Ann-Margret's 50-Year Marriage Is Proud Achievement — Introducing Late Husband Roger Smith

Jan 22, 2021 by apost team

Ann-Margret Olsson, who is known simply as Ann-Margaret, is a famous actress of Swedish and American descent. Unlike most stars and their short-lived marriages, she was married to fellow actor Roger Smith for 50 years. The two are said to have met in 1961 when Ann-Margaret was featured in "Pocketful of Miracles." They made each other's acquaintance but only began dating five years later when they met a second time. Sadly, Smith passed on in 2017. Here's everything there is to know about the actress's lifelong partner who, believe it or not, got married twice.

Ann-Margret (2019) (JC Olivera/Getty Images)

When Smith and Ann Margret started seeing each other romantically, Smith is said to have invited her to witness his performance at a nightclub, according to Country Living. The two proceeded to go on some lavish dates before they fell in love and officially started dating. Their bond grew so tight that they decided to tie the knot a year later. Smith and Ann Margret got married in Las Vegas on what was a civil occasion.

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Childhood

Ann-Margret, Roger Smith (1966) (Bettmann / Getty Images)

Smith was born in 1932 in South Gate California. His parents, Leone Adams and Dallas Smith, were keen on steering him toward the world of showbiz. They enrolled him in a stage school when he was only 6 years old. He then took lessons in elocution, dancing and singing.

His family moved to Nogales, Az. when he was 12 years old and that is where Smith grew up. He enrolled at the University of Arizona in Tucson with the help of a football scholarship. Smith's early years in stage school helped him bag several amateur guitarist and singing talent prizes.

Career

Ann-Margret (1961) (FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images)

Most of Smith's fans do not have a clue about his career before he joined the entertainment industry. He was stationed in Hawaii and served with a unit of the Naval Reserve known as the Fleet All-Weather Training Unit-Pacific.

Roger decided to try out a career in the Hollywood scene after a happenstance with the popular actor, James Cagney. Cagney is said to have inspired several young actors to explore their interests in acting, including Don Dubbins. The actor later had the owner of playing alongside Cagney in "Man of a Thousand Faces."

Roger Smith, Ann-Margret (1967) (Keystone/Getty Images)

Smith signed with Columbia Pictures and worked on several films before moving to Warner Bros in 1958. He appeared in the "Daniel Barrister Story" on NBC's "Wagon Train" in April the same year. His role playing Patrick Dennis in "Auntie Mame" is said to have been the highlight of his film debut.

His phenomenal talent saw him land the role of private detective Jeff Spencer in the popular television show, 77 Sunset Strip. Smith featured in a total of 74 episodes on the Warner Bros. series. His popularity on the show led Warner Bros. to release his album named "Beach Romance" in 1959.

Smith had a good run on the ABC program but had to depart because he suffered from a blood clot in his brain. Although he recovered after undergoing surgery, Smith said that he was forced to convince himself not to quit acting.

However, Smith went back to TV and starred in the popular comedy-drama, "Mister Roberts." He also produced two films, "C.C. and Company" and "The First Time," with the help of Allan Carr. Ann-Margret later announced in an interview that Roger was diagnosed with a neuromuscular illness, Myasthenia gravis in 1980.

Smith retired from performing in 1985 after his condition deteriorated. He delved into managing Ann-Margret's career and even produced her Las Vegas stage shows. Ann-Margret told the New York Post that Smith had Parkinson's disease. He seldom appeared on television after his health declined.

Marriage

Roger Smith, Victoria Shaw (1956) (Earl Leaf/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

It is no secret that Smith married twice. He first tied the knot with Victoria Shaw, a prominent actress born in Australia. They were married for nine years and were blessed with three gorgeous children: Tracey, Jordan and Dallas. The couple got divorced in 1965 before Roger walked down the aisle two years later with Ann-Margret.

Loving Husband

Ann-Margret, Roger Smith (1980) (Harry Langdon/Getty Images)

"She wanted me to be like her father and I wanted to do it for her," Smith said of Ann-Margret, according to Country Living. "It's corny but true: By doing what she wanted, I liked myself much better. Being with her was more important than all my childhood dreams about being a famous actor."

Their relationship was not without its fair share of ups and downs, however. People reports that Ann-Margret came freakishly close to fatal physical injury after falling from a 22-foot platform in 1972. She got away with a broken arm and jaw, a concussion and several facial fractures.

The couple also survived Smith's diagnosis that later claimed his career and life. Ann-Margret is positive that she and her husband remained close because both of them were committed to making the relationship work.

Ann Margret's Love Life

Ann-Margret (1973) (Bettmann / Getty Images)

Before her marriage to Smith, Ann-Margret was shortly engaged in a romantic affair with Elvis Presley. Although their romance died down, the two were lifelong friends.

Ann-Margret says that she knew Smith was the one on their third date, according to People. Their attraction remained steady through the five decades they were together, so much so that Roger gave up his acting career to become her manager. She says that the lovebirds could not bear the time apart that came with the film industry.

Children

Ann-Margret was also a loving stepmother to Smith's three children. The couple is said to have put off having children so that they would focus on building their acting careers.

Tracey Smith, Roger Smith's daughter, is a 63-year-old clinical psychologist and the author of a treatment manual for Bulimia Nervosa. We are not certain what the other two siblings grew up to engage in.

Death

Roger Smith died on June 4, 2017 at a hospital in Los Angeles. He was 84 years old. His death was confirmed by Ann-Margret's agent, Jack Gilardi. He had struggled with the body weakness that came with the autoimmune illness that claimed his life.

Summary

Roger Smith, Ann-Margret (2010) (Jason LaVeris / FilmMagic / Getty Images)

Relationships like the one shared by Ann-Margret and Roger Smith are especially rare, especially in Hollywood. These two lifelong partners vowed to stand by each other and did exactly that and although Ann-Margret was shaken by her husband's death, she is back on her feet three years later. The iconic actress recently said, "You're not dead when you reach a certain age."

We hope you enjoyed reading this story. Tell us what you find most interesting about Ann-Margret and Roger Smith's love story — and don't forget to pass this on!

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