BACKSTORY: Edited from imdb.com:
Born in Sweden on April 28, 1941, Ann-Margret Olsson came to America at age five. She began taking dance lessons at age eight, showing natural ability from the start. Her parents were very supportive and encouraged her to enter talent contests, and in 1957, she performed live on national television at age 16. After attending Northwestern University for a year, she left for Las Vegas to pursue a career as a singer. She was discovered by George Burns and soon afterward got both a record deal at RCA and a film contract at 20th Century Fox. In 1961, her single "I Just Don't Understand" charted in the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100 Charts. Her acting debut followed the same year as Bette Davis' daughter in Frank Capra's remake Pocketful of Miracles (1961). A year later, she starred in the musical State Fair (1962) and won a Golden Globe Award for "Most Promising Newcomer" before her breakthrough the following year.
With the blockbuster successes of Bye Bye Birdie (1963) and Viva Las Vegas (1964), Ann-Margret became a Top 10 Box Office star, teen idol, cultural icon, and was dubbed "the female Elvis Presley". A flood of highly-marketed pictures followed, including Kitten with a Whip (1964), Bus Riley's Back in Town (1965), The Cincinnati Kid (1965), Made in Paris (1966) and The Swinger (1966). Most of these movies capitalized on her sex bomb image rather than her acting capabilities. She could not escape being typecast because of her great looks. As a result, her film career cooled down in the late 1960s, and she turned to Las Vegas sing-and-dance shows and television specials for new projects. After a few less-publicized films, she struck gold with the groundbreaking drama Carnal Knowledge (1971) and scored her first Oscar nomination. A near-fatal accident at a Lake Tahoe show in 1972 only momentarily stopped her career. After her recovery, she returned in full-force and was Oscar-nominated again for her intense performance in Tommy (1975), the rock opera film of the British rock band The Who. She followed with a variety of impressive and entertaining films such as Joseph Andrews (1977), Magic (1978) and The Villain (1979).
Her film career remained steady into the 1980s, with strong turns in The Return of the Soldier (1982), Twice in a Lifetime (1985) and 52 Pick-Up (1986). However, these were outnumbered by poorly received comedies like Lookin' to Get Out (1982), a film now only notable for featuring the screen debut of future superstar Angelina Jolie. She started to make some television films, and received the first of many Emmy nominations for her performance in Who Will Love My Children? (1983) (TV). A late career highlight for her was Grumpy Old Men (1993), as the object of desire of Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. She continues to act in movies today.
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