Today, we share some of the family’s most outrageous untold stories that we dug up. After all, show business used to be even wilder than it is today. We will start from the beginning where the family’s international fame all began and go on to the present where skeletons are still behind closed doors.
Not All That Glitters...
Although the Osmond family spent much of their time in the limelight, their personal lives were wrapped in shadows, inner demons, and problems. Nowadays we know that the entertainment industry can be complicated and bring some unfavorable parts out of people, and the Osmonds were no different. Indeed, life wasn’t all glitz and glamor for most of the Osmond family.
Most of them avoided the typical pitfalls: substance abuse, and the party lifestyle many movie stars and television personalities fall into, but that didn’t keep the evil spells away from the Osmonds. There are always vices and bad habits to be faced with.
Some of the family's problems stemmed from their different levels of attention and exposure — spending too much or not enough time under the klieg lights. Others were bullied by executives and managers, despite being the talents that made the money those executives were relying on to provide for their families.
Remarkably, for a family that spent so much time in the public eye, there is so much that their audience did not know about — a treasure trove of secrets yet to be unearthed. This family is puzzling and we are sure there are still many secrets no one has managed to discover.
Meeting Groucho Marx
While the Donny & Marie show was on the air, it was famous for bringing in great celebrity guests. Although this helped the ratings, behind the scenes, things weren’t always so good for Marie. Surprising, when you think about the fact that at least fifty percent of the show was carried on her shoulders.
She recalls one such instance when Groucho Marx was a guest on the show but she doesn't exactly have good memories of the comedian. Mostly him pinching her where he definitely shouldn't have. She said that Groucho Marx shouldn't be working around women until he fixes his manners.
Starved for Fame
When Marie was just 15 years old, she was under a lot of pressure to stay slim. She and her brother were offered a TV show, but executives pressured Marie to lose weight or the show would be canceled. For some reason, her brother's weight was never an issue or a factor on which that show depended.
Sadly, back then there was a lot less awareness as to how damaging such requests can be. Especially for someone her age — a young teen with a changing body. Rumor has it that producers called her names, so she ended up losing the weight they wanted after all.
Donny, the Nerd
Being a talented entertainer usually means that you don't really have to develop any other talents or interests. Not Donny, though. He had a keen interest in technology and has also developed some tools useful for his shows. Donny Osmond was a super-smart technology connoisseur. This particular Osmond designed a secret video control room in the Flamingo in Las Vegas along with other audio and computer systems backstage.
Donny also sequenced all of the montages when he wasn’t on stage. Donny said, “It’s my little world in here.” He confessed he is a “total nerd,” particularly when it comes to Mac products.
Behind the Smile of Marie
In a confession that will shock the ages, Marie Osmond revealed that she had been holding onto a terrible secret behind her pretty eyes and naïve appearance. In her tell-all book, “Behind the Smile,” she tells the tale of her childhood.
The stories involve gruesome details of her childhood experiences. Sadly, some parts of her childhood shouldn't be part of anyone's life, not even as an adult. Marie refuses to expose who was the person who was responsible for her misery, only clearing her family and friends of any wrongdoing. It's good to know she had a support system to hold her up during these hard times.
A Seriously Generous Family
The church was a place of peace and reflection for the Osmond Family. This is not surprising as the whole family's involvement with music started ad weekly church services. As the family became a money-making machine, they decided to give back to the place that gave them their start and therefore, they have donated 10% of their money to their church — a church that assists people in every corner of the Earth.
Donny is the one who operates the family charity, the Osmond Foundation for the Children of the World while Marie is a key participant in the Children’s Miracle Network.
Donny was known as “Uncle Donny” to pretty much everyone who knew him personally. Still, if a friend or kids he works with come to see his show in Las Vegas, he has to show them a little more than his old familiar self or as he puts it “a little more than Uncle Donny right now.”
Everyone who visits gets to visit the Bellagio Bridge with “Uncle Donny” where you can see a gigantic Donny & Marie poster projected into the Flamingo. Donny’s eyes are six feet tall and ten feet wide in the projected image. Those are some big eyes.
