One of Elvis Presley’s most memorable romances was with Ann-Margret, a Swedish-American actress who became famous for her roles in musicals such as Bye Bye Birdie and State Fair.
Although the King was already engaged to his future wife, Priscilla Beaulieu – who would eventually become Priscilla Presley – when he met Ann-Margret on set de Viva Las Vegas (1964), all bets went off once the constellations discovered their chemistry.
But their love affair was not going to last forever, even though Ann-Margret and Elvis remained close friends for the rest of his life. Just a week after Elvis and Priscilla tied the knot in Las Vegas, Ann-Margret did the same with her husband, Roger Smith.
Ann-Margret named Elvis a ‘soul mate’
Ann-Margret and Elvis met as co-stars in the musical rom-com Viva Las Vegas. Immediately, the two stars felt a magnetic attraction towards each other.
Ann-Margret referred to their chemistry as off-records in her 1994 memoir, Ann-Margret: My story. Outside of their sexual attraction, however, they seemed meant to be (and perfectly matched) at every level – emotional, physical and spiritual.
“We were indeed soul companions, shy on the outside, but incomparable on the inside,” she wrote in her memoir. “We both lived on the edge and we were both suicidal in our own ways … In many ways, both of us, despite fame and no matter what we achieved so quickly, have lived well, and are emotionally dependent. ”
Overall, Elvis and Ann-Margret set a date for about a year. During that time, they made no firm promises to each other, but expressed their love for each other.
His former co-star tied the knot just a week later
Shortly afterwards – just a week, to be precise, and in the same city – the former Elvis flame tied the knot as well. Ann-Margret Smith, a former actress she knew she was going to marry from their third ever date, got married at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas on May 8, 1967. Like Priscilla and Elvis, the couple had a short, informal reception.
Unlike Elvis and Priscilla, who separated in 1973, Ann-Margret and her husband were married for 50 years until his death in 2017. She was a diligent caregiver at Smith during several health challenges, and took him over as her manager after his retirement.
Elvis and Ann-Margret kept in touch until the death of Elvis in 1977. Ann-Margret often spoke of him respectfully in interviews, and Elvis always put his Viva Las Vegas arrangement of constellation flowers in the shape of a guitar when she sang. Many of King’s followers have thought about “what could have been” between the two over the years.