Pop quiz, music fans: who was the real love of Elvis Presley’s life? You probably answered Priscilla Presley, the woman he married and later widowed. However, Elvis loved a great many women before and after marriage, which means that Priscilla wasn’t necessarily his soulmate.
Believe it or not, the woman he most likely fell in love with and regretted not marrying was a Swedish mistress, one who is alive and well today. Just who is this mistress, and what kind of whirlwind life did she have with the King of Rock ’n’ ’Roll? Keep reading to discover the answers!
Who is Elvis Presley’s mistress?
While some still simply refer to her as “Elvis Presley’s Swedish mistress,” the woman in question is Ann-Margret Olsson. In the older days of Hollywood, she was one of the best actors to ever bring films to life. And her great beauty was enough to captivate fans from all over the world.
Obviously, Elvis was one of those fans as well. We don’t know if these two had met previously or had any kind of correspondence together. However, we do know that it was her career that led these two to fall in love.
How did these two fall in love?
While Elvis is best remembered as a musical legend, he also appeared in a number of different movies. This was something of a no-brainer for Hollywood producers: since Elvis was the ultimate sex symbol as well as a musical icon, putting him in a movie pretty much guaranteed a solid audience turnout.
That was how Elvis Presley ended up getting cast in Viva Las Vegas. Since she was a fellow actor who also happened to be strikingly beautiful, Ann-Margret Olsson was cast in the same film. It didn’t take long for her and Elvis to fall in love: he was the only onscreen costar who could ever keep up with her, and they soon began spending more time together off the set rather than on set.
Onscreen and offscreen chemistry
These days, if two major film stars begin dating while shooting a movie, they usually do their best to keep their romance discreet. However, it was a different time when Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret Olsson were filming Viva Las Vegas. Not only were big stars less inclined to hide their romantic intentions toward each other, but it seems like that would have been downright possible even if these two were interested in doing so.
The reason for that is quite simple: pretty much everyone making the film, from the director down to the lowliest extra, could see that these two actors had explosive chemistry with one another. In her autobiography, Olsson wrote about how they felt an electricity-like jolt of connection from the moment they first met, and she asserts in that book that the two were soulmates.
A marriage nearly thwarted by constant infidelity
In a perfect world, these two soulmates might have gotten married and lived happily ever after. There was just one problem: Elvis Presley had already gotten serious about Priscilla…serious enough to invite her to live with him in his Memphis home. Priscilla even tolerated the many affairs Elvis had, but seeing the strong connection he had with Olsson, she worried that this might finally be the woman who split her and her husband up.
That didn’t happen, of course, and Elvis ended up marrying Priscilla as planned. As for Priscilla, she eventually realized the other woman wasn’t a threat because Ann-Margret Olsson was a bit too similar to Elvis in terms of personality and temperament. Sure, the King might have been attracted to someone who was a lot like himself, but when it came to settling down with someone, Priscilla correctly wagered he would want someone more conservative.
How their passionate affair came to an end
While Elvis Presley and Anne-Margret Olsson finally broke things off, it was a mutual decision. The wedding date with Priscilla was approaching, and neither Anne nor Elvis wanted to continue their torrid affair after he had a wife.
Still, the breakup was bittersweet, especially for Olsson. While they had made a mutual decision to split, she was always convinced that it was the perfect storm of different factors regarding Presley’s life that ultimately drove him away from her.
The bittersweet end to a beautiful friendship
Interestingly, Elvis Presley didn’t break all contact with Anne Margret-Olsson immediately after the two of them stopped having an affair. And after she started performing shows in Las Vegas, Presley’s preferred method of communicating with his one-time soulmate was to send her flower bouquets after every show. These bouquets were, of course, shaped like guitars.
In a horrific twist, it was a break in this ritual that let her know Elvis had passed away. After a show in 1977, she didn’t receive the signature guitar bouquet. This gave her a terrible suspicion that the newspapers and magazines around the world would soon confirm: Elvis Presley was dead.