Forget Working 9 to 5
When Donny & Marie got their show in 1976, Donny was just 17 years old, but unlike most late teens, Donny didn’t have a 9 to 5 job. He had a much more demanding one. This is because of the rigorous schedule Donny and all of his siblings were on. In fact, name an intense celebrity schedule and the Osmond children could beat it.
Twenty-hour days were not uncommon for Donny and Marie — learning new songs, dance moves, and reading stacks of scripts. The incredible thing was that there was no look of exhaustion or poor attitude on either of their faces.
Donny, Not Donnie
Let’s face it, no one likes it when their name gets toyed with. Whether it’s spelled wrong, mispronounced, or rhymed with something unfortunate, people hate it. Just ask any Bob who was once called "Bobert" by a person who thought they were the first person to come up with that joke. Donny was no exception to this rule.
When he saw his name spelled ‘Donnie’ it made him livid. The staff at the Flamingo thought it would be clever to misspell his name on the gold star on his dressing room door, which probably set off the star, but hopefully in a good old Mormon way.
Dancing on the Tables
As a natural performer, Donny Osmond was always known for letting it all out on the stage. No doubt, watching the man on the stage is a lot like going to watch one of the water shows at Sea World — the Splash zone is definitely a thing and you should think twice about whether you want to sit within it or outside of it.
Marie has admitted in interviews that her brother does go off the rails sometimes during their Las Vegas show, especially when he starts dancing on people’s tables! Her advice? Hold on to your drinks! And if you’re sitting in the front row, better make that a plastic cup!
Curious about how Donny Osmond’s day goes? According to those closest to the man, he wakes up at 6 am to drive his son to the airport after just four hours of sleep. Before Donny tries to take a morning nap, he gives a call to his business manager and then takes time to record for his Disney show. Then, a workout before joining Marie on stage for their show.
When on tour, the schedule is different with a repetition of bus, rehearsal, and the show takes over. While traveling from place to place, he enjoys doing a bit of reading on the bus.
Marie said she lost nearly 50 pounds during the Flamingo Show in Las Vegas and her appearance on "Dancing With the Stars" (season five in case you were in the mood to look up some of her impressive numbers on the show.) She confessed that her mom and grandmother died of health issues and that she didn't want to be the next one.
She realized how dire the situation was when her son said, “Mom, you’re all we have.” Marie was deeply moved by her son's words and took the hard work all in stride saying, “I had to be healthy.”
Turns out that Marie isn’t the only member of the duo who has watched the inches fade away from her costume measurements over the years. Donny has lost two inches from his waist since he started doing shows at the Flamingo in Las Vegas.
The hour-and-a-half variety show got pretty intense at times, meaning Donny got in some cardio and leg work all while performing. He also supplements this ‘workout’ with regular trips to the gym to work out his full body. Pile all of that on top of the regular rehearsals and you got yourself a navy seal training program to keep anyone in tip-top shape.
Donny and Marie haven’t always been a yin and yang on the stage together like they were in the 70s and now in Las Vegas. In the 1980s, the two decided to split their act in order to have solo careers. They needed to explore their independent options.
Many people missed the two together and were extremely pumped when it was announced that the two would be teaming up again to do Vegas. Donny confessed that he knew they would always end up performing together again and when he laid eyes on the Flamingo he called his sister and said, “This is it.”
Bringing in a Mediator
The two could not have guessed how hard it would be to work together again. Sure, they did it in the past but they have since gotten to experience solo careers, and letting go of that didn't go very smoothly at first. Donny confessed that he was no longer the stubborn one. He once said in an interview, “I’m dealing with somebody who is in control of her own career now.”
This meant that he could boss her around no more! Whatever seniority the older brother had over her was no longer a thing. The two decided to bring in director and choreographer Barry Leather to mediate their working relationship.
Living Separate Lives
Much has changed since the days when the siblings were so close all those decades ago. They have both said they don’t see much of each other outside of the show anymore. Just think about it — would you want to see your coworkers outside of work every day? Yeah, that's what we thought.
