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Ann-Margret: “Why I Prefer Divorced Men”

As Ann-Margret and Eddie Fisher dated in Las Vegas, whispers followed them—even as they bicycled along the Strip. Those whispers said, “Liz Taylor, Liz Taylor, Liz Taylor!” All those tourists who had come to Vegas—as much in hopes of seeing celebrities as of hitting jack-pots—stared at the pedalling couple and whispered:

“She isn’t a bit like Liz, is she?”

“I wonder whether he and Liz bicycled when they were here!”

“I wonder if she’s jealous of Liz.”

“I wonder if he’s missing Liz.”

“I wonder why a nice young girl like that dates a man who’s had two wives.”

“I wonder . . .” “I wonder . . .” “I wonder . . .”

If Eddie was conscious of the nagging refrain, he gave no sign. Already, in New York and Los Angeles, it had dogged him. If he showed up anywhere alone, they whispered. If he were with a date, ditto! Only more-so!

Ann-Margret didn’t even hear the pursuing whispers. She wasn’t sharing her bicycle ride with a gorgeous ghost. She wasn’t sharing Eddie with Liz. Without even trying, she’s able to ignore—and thus defeat—the women her suitors have loved before.

In fact, by her own admission, a woman (or women) in a man’s past only makes him that much more attractive.

She prefers divorced men!

“Right now,” she said, “all the men I’m dating, except two, have been divorced. I’ve discovered that a man who has been divorced is more understanding—is a more thoughtful date.”

She didn’t say whether she thinks of Eddie as divorced. He fits into the category, of course, because he was divorced from Debbie; but, technically, he’s not divorced right now. He’s still Elizabeth Taylor’s husband.

What a confession!

When Ann-Margret confessed that she prefers to date divorced men, she was lunching with a reporter and two representatives of Columbia Pictures. Her admission was so unusual, even the reporter was startled. Young actresses are seldom so straight-forward, and Ann-Margret, with her clear, baby-fresh skin (scarcely touched with makeup) and her delicate boning, looked more the type to confess a fondness for Ivy League frat boys. Or maybe young internes.

“You aren’t really recommending,” the reporter ventured, “that young girls make a point of dating divorced men?”

“Oh, no,” Ann-Margret began, speaking in her soft, sultry, sexy voice. “No, I . . .”

“No, of course she isn’t,” a studio man firmly injected. “What she means is that she’s come to appreciate mature men for qualities that younger men haven’t had the opportunity to develop.”

At the peak of the Welcome-Home-Eddie boom, reporters avidly sought details of each of his dates—particularly with girls as newsworthy as Ann-Margret. And she did answer questions about her feeling for Eddie, but indirectly. By making her comments applicable to men at large.

“I wouldn’t tell any girl whom she should date,” she said, tossing her head slightly so that a glistening copper sweep of hair shifted across her shoulder. “But a man who has been divorced has suffered. No matter who is to blame, a divorce hurts. And so a man who has been through the experience is gentler and more understanding than a man who’s never known a personal tragedy.”

Despite her scorching song style and provocative dancing, Ann-Margret in repose looks like what she is—quiet, shy, carefully-reared. But there’s a ton of sex-appeal beneath that rose-petal exterior.

A girl-woman

This girl, just past her teens, considers herself a fairly astute judge of male character. It is true her parents wouldn’t let her date until she was a sophomore in high school, but once the lid was off she was allowed to decide for herself which dates she would accept.

According to one newspaper columnist, Ann-Margret introduced her parents to Eddie in Las Vegas and they all had dinner together without any explosive aftermath. Yet when their daughter broke her engagement to Burt Sugarman this year, rumor had it that those same parents had opposed the match because Burt was a divorced man.

The other day, at lunch, Ann-Margret pursued her theories about divorced men. A tea-room atmosphere predominated in the little Beverly Hills restaurant she had chosen. The luncheon crowd seemed to be made up almost entirely of housewife-shoppers who nibbled salads and didn’t notice a genuine movie actress in the corner booth.

“A man who has been married,” the sexy Scandinavian said, “knows what a woman needs — emotionally, I mean. He knows how to treat a woman, and he’s not too demanding.”

