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Roger Smith

The Girlfriend Who Isn't One!

Ann-Margret is engaged to Elvis - Ann-Margret isn't engaged to Elvis! Well, how is it? Read all about how it really is with the world's most popular girlfriend of recent years

Ann-Margret was walking dead tired towards her trailer on the movie set. It had been a long tiresome day, and the troubles of working with her first real dramatic part was starting to show in her face.

"I'll bet you that girl won't be out partying tonight", one of the studio executives whispered. "She looks like she could need a good night's sleep".

Five minutes later, Elvis and 'Don't Be Cruel' was heard all over the studio lot. A few minutes passed. Ann-Margret locked the door to her trailer, hurried to her red sports-car, humming the song. She started her car, turned on the stereo, and suddenly another Elvis-song was sounding loudly in the air!

"How is Ann-Margret doing?" a reporter recently wrote. "She hints that she's engaged to Elvis, then she changes her mind, and says they are just good friends. And all the time he showers her with presents, she confesses. Is it for real?"

When Ann-Margret first arrived in Hollywood, she was labelled 'The female Elvis' by her record company, RCA, the same company as Elvis. All the kids and newspapers could hardly wait until the two became a real couple. Still, it took three years before the two even met. And when it happened, no bells chimed, no salutes were heard.

"It was just like meeting anyone", Ann-Margret says smiling. "Well, almost anyway. I met him while doing 'Viva Las Vegas', in which we're both starring. We were running through the songs we would sing together in the film. He came in, and I felt so shy that I could hardly smile. He just came up and said 'Hi', and I said 'Hi' back". But it didn't stop with that 'Hi'.

"Elvis has never had so much fun on a movie set before", says his old friend Earl Wingard. "He really like Ann-Margret and stuck around with her both on the set and after. He has never been so relaxed and happy before".

The couple started seeing each other every night after work. Going on motorcycle trips together, even going to the movies together, a thing Elvis rarely does.

Elvis started giving her presents, jewellery and things for her new home. When she left to go on the road singing, it took him hours to say goodbye.

Then it exploded.

While in Europe, Ann-Margret explainde to newspapers that she thought she was in love with Elvis and added: "I'm going steady with him, and I guess I'm in love. But I can't say when, or even if we're getting married, nothing's decided".

Back home in the U.S. Elvis was asked to make a comment, but he just smiled.

'When Ann-Margret returned to Hollywood everyone expected a row between the two, but nothing happened. They continued seeing each other as before, and Elvis gave her the stereo for her car.

"Usually Elvis can't stand a girl using his name to get publicity" an ad-man who once felt Elvis' anger says. "In this case though, he seems amused because he cares so much for her".

Lately however, Ann-Margret has calmed down, even if she still need every bit of publicity she can get to get to the top. She doesn't give interviews and she won't answer the phone. And she's smart enough to know that Hollywood reporters often ask difficult questions that can be hard to avoid, therefor, it's best not to give them the chance. A little while ago, she was awarded a price for the most unfriendly movie star in Hollywood. She doesn't want that price again, but says, "I'm afraid of journalists".

Happily for Ann-Margret, her current director has decided that noone working on the current project is allowed to give interviews. It's a very hard film to make, and he doesn't want anything to disturb her or any other of his stars.

So how are things going for her in 'Kitten With a Whip'? A man behind the film says: "It's her first dramatic part and it's also the first film where her name alone decides if it's a success or not".

Even if she's had a hard time giving interviews, she's still had time for her friends. "I have a lot of male friends, and Elvis is one of them", she says.

It's highly unlikely that Ann-Margret would give up her career to marry Elvis. "Ann-Margret's career means a lot to her", says one of her closest friends, and it means as much for her parents. They have worked very hard to give her song- and dance lessons since she was a little girl. And all her relatives back home in Sweden count on her, not to forget hundreds of friends in Illinois, where she grew up. She doesn't want to disappoint them, as much as she doesn't want to disappoint herself.

And don't forget, she has already turned one man down, Burt Sugarman. She loved him a lot, but she loved her career more, and if Elvis would propose today, Ann-Margret would say no. But frankly, it's rather unlikely for him to do so. Two careers in the same house could only mean one thing, trouble. They both know that, and therefor they can never become more than just good friends, whatever the public wants.

During this time a girlfriend who really isn't one, continues to play Elvis records. "I'm not engaged to anyone!"

Another thing is, Ann-Margret is furious that Elvis' manager, Colonel Tom Parker, has left Ann-Margret's best scenes from 'Viva Las Vegas' on the cutting room floor. Or rather, he made the film company do it, since according to his contract, Elvis is the big star here. Ann-Margret would have had more songs in the film than Elvis himself! But the furious Ann-Margret keeps on playing Elvis records.

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By Micke Digby

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