Ann-Margret Olsson was born in Valsjöbyn, Jämtland County, the daughter of Anna Regina (née Aronsson) and Carl Gustav Olsson, a native of Örnsköldsvik. She later described Valsjöbyn as a small town of "lumberjacks and farmers high up near the Arctic Circle". Her father worked in the United States during his youth and moved there again in 1942, working with the Johnson Electrical Company, while his wife and daughter stayed behind.  Ann-Margret and her mother joined her father in the United States in November 1946, and her father took her to Radio City Music Hall on the day they arrived. They settled in Wilmette, Illinois. She became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1949.
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