While their dressing rooms are next door to each other, they don’t constantly hang out, contrary to what people might think. Outside of working hours, it’s extremely rare to see the two together. Donny said he would rather spend time with his wife and kids when he's free.
We hear about the outrageous habits of celebrities all of the time, but Donny Osmond has one for the ages. He loves to lick salt. Marie reveals to interviewers about her brother’s weird habit, explaining that Donny licks the salt off pretzels before he eats them.
She continued to say that it was something he has done his entire life. Marie is, at least, fairly confident that he eats them after he licks them, instead of putting them back into the bag. We guess it could have been worse, though — some artists ask for a dressing room with golden toilets and bowls of all-pink M&M's.
So Much Gold
Among other accolades, the Osmond family has an extensive collection of Gold Records, having earned gold four times. The album, "I'm Leaving It All Up to You," was released in 1974 and was one of the first records to receive gold status.
The album "Featuring Songs from Their Television Show" was released in 1976. As its name suggests, the album had songs from their TV show, and it also received gold. Sadly, the Osmond pair hasn’t released an album in a long time, despite all of the performances they are doing again. We demand you get into the studio and make us another record!
As is often the case with people who become rich and famous early in life, Marie enjoyed the lap of luxury from a young age. All that fame and fortune really make lots of materialistic pleasures possible, and it's a temptation that is hard not to succumb to.
It appeared as if Marie Osmond had a soft spot for elite designers, namely a Louis Vuitton obsession as she never was seen without one a Vuitton bag on her person. In regards to her personal style, in between shows, Marie was seen sporting curlers in her hair, apple in hand, and not a single care otherwise.
Donny’s Family Life
While Donny lived through some dark times in his life, he has made it his mission to recover and not let the same things happen again. When it comes to his own family, he doesn't want to make any mistakes. For someone who is so proud to be a family man, there is simply too much to lose.
When he was 20 years old and uber-famous, Donny married Debra Glenn at Salt Lake Temple. The pair has five sons: Donald Clark Jr., Jeremy James, Brandon Michael, Christopher Glenn, and Joshua Davis. The family is often seen together having the best of times, on vacation, or on the way to church.
Donny on Broadway
Donny had a fair amount of success on the Broadway circuit, having appeared in a grand total of three plays. His biggest play, by far, was "Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" in which he played the titular character. We couldn't imagine him as anything but the lead.
He also played the lead in "Little Johnny Jones." He also took on the surprising role of the evil Gaston, in "Beauty and the Beast." We know what you're thinking. Donny? A villain? Impossible! And yet, from the photos, it looks like Donny reveled in the challenge of playing the bad guy for just a little while.
A Secret Crush
Donny appeared on the British TV show, "The Kumars at No. 42" as a guest. He had no idea that he was in for a surprise a secret admirer just waiting to meet him. Sanjeev Bhaskar, the star of the show (you might also recognize him from the Netflix hit "The Sandman"), said that his wife, comedian Meera Syal, had always wanted to marry Donny Osmond.
When she was young she was even willing to convert to Mormonism! What crush! With Donny on the show, Sanjeev joked that she could run off with him if she wanted, as her excitement erupted.
Many super fans have no idea, but Donny has starred in plenty of animated TV shows and movies over the years. His silky smooth voice is as good animated as it is on stage! One role nearly everyone has heard of is Captain Li Shang in the Disney classic, Mulan.
If, for some reason, you still need some help refreshing your memory, well, in the film he sings the iconic “I’ll Make a Man Out of You.” And if that song isn't in the top five of your favorite Disney songs then we're sorry but you can't sit with us.
Let’s take a break from Donny for a minute and focus on some of the other Osmond family members. Take Jimmy Osmond, the youngest of the Osmond family broke records in the UK which he still holds to this very day. The 1972 song, "Long Haired Lover from Liverpool," reached number one in the UK singles charts when Jimmy was only 9 years old.
Jimmy was henceforth the youngest artist to reach the top spot in Britain. The boy, now a man, recalls sadly, “The home I grew up in was a string of hotels across the world. I don’t remember my first home, which was somewhere in Los Angeles.” Sad!