When I pointed out the obvious loophole in this reasoning: that if the divorced man was such an expert on feminine psychology, he probably wouldn’t be divorced in the first place—Ann-Margret was wise enough not to answer.

A gag-man might quip that Eddie undoubtedly knew what Liz needed—Richard Burton. But it goes deeper than that. Eddie has realized Liz’ deep need to reach out and obtain something that would be completely unobtainable to a lesser beauty. For after all, wasn’t there a time when Liz reached out for the equally unobtainable Eddie?

Ann-Margret has no such need, no such never-to-be-fulfilled desire. But there is one part of her personality that does coincide with Liz’—in fact, it is a trait common to most real women. That is the desire to be subdued as well as pampered.

Ann-Margret admitted this when she said, “I’m still such a little girl, really!” She looked both candid and confiding.

“The man who will keep me permanently interested must be strong,” she said. “He must make the decisions, tell me what to do and yet always be considerate of me and my point of view.”

This reporter couldn’t help asking. “Do you think this describes Fisher?” Again, Ann-Margret’s answer was indirect.

“I’m not seriously interested in anyone right now.” she said. “But an older man gives a girl a feeling of security that younger men don’t know how to give. When I was younger, I didn’t think it was wise to date older men. I still don’t think it’s wise for a very young girl to go out with old men. But, remember, I’m twenty-one now. The men I prefer aren’t the kind I would have dated when I was sixteen or seventeen.”

According to Ann-Margret, she doesn’t date many actors, but some of her escorts are in other branches of show business—writing, publicity, directing. Many of them, like Eddie, have been married to fascinating women. After all. they had the chance to meet the most glamorous women on earth. And how can Ann-Margret date these ex-husbands without wondering if they are comparing her with lost loves?

I don’t try to compete”

“I’ve never been jealous of anybody,” she answered. “I never think about Elizabeth Taylor or any other woman when I’m out with a man. I don’t try to compete with someone he’s known before.”

But when she and Eddie are together, it’s inevitable that people who see them think, “She’s nothing like Liz!” Which could be taken as a compliment. Maybe she can’t compete with Liz for the title of “The World’s Most Beautiful Woman”—but she has her own assets.

Ann-Margret is a remarkably pretty girl, but her real stock in trade is talent. When George Burns saw her and gave her her big break in show business, he recognized her as a sparkling performer, not a classic beauty.

When she arrived at 20th Century-Fox to make “State Fair,” a publicist handed her picture to a reporter with the comment : “You won’t appreciate this girl just by looking at her picture, but when you see her work—Wow!”

Finally, Ann-Margret differs from Liz in family background. While Liz was growing up in studios under the tension-feeding guidance of her ambitious mother, Ann-Margret was enjoying a wholesome, normal childhood. Her parents were strict but adoring. They sacrificed to give her singing and dancing lessons, but they didn’t force it. Today Ann-Margret has a sense of security that enables her to forget the former wives of the divorced men she dates.

She doesn’t feel driven to defeat another woman.

These, then, are the differences in temperament. looks, personality between the girl Eddie dates and the woman to whom he is still legally married. But if, when he’s dating Ann-Margret. she doesn’t remind him of Liz—could it be Debbie whom she calls to mind?

The twenty-one-year-old Viking is about Debbie’s size and build. Their coloring is much the same, although Ann-Margret’s hair is reddish. Neither wears much makeup, no heavy penciling about the eyes. Each is a singer and dancer.

Honesty is another quality they have in common. Honesty and a childhood of cherishing love and security.

Finally, Ann-Margret is about the age Debbie was when she and Eddie were in love. Does she subconsciously remind Eddie of a chance for happiness that he muffed?

Whatever the answer to that, it is clear that Ann-Margret knows what she likes. Men.

“I’ve always liked men,” she said matter-of-factly. And added “. . . as friends. I like lots of men who haven’t been divorced, too—please don’t think I’m recommending divorce.

“I’d like a marriage just like my parents’—lasting and happy. And theirs is an argument for dating older men. My father is eighteen years older than my mother, and he’s a perfect husband.”



Ann-Margret’s in “Bye Bye Birdie,” Col.



1 Comment
  • zoritoler imol
    31 Temmuz 2023

    I got what you intend,saved to fav, very decent website.

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