Ann-Margret Olsson, known professionally as Ann-Margret, is a famous Swedish-American actress and singer known for her role in the film ‘Carnal Knowledge.’ She has won five Golden Globe awards in her career and has also been nominated for two Oscars and two Grammy Awards. She began her career with a role in the comedy film ‘Pocketful of Miracles’. The film was a commercial failure. However, it won her the Golden Globe Award for ‘New Star of the Year’. Over the next few years, she appeared in several popular movies, such as ‘Bye Bye Birdie’ and ‘Carnal Knowledge’. Her performance in the latter earned her an Oscar nomination and also won her a Golden Globe. As a singer, she has released several albums, such as ‘Beauty and the Beard’, ‘The Cowboy and the Lady’, and ‘Today, Tomorrow and Forever’. She earned a Grammy nomination for the album ‘God is Love: The Gospel Sessions’. Ann-Margret received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1978 for her contributions to the film industry. She was also chosen by Empire magazine in 1995 as one of the 100 sexiest stars in the history of cinema.
Childhood & Early Life
Ann-Margret Olsson was born on 28th April 1941, in Valsjobyn, Jamtland County in Sweden. Her mother was Anna Regina while her father was Carl Gustav Olsson. Her father used to work in the US during his youth and went there again in 1942. Ann-Margret and her mother joined him in the US in 1946. In 1949, she became a naturalized citizen of the US.
She started taking dance lessons at the Marjorie Young School of Dance where she showed her natural ability for the art form. Her parents were supportive of her creative pursuits and her mother made all of her costumes.
After her father suffered a serious injury, her mother started working as a funeral parlor receptionist. During this time, young Ann-Margret started taking up acting gigs in order to contribute to the family income.
She studied at the New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois. She later enrolled in Northwestern University, where she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. However, she left the university without completing her education.
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Ann-Margret began her career as a part of a musical group named Suttletones and first performed at the Mist Nightclub in Chicago. She then went on to perform in several places across the country. In 1961, she began recording for RCA Victor. Her first song was ‘Lost Love’ from her debut album ‘And Here She is: Ann-Margret’.
The other albums she released during her musical career include ‘Bachelor’s Paradise’ (1963), ‘The Cowboy and the Lady’ (1969), ‘God is Love: The Gospel Sessions’ (2001), ‘Today, Tomorrow and Forever: Box Set’’ (2002), ‘Ann-Margret’s Christmas Carol Collection’ (2004) and ‘God is Love: The Gospel Sessions 2’ (2011). Her 2001 album ‘God is Love: The Gospel Sessions’ had earned a nomination for a Grammy Award.
Ann-Margret made her film debut in the 1961 comedy film ‘Pocketful of Miracles’. The film didn’t do well commercially but it won multiple awards and nominations. Margret won the Golden Globe award for ‘New Star of the Year’.
In 1963, she was nominated for another Golden Globe Award in the ‘Best Actress- Musical or Comedy’ category for her role in the film ‘Bye Bye Birdie’.
Over the next few years, she continued to appear in several films, such as ‘Kitten with a Whip’ (1964), ‘Once a Thief’ (1965), ‘The Cincinnati Kid’, (1965), ‘Stagecoach’ (1966) ‘Murderer’s Row’ (1966) and ‘The Tiger and the Pussycat’ (1967).
In 1971, she appeared in the film ‘Carnal Knowledge’ which won her a second Golden Globe Award in the ‘Best Supporting Actress’ category. Directed by Mike Nichols, the film was also met favorably by critics.
In 1973, she acted in the movie ‘The Train Robbers’ where she starred with John Wayne. In 1975, she appeared in the musical film ‘Tommy’ for which she earned her second Oscar nomination in the ‘Best Actress’ category. She also won her third Golden Globe Award for ‘Best Actress’.
Some of the movies she appeared in during the late 1970s and early 1980s were ‘Joseph Andrews’ (1977), ‘The Cheap Detective’ (1978), ‘Middle Age Crazy’ (1980), and ‘The Return of the Soldier’ (1982).
In 1983, she starred in the biographical TV film ‘Who Will Love My Children?’ which was based on the life of a cancer patient named Lucile Fray, portrayed by Ann-Margret. She won her fourth Golden Globe for her performance and also an Emmy nomination. The next year, she appeared in the TV film ‘A Streetcar named Desire’ for which she once again won the Golden Globe and an Emmy nomination.
In the ensuing years, she appeared in several TV films, such as ‘The Two Mrs. Grenvilles’ (1987), ‘Our Sons’ (1991), ‘Blue Rodeo’ (1996), ‘Perfect Murder, Perfect Town’ (2000) and ‘Blonde’ (2001).
In 1993, she was seen in two episodes of the TV series ‘Alex Haley’s Queen’. She was nominated for a Golden Globe as well as an Emmy Award for her performance.
Meanwhile, she also remained active on the big screen, appearing in films like ‘Grumpy Old Men’ (1993), ‘Grumpier Old Men’ (1995), ‘Any Given Sunday’ (1999), ‘Taxi’ (2004), ‘The Break-up’ (2006), ‘The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause’ (2006) and ‘Lucky’ (2011).
In 2010, she played a guest role in the TV series ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’. She won the Emmy Award for ‘Outstanding Guest Actress’. Her recent works on the big screen include the 2017 heist comedy film ‘Going in Style’ which was a commercial success.
Ann-Margret played a supporting role in the 1971 comedy drama film ‘Carnal Knowledge’. The film follows the sexual exploits of two men who were once roommates while studying at Amherst College. Directed by Mike Nichols, the film starred actors Jack Nicholson, Arthur Garfunkel, Candice Bergen, and Rita Moreno. Critical reception was mostly positive. Ann-Margret won her first Oscar nomination for her performance in the film.
One of Ann-Margret’s most important works is the 1984 TV film ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’. Directed by John Erman, it was based on the 1947 play of the same name by Tennessee Williams. With Ann-Margret in the lead role, the movie also featured Treat Williams, Beverly D'Angelo, Randy Quaid, Erica Yohn and Fred Sadoff. The film won several awards, including four Emmys. Ann-Margret won a Golden Globe Award for her performance.
The actress’ most recent work is the 2017 heist comedy film ‘Going in Style’. Directed by Zach Braff, it is a remake of the 1979 film of the same name. The film is about a trio of retirees who plan to rob a bank after their pensions get cancelled. Other actors in the film were Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Joey King. The film was a commercial success and was met with mixed reviews.
Ann-Margret was married to actor Roger Smith from 1967 till his death in 2017. She has no children of her own, but was the stepmother of Smith’s three children from his first marriage. She had previously been in a relationship with singer Elvis Presley before her marriage.