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Ann-Margret

Singer, Actor, Dancer
© Roland Godefroy
Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]
Ann-Margret Olsson (born April 28, 1941) is a Swedish-American actress, singer, and dancer whose professional name is Ann-Margret. She is best known for her roles in Bye Bye Birdie (1963), Viva Las Vegas (1964), The Cincinnati Kid (1965), Carnal Knowledge (1971), and Tommy (1975). She has won five Golden Globe Awards and been nominated for two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and six Emmy Awards. In 2010, she won her first Emmy Award for her guest appearance on Law & Order: SVU. --- Ann-Margret was born in Stockholm, the daughter of Anna (née Aronsson) and Gustav Olsson, a native of Örnsköldsvik. While young she moved with her parents to Valsjöbyn,Jämtlands län, which she later described as a small town "of lumberjacks and farmers high up near the Arctic Circle". Her father worked in the United States during his youth and moved there again in 1942, working with the Johnson Electrical Company, while his wife and daughter stayed behind. Ann-Margret and her mother moved to the United States in November 1946, and her father took her to Radio City Music Hall on the day they arrived. They settled just outside of Chicago in Wilmette, Illinois. She became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1949 and took her first dance lessons at the Marjorie Young School of Dance, showing natural ability from the start, easily mimicking all the steps. Her parents were supportive and her mother handmade all her costumes. Ann-Margret's mother became a funeral parlor receptionist after her husband suffered a severe injury on his job. While a teenager, Ann-Margret appeared on the Morris B. Sachs Amateur Hour, Don McNeill's Breakfast Club and Ted Mack's Amateur Hour. Through high school, where she graduated from New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, she continued to star in theatricals. In 1959, she enrolled at Northwestern University, where she was a member of the sorority Kappa Alpha Theta but did not graduate. As part of a group known as the "Suttletones," they performed at the Mist, a Chicago nightclub, and went to Las Vegas for a promised club date which fell through after they arrived. They plugged ahead to Los Angeles and, through agent Georgia Lund, secured club dates in Newport Beach and Reno, where Ann-Margret had a chance encounter with Marilyn Monroe, who was on location for The Misfits. Monroe noticed the striking girl in a crowd of onlookers, then chatted privately with her, offering her encouragement. The group finally arrived at The Dunes in Las Vegas, which also headlined Tony Bennett and Al Hirt at that time. George Burns heard of her performance and she auditioned for his annual holiday show, in which she and Burns did a softshoe routine. Variety proclaimed, "George Burns has a gold mine in Ann-Margret...she has a definite style of her own, which can easily guide her to star status." --- Ann-Margret began recording for RCA in 1961. Her first RCA recording was "Lost Love" from her debut album And Here She Is: Ann-Margret, produced in Nashville with Chet Atkins on guitar, the Jordanaires (Elvis Presley's backup singers), and the Anita Kerr Singers, with liner notes by mentor George Burns. She had a sexy, throaty singing voice, and RCA attempted to capitalize on the 'female Elvis' comparison by having her record a version of "Heartbreak Hotel" and other songs stylistically similar to Presley's. She scored the minor hit "I Just Don't Understand" (from her second LP), which entered the Billboard Top 40 in the third week of August 1961 and stayed six weeks, peaking at #17. The song was later covered in live performances by The Beatles and was recorded during a live performance at the BBC. Her only charting album was The Beauty and the Beard (1964), on which she was accompanied by trumpeter Al Hirt. She also sang at the Academy Awards presentation in 1962, singing the Oscar-nominated song "Theme from Bachelor in Paradise." Her contract with RCA ended in 1966. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, she had hits on the dance charts, the most successful being 1979's "Love Rush," which peaked at #8 on the disco/dance charts. In 2001, working with Grammy Award-Winning producer-arranger-musician Art Greenhaw who calls Ann-Margret his favorite female vocalist, she recorded the critically acclaimed album God Is Love: The Gospel Sessions. The album went on to earn a Grammy Nomination and a Dove Nomination for best album of the year in a gospel category. Her album Ann-Margret's Christmas Carol Collection, also produced and arranged by Art Greenhaw, was recorded in 2004 and continues to be available every year during the holiday season. --- In 1961, she filmed a screen test at 20th Century Fox and was signed to a seven-year contract. Ann-Margret made her film debut in a loan-out to United Artists in Pocketful of Miracles, with Bette Davis. It was a remake of the 1933 movie Lady for a Day. Both versions were directed by Frank Capra. Then came a 1962 remake of Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical State Fair, playing the "bad girl" role of Emily opposite Bobby Darin and Pat Boone. She had tested for the part of Margy, the "good girl," but she seemed too seductive to the studio bosses, who decided on the switch. The two roles mimicked her real-life personality — shy and reserved offstage, but wildly exuberant and sensuous onstage. As she summed up in her autobiography, she would easily transform herself from "Little Miss Lollipop to Sexpot-Banshee" once she stepped on stage and the music began. --- She has been married to Roger Smith since May 8, 1967; he was an actor who later became her manager. Smith is now semi-retired due to myasthenia gravis.

Wikipedia ]

Born
Ann-Margret Olsson
April 28, 1941 (age 83)
Profession
Singer, Actor, Dancer
Spouse
Roger Smith
Parents
Anna Aronsson Olsson, Gustav Olsson
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