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Ann-Margret's Acting Credentials: Awards and Highlights of Storied Career

By    |   Thursday, 14 May 2015 10:41 AM

Ann-Margret has won awards, enjoyed critical acclaim, and popular appeal since she made her first appearance on the screen. She’s garnered fame for her comedic acting, dramatic roles, and talent as a singer.

She is so well-known that film critic Roger Ebert remarked in 1971 “Ann-Margret has become a part of our national symbol collection. It is possible to use the phrase ‘an Ann-Margret’ and have people more or less know what you mean.”

Ebert was referring to her innate sensuality and the sexy-but-innocent characters she’d played up until her dramatic and dark turn in the 1971 film “Carnal Knowledge, directed by Mike Nichols. Though she built her career on a sex kitten image, she also earned awards and recognition from even the toughest critics.

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Here, we take a look at her most notable achievements throughout her storied career.

Early Career

Ann-Margret made her film debut in the 1961 film “Pocketful of Miracles,” playing a supporting role as Louise, the daughter of the Bette Davis character Annie, a street peddler. Her performance earned her critical acclaim and the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year.

In 1962 she was nominated for the Grammy for Best New Artist, that same year winning a Golden Laurel for Top Female New Personality. Turner Classic Movies notes that by her third film, 1963’s “Bye Bye Birdie,” she’d made such an impression on director George Sidney that he rewrote the film to give her a larger role, reducing Janet Leigh’s character to a supporting role to make room for Ann-Margret’s extra scenes. Sidney’s investment paid off, with Ann-Margret winning the Golden Globe for Best Actress for her performance.

Mid-Career


By the early 1970s, Ann-Margret transitioned into darker, more adult roles. The shift was well-received by critics, with Ann-Margret being nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as the emotionally abused and fragile Bobbie in the 1971 film “Carnal Knowledge” directed by Mike Nichols.

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She won the Golden Globe for the same role. In 1975 she played the role of Nora, mother to Tommy, a deaf and mute man portrayed by Roger Daltrey. For her performance as another emotionally fragile character, she won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Academy Award.

Later Career


As she embarked on the second half of her storied career, Ann-Margret continued to work steadily and earn awards and recognition. In 1984 she won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV for “Who Will Love My Children?” and in 1985 she won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV for “A Streetcar Named Desire."

The Christian Science Monitor's Arthur Unger described Ann-Margret’s performance as Blanche as played with “restrained distraction." He also said that she demonstrated the “quality of vulnerability so necessary for the role of Blanche.”

For her 2001 album “God is Love: The Gospel Sessions,” she was nominated for a Grammy for Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel Album and a GMA Dove Award for Best Country Album. She won an Emmy in 2010 for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her appearance on the NBC show “Law & Order: SVU.”

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Ann-Margret has won awards, enjoyed critical acclaim, and popular appeal since she made her first appearance on the screen. She's garnered fame for her comedic acting, dramatic roles, and talent as a singer.
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