Saving up for Hearing Aids
With all the musical talent in the Osmond family, it's surprising to learn that two family members don't have the biological ability to appreciate it. Tom and George Virl Osmond, the oldest Osmond brothers were both born deaf. Olive and George Osmond, their parents, couldn’t afford to buy hearing aids and so the other brothers got together to perform and raise money for them.
This is how it all started, by going around from place to place trying to save for hearing aids. Darling, right? What’s even cuter is the Osmonds often signed during their performances to keep Tom and George up-to-speed.
Marie and her ex-husband, Brian Blosil, were married from 1986 until their 2007 divorce. During that time, they had two biological children and adopted five more. One of their adopted kids is daughter Jessica Blosil. When Marie was named Person of the Year by Diane Sawyer, she confessed that she cried when Jessica came out to her when she was 17 years old.
Having many gay friends, Marie knew the kind of judgment that the queer community gets from other people, which is why she cried. In her words “I didn’t want that for my child.” We get her, but luckily things are getting better each and every day.
Resisting Peer Pressure
Donny was always made fun of for being uncool growing up. Surprising, considering he grew up to be a world-famous pop star. He could get any girl he wanted and be a serious rock and roller but thought he was too young and that it would tarnish his pious Mormon beliefs. He didn't use any illegal substances and he swore to remain pure until he was married.
He has stated he is proud of himself for resisting the urges that come with his kind of fame and found himself giving advice to other upstart acts like Prince and Michael Jackson.
Keeping God First
God has had a special place in the lives of Donny and the rest of his family. They always say that “God comes first.” Donny often gets asked the question of how he had stayed successful in the harsh world of show business to which he always replies, “God first.” Well, what’s second then? Family of course. These things help keep him grounded.
He said that this formula is what has helped them through the years, despite what others might have thought. Of his critics, he has said, “You’re not naive growing up in this business. I grew up fast.”
Marie has seen her life go in ebbs and flows but she remains pretty balanced. Recently, it seems as if the lifetime star has found peace with all that has happened to her. In one interview, she said she really didn’t have a childhood or a conventional dating life or friends for that matter.
After all, it's not like she went through the regular route of school, college, and getting a job, which is how we make many of our connections in life. At the same time, she states that “I don’t know that anyone’s life is perfect.” That’s a fantastic outlook coming from someone with difficult life experiences.
MJ and Donny at 17
The limelight gave The Osmonds several famous friends, the most famous of which is quite possibly Michael Jackson. Donny was good friends with Jackson and fondly reflects on the time they spent together.
The best memory he has of him was after the American Music Awards when Donny was 17 and little Michael was just 16 years old. Donny asked Michael Jackson if he was hungry, and obviously, the two teenage boys were in the mood for food. The two took Donny’s limo to get tacos and ate them hanging out of the sunroof whilst driving down Sunset Boulevard. What a sweet memory!
Changing the Lighting
Marie has her own set of requests and, well, demands when making TV appearances, but she doesn't want anything too crazy. It is not about blue M&Ms in her green room, ball-shaped water bottles, or rose quartz coffee machines. It has to do with the lighting, of all things.
Donny admitted that whenever the two do an interview, Marie asks for the lighting to be changed to make her look her best. While this might sound like borderline diva behavior, it is actually not a big deal. In fact, it is very common, and even down-to-earth stars make lighting demands.
No Money Made
Jimmy Osmond was the UK’s youngest number-one performer ever. You might think that fame, fortune, and millions of dollars followed that kind of success. And if the whole thing was happening today, there's a chance that would have been the case. However, Jimmy didn’t see a red cent from the sales of that album. In case you didn't know, show business is not fair. Not even to children, no matter how young or how talented.
He went further stating, “We sold 100 million records and the money we made on record sales is peanuts.” The money made, he said, was comparable to what you would make just selling merchandise now.
Luckily for Jimmy, he knew how to make money — $80 million. This fortune came from live appearances, movies, TV shows, and more. This money that the family members made has funded their ventures, fed their families, bought mansions and nice cars, and pretty much allowed them to live very comfortable lives.
