Guest Author - Amber Grey
Swedish-born entertainer Ann-Margret’s break-out performance was as “Kim” in the film adaptation of the musical “By Bye Birdie” (1963). It was the number one grossing film at the time and Ann-Margret appeared on a number of magazines including “Life.” It was in one fan magazine which quoted her as saying, “I want to be the female Elvis.” It only helped her case when Ann-Margret recorded her version of “Heartbreak Hotel." Soon, Ann-Margret was synonymously referred to as the “female Elvis” because of her entertaining abilities and the “sex kitten” for her beautiful red hair and other physical endowments.
In 1963, the “sex kitten” and the “King of Rock N Roll” first met on the MGM soundstage just before the production of “Viva Las Vegas” -- the film they would make together. Shortly afterwards, Elvis began sending Ann-Margret flowered arrangements in the shape of a guitar. During the production of “Viva Las Vegas,” the fan magazines went wild with a proposed off-screen romance between the two, some of the sources reporting a possible marriage.
When “Viva Las Vegas” (1964) wrapped up production, the rumors began to die down but the unmistakable chemistry and passion which once existed between the two megastars of the entertainment world would live forever in celluloid. No one knew why Ann-Margret and Elvis Presley were no longer a couple. Through the years it was believed that Elvis’s infamous manager Coronel Parker did not like the relationship and eventually coerced Elvis to end it.
However, no matter how they broke up, their close relationship lasted for fourteen years until Elvis’s untimely death in 1977. Through those years, Elvis continued sending Ann-Margret her guitar-shaped flowered arrangements every time she opened in Las Vegas. Elvis even risked his mob of fans to see a few of her shows over the years. When Elvis's funeral was held at Graceland, rumors perpetuated on who would attend with a long list of celebrities who ended up not showing up at all. Instead, only three celebrities attended including Ann-Margret, who was also Presley’s only co-star to attend the funeral.
In 1994, Ann-Margret published an autobiography titled “Anne-Margret: My Story.” In the book, she described her love and devotion to Elvis in how they met, how each of them connected to music and how they felt it was a meeting of souls. But she was clever in not to get carried away with too much detail and wanted to keep true to her word to never betray Elvis or his image.
At sixty-eight years old, Ann-Margret continues to have an active career. Some of her most notable appearances in the past have been as "Ariel" in the "Grumpy Old Men" franchise in which she co-starred opposite Jack Lemmon and Walter Mathau. Most recently, she has appeared in "The Break Up" (2006) and "All's Faire In Love" (2009).