Ann-Margaret Olsson Biography
Ann-Margaret a shy child from Sweden has overcome a near death experience and facial reconstruction surgery to continue to grace us with her acting talents.
Ann-Margaret Olsson was born on April 28, 1941 in Valsjobyn, Sweden, which is near the Arctic Circle. After World War II, her family immigrated to the United States. They lived in Chicago, Illinois and they eventually moved to Wilmette, Illinois. They lived in a funeral parlor where Ann-Margaret’s mother worked.
Ann-Margaret grew up a very shy child and she found it quite difficult to adapt to the American culture. She used song and dance as a vehicle for self-expression. By the time she was fourteen years of age, she was singing at weddings, private parties, and drama productions at school and in local talent contests, which she won frequently.
In 1960 she went to Las Vegas to perform at the Dunes Hotel and it was there that the young singer was asked to take a screen test for Hollywood. The following year, she made her film debut starring as Bette Davis’ daughter in the film "Pocketful of Miracles." In the same year, she released her first record album "And Here She Is – Ann-Margaret."
In 1963, she starred in the film adaptation of the play "Bye-Bye Birdie" which also starred Paul Lynde as her father. Her career took off in both the music and acting worlds. She was invited to sing at the White House for President Kennedy’s forty-sixth birthday.
In 1968, CBS signed her to a contract to do a number of television specials. While she was fulfilling her contract with CBS, Ann-Margaret continued to perform in Las Vegas.
In 1971, she met and married actor Roger Smith who became her personal manager. It was through her husband’s perseverance that she took on more serious adult acting roles. She was successful making the transition from sex kitten persona to a dramatic actress.
In November of 1972, Ann-Margaret fell from a twenty-two foot platform in an opening sequence of her show. She landed face down on the floor. She wasn’t expected to live and had to have her entire face reconstructed because of broken facial bones. After her surgery, she went into a three-day coma. Around the same time, she lost her father to cancer. It was too much for the young woman to handle and she became dependent on alcohol. With her increased dependency on alcohol, Ann-Margaret withdrew from life. Through the love and support of her husband, Roger Smith, Ann-Margaret was able to rebuild her life and career. She made another film in 1973 and then she filmed "Tommy" in 1975. From there, she was in films for television and movies every couple of years. She has made of fifty-five movies and is still going strong.
Although Ann-Margaret couldn’t have any children of her own, she helped raise her three stepchildren. Her husband currently suffers from Myasthenia Gravis.