince Edwards, and Hollywood businessman Burt Sugarman, to whom she was briefly engaged in 1962. She was married to Roger Smith from 1967 until his death in 2017. The couple raised three children, from Smith's previous marriage.
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Please Note: All American Speakers Bureau is a full-service talent booking agency providing information on booking Ann-Margret for speaking engagements, personal appearances and corporate events. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent for more information on Ann-Margret speaking fees, availability, speech topics and cost to hire for your next live or virtual event.
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