How Ann-Margret Felt About Working on ‘Viva Las Vegas’ With Elvis Presley

One of the first films that helped Ann-Margret get her start in Hollywood was “Viva Las Vegas,” where she starred alongside Elvis Presley.

Before “Viva Las Vegas,” Ann-Margret got her start in acting through films like “Pocketful of Miracles,” “State Fair,” and “Bye Bye Birdie,” which would launch her career. At the time, Ann-Margret had no idea that these films would lay the foundation for over 80 projects starring the 1960s Hollywood icon.

The actress recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award while at the 24th Family Film Awards. To celebrate her long-lasting career, Ann-Margret sat down with Fox News to talk about the highlights, which included working with Elvis Presley.

When the interviewer asked her for one memory from “Viva Las Vegas” that made her smile, Ann-Margret said, “Just thinking about ‘Viva Las Vegas,’ or anytime someone mentions it, I smile. It was one of the happiest times of my life. George Sidney, who directed ‘Bye Bye Birdie,’ also directed ‘Viva Las Vegas.’”

Ann-Margret added, “And believe it or not, I had never seen [Elvis Presley] perform. I know that’s hard to believe but I hadn’t! I really got to see it when we were rehearsing, singing and dancing with each other. But we moved very much the same. And he loved his mother. I loved my mother and father. I had a great time. We were friends till the end. I had a great time.”

There’s certainly no shortage of singing and dancing for Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret in the film. But that’s part of what adds to its charm, sexiness, and timelessness.

After Starring Alongside Elvis Presley, Ann-Margret Took Her Talents to Vietnam

During her interview with Fox News, Ann-Margret also opened up about the time she performed for the troops overseas in Vietnam. She said she went in 1966 and 1968. Ann-Margret also emphasized how “it still has an impact on me to this day.”

“I had gotten a long letter from G.I.s who wanted me to come over and see them,” Ann-Margret explained. “And of course, I wanted to go over the next day! But I had to wait. But I still have all the notes and letters I received from so many gentlemen. And ladies, too. Being with them has been in my heart the entire time and it will never, ever leave my heart. Never.”

The experience even affected her recently. “I went to an event in Las Vegas not too long ago and there were two gentlemen from Vietnam,” Ann-Margret shared. “It felt wonderful to hug them, kiss them and just talk to them. I’m so thrilled that they’re here on American soil.”

She continued, “I’m an emotional person. It’s just so hard for me to put into words what I feel for those men and women. That will never go away. And I will always love them. That will never leave me, no way. When those G.I.’s wrote to me, I really wanted to go the next day. But they’re in my heart.”

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