"I looked at Roger and saw the kind of man I'd dreamt of finding. He made me feel incredibly safe and secure," Ann-Margret said.
When the Swedish-born actress, Ann-Marget, met Roger Smith for the first time, they did not know it would build into a romance and a marriage. Smith was impressed by the actress but she did know he was an actor and had not watched him. By 1966, Marget was famous and during this time, she met Smith again in San Francisco while she was shooting a movie and was out to watch a movie with her friends, per Country Living.
Smith was quick enough to invite her to watch one of his performances at the nightclub. However, she declined it as she had an early morning shoot. Life had different plans for the would-be couple. The weather was not conducive for the scene which had to be shot in the coming days and Marget agreed to watch Smith's performance. She had a great time and was awed by Smith's performance.
This was the beginning of their romance. Now, a series of dates would follow between them. Smith did not hold back in showing his love for her. One day, he found out she wanted to go on a tour to the town of Monterey and needed to rent a car, Smith offered his car and sweetly dropped his map in the glove box, with the inscription that said, "Here's a map of the Monterey area. Hope you have a good time. I love you. Roger".
It was this proximity, care, and lovely gestures that made Marget fond of Smith. During their date on the plane, the actress confessed in her autobiography: Ann-Margret: My Story, "Maybe that was it. Maybe that was the moment that I fell in love. I don't know. But I looked at Roger and saw the kind of man I'd dreamt of finding. He made me feel incredibly safe and secure."
On their third date, Marget knew she had fallen head over heels in love with the 77 Sunset Strip star. She felt safe and protected around him and could easily rely on him. Her profession as an actress had many challenges and obstacles but he stood by her side and encouraged her. By this time, she had already started imagining growing old with him, as she wrote, "At that moment, Roger seemed perfect to me."
As both of them had busy careers, they were apart for weeks sometimes, but he took care of her by arranging for beautiful dates, hearty meals, a long walk in the woods, breakfasts in bed, and a horse-drawn carriage through Central Park at night to cap it all up. On one of these dates, Smith pulled out a black velvet box from his pocket and proposed to her. She said yes.
On the 8th of May 1967, Smith and Ann-Margret said their vows in a quiet ceremony away from the press. Despite her parent's opposition they finally got married, as she wrote, "This is not the way I envisioned my wedding. I think everyone thought I was pregnant because I was crying through the whole thing. But we did it!"
Soon, Smith became her manager, he also discussed the reason, as per PEOPLE, "The amount of money the two of us could generate separately wasn't worth the loneliness." With his Midas touch, his wife became a multi-millionaire. The couple were together for 50 years until Smith's death and had an amazing journey together. When asked about the secret to a great relationship, the Swedish-born actress quipped, "We laugh at ourselves." Also, she added, because "they wanted it to work."
Smith died in 2017 at 84. They had a long and loving marriage and even helped build each other up. This marriage was one of its kind.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by (L) Larry Ellis/Express/Hulton Archive; (R) Mike Coppola