Legendary actress Ann-Margret made quite a name for herself in Hollywood through several films during the early 1960s. This includes Bye Bye Birdie, where she was nominated for Best Actress at the Golden Globe Award, and Viva Las Vegas alongside Elvis Presley, with whom she confessed having secretly dated for a year.
In 1973, Ann-Margret finally landed on one of her first lead roles, alongside wild west star John Wayne in the movie The Train Robbers – where she played a feisty, beautiful widow who hires a man to find gold stolen by her husband so that she may return it and start anew.
Working With John Wayne Was A Dream Come True For Ann-Margret
Ann-Margret admitted that she has always been a fan of The Duke. And while the time she spent with the actor was somewhat short-lived, it was still a special experience.
In an interview with Fox News, the Swedish-born actress spoke highly of Wayne, whom she described as “absolutely welcoming and gentle.” The two remained friends until the actor’s death in 1979, just six years after Train Robbers was released.
“I was friends with him forever,” she said.
In fact, Wayne did Ann-Margret a big favor. While they were filming The Train Robbers in Durango, Mexico, Ann-Margret garnered a nomination from the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the controversial 1971 drama, Carnal Knowledge. The only problem was that she’s a thousand miles away from Los Angeles, making it seem unlikely for her – and her co-star Ben Johnson, who was also nominated – to be able to make it to the ceremony.
That was until John Wayne stepped in! To help Ann-Margret and Johnson attend the event, the actor went as far as lending them his private plane. While the actress failed to pick up her golden statue, she sure did gain a lifetime friendship with Wayne.
Ann-Margret, John Wayne