It’s a shame that they barely made money from any of their record sales. It appears that having a talent for entertainment is not enough. Show business is, after all, a business. And one needs to know how to do business for this industry to be worth their while.
Diva Dressing Room
Marie has defied the pitfalls so many stars struggle with. One of them is becoming a diva. But, she did have a diva-like request (demand) before agreeing to perform at the Flamingo in Las Vegas. She wanted a larger dressing room.
However, the bigger dressing room was not for show or driven by some sort of ego. It was actually for the most wholesome reason you can imagine. She said the space was for all her kids to come to visit her. It is said that Marie constantly has 15 to 20 people in her dressing room along with her kids and dogs who occupy themselves by playing.
Having an interest or a hobby is great. Having the finances to support your interest or hobby is even greater! Obviously, people who enjoy collecting shot glasses don't have to be millionaires, but anyone who collects cars as a hobby will need to have the dollars to back it up.
Jimmy Osmond loves cars, so when at the height of the family’s career, he would spoil himself a lot. He purchased his first house at age 14, apparently as a place to park all of the cars he was buying. This is a photo of Jimmy with a DeLorean that is similar to the one he had in the 80s.
The Purple Socks
There were a lot of theories swirling around about why Donny was always wearing purple socks. Could this have been an eccentric demand made by the star? Might these mysterious socks be his lucky charm? Actually no!
Donny has shed light on all of it by revealing it was actually his mother’s idea. She did it for practicality. She came up with a system so that each child had their own colored socks so there would be no fights or confusion over which socks belonged to who. So as a tribute to his mother, Donny just always wears purple socks.
Lessons From Lucille
It doesn't matter what our line of work is, there's always something we can learn from seniors in the field. When Marie was 16, Lucille Ball (who was 52 years older than her) provided the star with a few tricks she learned in her long, illustrious career. These pieces of advice have stayed with her even up until now.
Marie was once a guest on Lucille’s show and Lucille taught the youngster a few things about makeup and lighting. This may be why Marie is so adamant about how she is lighted even to this day. Imagine getting pointers from an old pro like Lucille Ball!
Scandals make money. That much is clear. The thing is, some people are just not involved in the kind of scandals that their producers would like. Oddly enough, Donny has said was he pressured to be a part of a scandal to make him seem more of the rock star/TV personality. About this time Donny signed with Virgin Records. Then, a substance abuse rumor broke out.
Donny, whose beliefs and practices had nothing to do with the rumor, stayed strong, adhering to his devout faith. He refused to go along with the publicity stunt and continued to remain calm and clean.
Stealing Jay’s girl
As it so happens, the song "Could She Be Mine?" has a truly great story behind it. In 1975, Donny dated a girl named Tammy, and his brother dated a girl named Debbie.
The four of them went to an Elton John concert and during "Your Song" Donny looked at Debbie and thought, “I’m going to marry her someday.” After asking her out twice, Debbie finally agreed and the two have lived happily ever after. So maybe that’s where the idea for the song came from. Frankly, we're amazed that the case didn't drive a wedge between the two brothers!
A Different Man
While Donny may seem like a wild man on stage, his home life could not be more different. When he is onstage, he focuses on being passionate and in the moment. He doesn't let the lights and the fans confuse him.
At home, it is a different story. He is a great family man. He is down to earth. He mows his own lawn whereas some stars might have that all done for them. He has even stated that he is quite the confident electrician at home. This just goes to show that you can never assume a star's personality based on their stage presence.
Marie Osmond Helps People Get Healthy
Marie’s weight has fluctuated at times, but the last time she noticed she was packing on some pounds she decided to do something about it for good. According to the ads she stars in, she had apparently lost a ton (not literally) of weight on a Nutrisystem diet.
Around the time she started this groundbreaking diet, she also began her stint on "Dancing With the Stars," which required six hours of work from her per day. Since then, she's been an advocate of the brand that helped her get into shape. Though let's be honest, the rigorous training schedule of those competing in "Dancing With the Stars" will shape and tone anyone.
