Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret Olsson had an affair while filming Viva Las Vegas. While both actors were unmarried, Presley’s girlfriend, Priscilla, lived with him in Memphis. However, he couldn’t resist being with Ann-Margret, and they continued to date despite his girlfriend.
Ann-Margret shared what drew her to the King of Rock and Roll. She also explained why the affair happened.
Ann-Margret once called Elvis Presley her ‘soulmate’
When Ann-Margret met Presley for the first time, the two shared several similarities. Both artists could sing, act, and dance. The press described Ann-Margret as the female version of the “Burning Love” singer. Once they saw each other in person, Ann-Margret remembered them connecting almost instantly. In her autobiography, My Story, she said their traumas also made them close friends.
“We were indeed soul mates, shy on the outside, but unbridled within,” Ann-Margret 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.”
Despite them having similar talents, Ann-Margret and Presley also
Why Ann-Margret and Elvis Presley ultimately had an affair
Soon after they met, Ann-Margret and Presley started seeing each other off-camera. In her book, she shared that she spent time with Presley’s entourage, otherwise known as the Memphis Mafia. Once Ann-Margret proved herself to the Mafia, Presley asked her to spend alone time with him. The actor told The New York Times that she couldn’t contain her attraction to Presley.
“We both felt a current, an electricity that went straight through us,” she said. “It would become a force we couldn’t control.”
During her interview, Ann-Margret also admitted that she didn’t think about Presley’s then-girlfriend. At the time, Ann-Margret and Presley were shooting in Los Angeles while Priscilla stayed home.
“She wasn’t here,” she said of Priscilla.
How Ann-Margret and Elvis Presley’s affair ended
In her book, Ann-Margret shared that she and Presley secretly dated for a year. They continued to send each other love letters and had clandestine meetings and phone calls when filming for Viva Las Vegas ended. However, Presley soon told Ann-Margret that they had to break off their affair. Presley planned to marry Priscilla, and Ann-Margret respected him for upholding his obligations.
“There were other factors in Elvis’s life that forced him apart from me, and I understood them,” she said. “Elvis had always been honest with me, but still, it was a confusing situation. We continued to see each other periodically until we had dated for almost a year. Then everything halted. We knew the relationship had to end, that Elvis had to fulfill his commitment.”
Although they had to end their romantic relationship, Presley and Ann-Margret remained friends for multiple years. He would send her flowers during every performance she did in Las Vegas. When he didn’t send her flowers in August 1977, Ann-Margret learned that he died.