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Roger Smith

»I'll be home with the the world's most expensive show!«

Ann-Margret, the girl from Valsjöbyn in the county of Jämtland, who became a star in Hollywood, is now at the absolute top of the artist world. This year alone, she does three major motion pictures. A month's engagement at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, brings in 5 million Crowns - the highest sum ever paid to an artist! Television, film and the entertainment establishment, they are all fighting over 'The Animal', as she's called.

Here in Sweden, however, we're pretty cold to the fact. Why is it that Ann-Margret has a hard time of becoming a 'prophet in her own country'?

Maybe her ex-fellow countrymen will warm up a bit this coming spring, because then she will visit Sweden with her show. She does a short tour of Europe before her dream-come-true engagement at the International Hotel. The big hotel offered her the huge sum already las fall, but then she couldn't fit it in her heavily booked schedule...

But now she really looks forward to visiting her old country. Because Sweden is very close to Ann-Margret's heart. She has even made her husband, ex-TV- and filmstar, now producer and writer, Roger Smith, interested.

We meet the couple in their luxurious house in Beverly Hills. Ann-Margret tells the story of the welcoming she received, when she visited Sweden the last time, in 1963.

"I'll never forget it", she ssays, "Before that I had always considered myself a little bit Swedish, and tried to speak Swedish with my mother and father. After that visit I AM Swedish. And proud of it too!"

"I have managed to get Roger interested in making a film about Swedish relations, and it has me starring as the Swedish girl. Roger writes the script, possibly assisted by a Swedish writer. He's also producing. We'll try and shoot the film in Sweden, and if I get to decide, we'll shoot it in Swedish!"

The house is in the Benedict Canyon. A private road leads up to the house where eight cars are parked. The woods arond the house is like a jungle, and so peacefull, that deer walk up really close to the house. The house has around ten rooms, all not yet decorated, but they will be done in Swedish fashion. There's a guesthouse. A pool. Tenniscourt.

Ann-Margret's mother Anna offers us coffee and cookies. Daddy Gus is occupied with repairing the waterpipe. In a little while Ann-Margret will have guests over for a barbeque.

Ann-Margret has just returned from a three-week tour of the Middle East. She has performed in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand and in the Phillipines.

Back home, rehearsals for 'Carnal Knowledge' started at once. The film is directed by Mike Nichols, one of Hollywood's more demanding directors.

Ann-Margret is by far Hollywood's most engaged film star. 'Carnal Knowledge' is her third major picture this year alone. 1970 has other stars in tinsel town getting less and less work, often producing themselves, just to get work!

Ann-Margret is therefor quite happy with her year, and the two films she's made so far, 'R.P.M.' and 'C.C. Ryder & Company'. Both will hit theatress in the States sometime in October.

"This fall will be great" she says, and she doesn't hide the fact that she loves to see her name in big letters in ci´nemas all over the country.

In 'R.P.M.', directed by Stanley Kramer, she's plays a student, who falls in love with her professor (Anthony Quinn). A part packed with emotions. In 'C.C. Ryder & Company', written by Roger Smith, she's a fashion journalist, who falls in love with a guy whose main assets are his bike and his masculinity, and a generous philosophy of life.

In the latter film she has a love scene with Joe Namath, one of the best football-players in the U.S., and that scene is said to be one of the hottest ever done in Hollywood!

"I don't mind seeing my wife naked", Roger says. "A woman can't be sexy in the spotlight, in front of the cameras, and with lots of people around. What bothers me is seeing her kiss in a film!"

But it's not only the film industry who wants Ann-Margret. Nightclubs in Las Vegas are outbidding each other, to get her signature, and have her in shows with extravaganza never seen before. She is offered more than Barbra Streisand, Tom Jones and Elvis Presley!

Lately she's been on television with Dean Martin and ratings hit a record high. Television almost pay anything to get Ann-Margret again.

How does such a star relax?

"Roger and me is never out on the town, we like it best at home", she says. "I never go to a party just to be seen. What we enjoy more is having guests over. Dinner around the pool. Roger is a great cook, and does it as often as he can. And he doesn't have to fight off any competion in the kitchen. I can't cook, but of course, it would be great to one day be able to make Swedish meatballs better than mother..."

"Our biggest party is at Christmas. Last year we had 40 guests and 11 children. Most of them Swedes. Uncle Gus Randell played hambo, schottis, and christmas songs on his accordian, and we had the christmas ham."

"We really like it here. Roger is so very fond of my parents, and his kids from an earlier marriage enjoy it too".

Will you have children of your own?

"We have dcided to wait. I have so much to do, and I think the time isn't perfect noe. But as soon as we can we'll have children. And I will be home bringing them up."

What is you enjoy most and least?

""The best is taking care of your friends, to always belive the best in people", she says. "What I don't like is if I have hurt someone. If I believe that's the case, I always call them and explain and say sorry".


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