Donny and Deborah Have Five Sons
Donny and Debbie have five sons. Their names, as previously mentioned, are Brandon Michael Osmond, Donald Clark Osmond Jr., Jeremy James Osmond, Joshua Davis Osmond, and Christopher Glenn Osmond.
The age gap between the oldest son, Donny Jr., and the youngest, Joshua, is about twenty years. The second-born son Jeremy was the first to get married and give Donny a grandchild while Brandon and Donny Jr. got married afterward. Just imagine being Debra and raising these five sons! This happy group looks like they can be quite the party! They must have great fun whenever the whole gang gets together.
Marie Osmond likes to Help Mothers
After Marie gave birth to Brandon, her son, she thought she might have a case of the baby blues. This common condition occurs after the hormones from the baby are no longer in the mother’s system, creating an imbalance.
However, in Marie’s case, the feelings didn’t go away. It turned out that Marie was, in fact, suffering, like many others from postnatal melancholy. Sadly, this condition is often shrouded in shame, which prevents the mothers from getting the help they need. Marie would like to change that narrative. She now talks about the importance of women seeking treatment if they think they might have the same condition.
They Began Their Careers in Disneyland
The Osmond family went to California to try to meet with record producers and executives in order to land a major record deal. An appointment with one such producer was canceled because of his busy schedule, so instead, George took everyone to Disneyland. That sounds like the smart way to spend some sudden, unplanned time off.
There, the kids saw the Dapper Dan Disney barbershop quartet and almost on cue, started singing with them. A crowd gathered, including Tommy Walker, who was the director of guest relations at the park. He asked if they wanted to sing at Disney After Dark that night.
They Almost Went Bankrupt
In 1975, the family was on the verge of financial collapse, especially after two of their albums flopped. The family built a TV set close to their house in Utah for the Donny and Marie Show in an effort to rebuild their fan base and cash flow. Then that show got canceled by the network and the Osmonds had to do two more albums to cover the costs of their studio.
These, too, flopped, and yet, instead of declaring bankruptcy, they paid back every cent they borrowed and forged ahead. With all the talent flowing in this family's blood, they were bound to land on their feet at some point.
They Only Started Selling CDs in 2008
This is perhaps the most surprising revelation of all. The Osmond family didn’t start releasing their music on CD until the first year of the Obama Administration! Somehow, it took them the longest time possible to evolve from vinyl records and cassette tapes. We wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that most of their demographic features people of a certain age.
That’s right, after 2008, they decided it was finally time to stop with the records and clue into what everybody has been doing since the early 90s. Too bad MP3s had already taken the world by storm.
Alan Osmond Chose the Army Over a Mission
Alan Osmond decided to quit the band and go on a Mormon mission as many young adults in the church do, but while on it, something wasn’t feeling right. Just because everybody else in his community could contribute through missionary work didn't mean it was the right thing for him to contribute through. He fasted and prayed for guidance for several days and after doing some soul-searching, he realized the mission wasn’t for him.
In the end, he didn’t go, instead electing to join the army and serve his country in Vietnam. He served as a Colonel’s secretary at a base stateside.
Boot Camp Awards
During his time in the army, just like any other soldier, Alan had to undergo basic training. You wouldn't expect someone who spent most of his life in entertainment to do well in basic training, but you'd be sorely mistaken. This might sound counterintuitive but as it so happened, his years in the limelight have given him an advantage in boot camp.
His knowledge of choreography helped with bayonet skills, the ruthless road schedule helped prepare him for being sleep deprived in boot camp, and he was great with firearms. He made it out of basic training with three trophies!
David Osmond's Health
At the age of 26, David Osmond was diagnosed with a serious medical condition. Donny's nephew and a singer in his own right, David was bound to a wheelchair for a time and could not walk without a cane. However, he did receive some medical help that got him to walk down the aisle on his own two feet in order to marry his fiancée.
David has felt much better since getting this treatment. Although pain is still part of his life, at least he is out of that wheelchair, and he is happy about it, as is his family.
