The first movie I really remember loving is ‘Dr. Doolittle’ starring Rex Harrison. The first movie star I remember loving is Ann-Margret. For a little girl with impossibly short hair (as you can plainly see, my parents loved the pixie), Ann’s beautiful auburn hair was what I wished for. Plus she got to sing and dance with Elvis.
Of course I was too young to have seen her early movies on the big screen, but whenever they played on television, I watched. To a little girl living in the land of Scandinavians, admiring a Swedish-born actress just seems, somehow, right.
Ann-Margret didn’t have an easy life, at a high point in her career, she left show business to care for her ailing husband. Yet, she acted when she could and I can remember, as a teenager, seeing her in the rock-opera “Tommy” and thinking, “She’s still pretty cool”.
Later in her career she went on to star alongside Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon in “Grumpy Old Men”, a classic around these parts. Yet the Ann I wanted to be was the Ann in “Bye, Bye Birdie” and “Viva Las Vegas”. Of course, her part as “Ann-Margrock” in the Flintstones was also pretty cool.
If I see her old movies on the classics channel, I still never fail to watch them. I grew up to look more like Teri Garr than Ann-Margret but a girl can still dream, can’t she?