• Golden Globe Awards

Tomorrow’s Stars Yesterday: Ann-Margret, 1962

Between 1948 and 1983 Golden Globes were awarded in a special category of “New Star of the Year” conceived to recognize young actors making a mark in their early roles. In this series, the HFPA’s Phil Berk highlights those that would follow their auspicious starts with distinguished careers.
The ‘60s ushered in a new era for Hollywood, one that was about to upend the studio system, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association was there to witness it.
For the year 1960, they named six New Star of the Year winners, but only Hayley MillsJohn Mills. She married him and had their son. At the end of her career, all she could look back on was the role she played when she only 13, in Tiger Bay, and her two much-loved Disney movies, The Parent TrapThat Darn Cat. The other largely forgotten winners that year were Ina BalinNancy KwanMichael CallanMark Damon, and Brett Halsey.
The following year however three iconic superstars were named New Star of the Year. One of them, Warren Beatty, is also honored in our Cecil B. deMille series, but the other two Ann-MargretJane FondaFew stars have ever had the early success that Ann-Margret had. Her first job as a singer for an obscure singing group landed her a date at the plush Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas, where she was discovered by George Burns. In short order, she was signed to a recording contract by RCA Victor and a seven-year movie contract by 20th Century Fox, and all that before her 21st birthday.
Two years later she was borrowed by Columbia for Bye Bye Birdie, and she’s been a household name ever since. Even before that she had received good reviews for playing Bette Davis’Frank Capra’sPocketful of MiraclesState Fair. But it was her loan out to Columbia for Birdie that made her a star. After that, she was borrowed by MGM for Elvis’ Viva Las Vegas, used on loan to Universal for Kitten with a Whip and Bus Riley’s Back in Town, but credible as Alain Delon’sOnce a Thief. However, it was her performance opposite Steve McQueenThe Cincinnati Kidthat had very studio clamoring for her services.
She had Claire Trevor’s role in Fox’s remake of Stagecoach, she was Dean Martin’sMurderer’s Row
, but then inexplicably her career suddenly ground to a halt and she sought refuge in Italy where she made two movies for Dino Risi, The Tiger and Mr. Kinky as well as few other forgettable titles. Stanley KramerRPM with Anthony Quinn, although it was a movie she told us she despised.
It was Mike NicholsCarnal Knowledge, her most famous role, for which she also told us she had to screen-test for Jules Feiffer. At that HFPA press conference, she revealed, “Getting the role was one of the greatest things that ever happened to me. The way I found out, the very next day after I had done the test, I received a beautiful bottle of champagne with a little note that says, ‘Jules loves you. I love you. You’ve got a job – Mike Nichols’. And I have that framed in my den.”
For that role, she won the first of four Golden Globes, this one as Best Supporting Actress, the others as Best Actress. She was also Oscar-nominated for that performance. Her next decent role was in Ken Russell’sTommyfor which she received her first Golden Globe as Best Actress in a Musical. Tony RichardsonJoseph Andrews, his encore to Tom Jones, and suddenly she was hot again. She joined an all-star cast for Neil Simon’sThe Cheap Detective, she was Anthony Hopkins’Magic, and she had fun with Kirk DouglasArnold Schwarzenegger
Her Blanche du Bois in a TV version of A Streetcar Named DesireGene HackmanTwice in a Lifetime, and Roy ScheiderJohn Frankenheimer’s52 Pick-up.
She was nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Actress in a Miniseries for The Two Mrs. GrenvillesQueen and Life of the Party: The Pamela Harriman Story.
Later Jack LemmonWalter MatthauGrumpy Old Men, and she was once again off and running. She joined them for the sequel and has been kept busy ever since happily accepting supporting roles, most recently in The Kominsky Method. Her classic roles, Bye Bye Birdie and