Jay Osmond Wrote an Autobiography
Have you ever wondered what it's like to be a performing artist on a tour? Well, after reading Jay Osmond's book, you won't have to wonder anymore. Jay Osmond was the drummer in the Osmond family band.
Much later on in life, he wrote an autobiography entitled "Stages" where he takes you, the reader, through the different hardships and successes the family had while on the road together throughout the 70s. There are also anecdotes about people the family collaborated with, such as Elvis and The Beatles. The book was even formatted as a 'play’ on the meaning of stages.
Working With the Jackson 5
Not many people could relate to the experiences of an Osmond — performing with your family in front of thousands of people. But there are still those who have lived through the same thing. Believe it or not, Donny, Marie and the rest of the family weren't the only families performing together in the 70s.
Another one of these extremely talented families was the Jackson Five from Gary, Indiana. The two acts used to coordinate shows together. One time both families stayed at the same hotel in Toronto and the kids from each family played football with each other! How cool!
Family Above All Else
The Osmonds have grown exponentially in the last three generations. It all started with Olive and George. Since 2013, the family has exploded to nine children, 55 grandchildren, and 70 great-grandchildren! That's a total of 124 family descendants!
Just imagine all that musical potential! If they were all pursuing the same field that made them so famous, they would have been more of a choir than a band. Not to mention the stage would have to have been MUCH bigger. No one has been pressured into staying in the music business, though. Wayne's kids have become doctors while others have gone on to have successful careers in academics and other areas.
Seeing the Osmonds
It used to be that people would climb over just about anything to get close to the Osmonds. They didn't even know what parkour was but they were doing it in the name of their idols. No fence or door or staircase was a match for a determined fan.
One bizarre story involved someone actually mailing herself to the family’s hotel room where the talented family was staying. What a creative yet psychotic mind. Talk about a fan mail! We wonder how this person pulled it off... We would assume it required a big, durable cardboard box, a call to DHL, and a whole lot of waiting.
Secret Agent Osmond
Fans were constantly looking for ways to get close to their dear Osmonds. No security arrangements can match the ingenuity and tenacity of a diehard fan. Another story of an Osmond lover getting alarmingly close is this:
Once when the family returned to their hotel room in Florida to rest after a performance for their adoring fans. When they got in, they discovered that there were ropes hanging down to their hotel room balcony. The family notified the lobby to see what could possibly be going on only to find out that two fans had climbed onto the roof and then slid down to their room!
Forget the Bed, Check Under the Stage
It wasn't only hotel rooms that deranged fans tried to get access to. A performance venue or a concert hall was also fair game for any fan with enough conviction. Just think about all of those backstage doors and ceiling beams to help you be as inconspicuous as possible and hide for hours until you get your shot!
A young girl wanted to meet the Osmonds so much that she decided to hide backstage. Wait, did you think we meant backstage where she could have had the chance to meet the Osmonds? Haha, nope. Actually, she really hid where the drum set stood and when the drummer was doing a solo, she sprung up and wrapped her arms around his legs.
Jimmy and Michael Were Good Friends
When you are a child performer, you don't get to have a typical childhood. That means you don't go to a regular school so you have to work a little harder to make friends. Jimmy Osmond and Michael Jackson, thankfully, found each other.
Jimmy was actually good friends with Michael just like his brother Donny. Although the two families performed a lot together, they hung out a lot too. It was due to this friendship, many songs written for one family might have traded hands to the other. Both families would watch the other's performance in order to get tips.
Nowadays, every person can be as eclectic as they want with their musical taste and have a playlist ready to be shown off at the drop of a hat. In the 70s, however, things were a little different, and curating a playlist or being exposed to new influences was a lot harder.
Some people think that it may have been difficult for artists like the Osmonds to have musical influences because of how close-knit they all were and how they didn’t have CDs or MP3s back then. The way they did it was by soaking up and appreciating all the music they heard on the numerous variety shows they went on. They paid attention to all genres and incorporated them all into their act.
Trying to Sing Opera
Opera and pop music rarely share the same fanbase. However, for a brief period in 2010, they overlapped! Jimmy Osmond, the youngest of the original nine children, was on a British reality television show called "Popstar to Operastar," a program where they make known pop singers sing opera songs.
