Elvis Presley‘s life changed in 1963 when he started churning out movies in Hollywood. After making 14 films across seven years, Elvis set his sights on Las Vegas. He was brought on to star in a new romance movie filled with music – Viva Las Vegas. But when he attended one of the first production meetings, he was introduced to Ann-Margret.
The Swedish-American star instantly caught Elvis’ attention. And, before long, they were spending every moment they could together. Between scenes, they hung out in dressing rooms, behind closed doors. They got dinner almost every night and spent time in Elvis’ penthouse suite at a local hotel.
In her 1994 memoir, My Story, Ann-Margret gave a peek into what life was like when she was living with Elvis in such close proximity. She confessed: “We were indeed soul mates, shy on the outside, but unbridled within.”
She even admitted that, although their sordid relationship may have started out as a fling, they quickly fell for one another. Their relationship exploded into a realm of passion and adoration that neither one of them expected.
Ann-Margret said: “We both felt a current, an electricity that went straight through us.” She confessed that things between them accelerated quickly: “It would become a force we couldn’t control.”
Ann-Margret was a relative newcomer to Hollywood, so Viva Las Vegas was sure to send her career into the stratosphere. The 22-year-old bombshell had the world at her feet and Elvis on her arm – no matter what happened next, she would become a star.
She would later gush about their time together, saying: “We experienced music in the same visceral way. Music ignited a fiery pent-up passion inside Elvis and inside me. It was an odd, embarrassing, funny, inspiring, and wonderful sensation. We looked at each other move and saw virtual mirror images. When Elvis thrust his pelvis, mine slammed forward too. When his shoulder dropped, I was down there with him. When he whirled, I was already on my heel.”
Meanwhile, back in Tennessee, Elvis’ long-term girlfriend Priscilla Presley (at the time named Beaulieu) was living in his home, Graceland. By this point, they had been together for years, and she was none the wiser about Elvis’ infidelities.
Ann-Margret was once asked about what she thought of Priscilla while she was secretly spending time with her man, Elvis. She said: “She wasn’t here.”
Eventually, however, things broke down between the lovers.
Looking back on their whirlwind year of romance, Ann-Margret explained why things simply couldn’t work out between her and Elvis. She said: “There were other factors in Elvis’s life that forced him apart from me, and I understood them. Elvis had always been honest with me, but still, it was a confusing situation.”
Eventually, Priscilla caught wind of what was going on between Elvis and Ann-Margret, and he was told to get rid of her.
Ann-Margret said: “We continued to see each other periodically until we had dated for almost a year. Then everything halted. We knew the relationship had to end, that Elvis had to fulfil his commitment.”
Shortly thereafter, Elvis proposed to Priscilla. The following year, on May 1, 1967, they were married. Nine months later to the day, on February 1, 1968, Priscilla gave birth to their daughter, Lisa Marie Presley.
Ann-Margret married Hollywood producer, Roger Smith, exactly one week after Elvis got hitched, on May 8, 1967. By then, she had moved on from the King of Rock and Roll. She remained married to Roger until his death in 2017.