Ann-Margret Once Revealed if She Regrets Not Marrying Elvis Presley: 'His Wish Was That We Could Stay Together'

Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret Olsson were lovers and friends for multiple years. After locking eyes during Viva Las Vegas in the 1960s, the pair’s attraction resonated both on and off the screen. The couple was so in sync that they got married just one week apart from each other. 

Presley died on Aug. 16, 1977, at age 42. Years later, Ann-Margret revealed if she wishes she became the King of Rock N’ Roll’s wife. 

Ann-Margret believes she married the ‘right man’ instead of Elvis Presley 

Throughout his life, Presley’s love life often made headlines. Although the “Burnin’ Love” singer dated Priscilla Presley for almost a decade, rumors about his life on the road began to surface as he booked more and more movies. 

In the early ‘60s, Presley signed on to star in the movie musical Viva Las Vegas. Additionally, Ann-Margret starred alongside him as his love interest, Rusty Martin. Instantly, the actors had insane chemistry that amplified their roles. 

While shooting Viva Las Vegas, Ann-Margret and Presley became close. During a 1994 interview with the New York Times, she admitted the affair was “a force we couldn’t control.” However, when it came time to settle down, both Ann-Margret and Presley chose different partners. The “Jailhouse Rock” artist married Priscilla in May 1967. Following their wedding, Ann-Margret wed her manager Roger Smith, a move she never regretted. 

“The man that I married is the man I knew I was going to marry on the third date,” she said. “We’ve been together now 30 years. Eee gad.” 

Ann-Margret says Elvis Presley was her ‘soulmate’ 

Although Ann-Margret doesn’t regret choosing another man over Presley, she admitted in her book, Ann-Margret: My Story, that the singer’s “wish was that we could stay together.” Unfortunately, due to his “commitments” to his fiancee, they decided to remain friends. 

Throughout their friendship, Ann-Margret and Presley showered each other with affection. She said the “All Shook Up” artist always sent her flowers when she performed in Vegas. The actors’ connection made Ann-Margret believe that they shared a spiritual bond. 

“We were indeed soul mates, shy on the outside, but unbridled within,” she wrote (via the Elvis History Blog). “We both lived on the edge, and we both were self-destructive in our own ways…In many ways, both of us, despite fame and whatever else we’d achieved so quickly, had remained very childlike and emotionally dependent.”

Did Priscilla Presley know about the affair?

Despite their marriages, Ann-Margret and Presley couldn’t keep their connection away from their spouses. In her NYT interview, the Bye Bye Birdie star’s husband, who died in 2017, became uncomfortable when she spoke of Presley. 

As for the Blue Hawaii actor’s wife, Priscilla admitted in her memoir, Elvis and Me, to being enraged by his affair with Ann-Margret. In her book, the Dallas star shared that she “picked up a flower vase and threw it across the room” when she found out about her fiance’s whereabouts. 

Presley and Priscilla divorced in 1973.

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