The challenging competition had Jimmy eliminated third but he was a good sport about it. He stated that it was one of the most challenging things he has ever done, but also that he absolutely loved it. He sang the same way since he was three years old and said it was awesome to hear his voice in a different way.
Is There an Osmond Family Curse?
Trying to maintain a stable human life can be taxing enough even when you're not required to be entertaining 24/7 and are constantly being examined by the media. Marie knows that all too well. Often credited with the most difficult life, she and some of her family members had to go through a fair share of hardships there's a rumor they are cursed.
This was further demonstrated when Marie's adopted son Michael took his own life in 2010. He was struggling with his mental health and with some substance abuse issues. She almost did the same as her son in 2006. Rumors swirl about an Osmond family curse and whether it has been passed down to the next generation after having such difficult childhoods themselves.
The Family Tree
Branches of the Osmond family tree can be traced back to the early 1100s Osmond and the family are very proud of their family tree. In fact, they have published an entire website — The Osmond Family Organization — dedicated to their family history.
The majority of the Osmond family tree originated in the United Kingdom. In fact, Donny Osmond calls the UK his second home. BBC ONE Wales premiered a two-part special called "Donny Osmond Coming Home" where local genealogists traced his Merthyr Tydfil ancestors and Welsh roots clear back to 1585. He and his brothers also performed for the Queen of England at the Royal Variety Performance in 2003.
The Formula of Success
Throughout their years of making music together, the Osmonds have had a lot of opportunities to look into each other's strengths and weaknesses and know what each of them was best at. That kind of research helped them stay on top of their game and play to each other's strengths.
This is how they came to the formula that helped them create light R&B hits like "Yo-Yo" and "Double Lovin." The formula included lead vocals by Merrill and a chorus or hooks sung by Donny. How good was the formula? Well, good enough to place "Yo-Yo" at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Making a Statement
Throughout their career, the Osmonds had various chances to sing about pretty much whatever they liked. However, the album "Crazy Horses" was the first time they sang a real personal statement. When asked about the title song, the brothers said that it talks about cars polluting the air. This is why the musical arrangement has harder rock elements, so it sounds rougher and angrier.
All the songs in the album were written and played by the brothers. Interestingly, in this album, Donny contributed more to the instrumental side rather than the vocal one. Once his voice fully transitioned from soprano to baritone, he was back to vocals.
Diversity Is the Name of the Game
Creating so many hits, shows, and different pieces of entertainment means an artist needs to be constantly changing, evolving, and open to new experiments. The Osmonds were definitely that kind of bunch. With so many years of career and so many family members weighing in and bringing new things to the table, the Osmonds were able to touch multiple genres, such as easy listening, rock, and of course, bubblegum pop.
This is how "We Can Make It Together" (easy listening) and "Crazy Horses" (rock) came out around the same, with completely different sounds and musical arrangements, catering to different tastes.
There was nothing ordinary about the way that the nine Osmond siblings grew up. Let's start with the fact that there are nine of them. That, in and of itself, is out of the ordinary. Then there is the fact that they worked together as performing artists for as long as they can remember.
But these are all things you already know. What you don't know is that they all had time for some extra-curricular stuff, and that stuff was karate! All nine siblings trained in karate under the capable hands of none other than revered martial artist Chuck Norris!
Debuting at the Age of Six
What did you do for your sixth birthday? Wait, don't say it yet, let us guess. Was it a trip to the zoo? Was it a house party with your friends? Was there cake? We're sure there was cake. These things are fairly simple at this age — there's family, friends, and sweets. You don't need much more.
We'll tell you what you didn't do, though — you didn't debut your career in entertainment, that much we know. Well, not everyone can be Donny Osmond. Little Donny had his first television performance just one day after he turned six on "The Andy Williams Show."
Donny and Marie Osmond are very close in age. To be exact, they are twenty-two months apart. That's a little under two years. So no, they are not twins, but it seems like they are not far from it either.
In fact, you know how they say that twins sometimes have some sort of psychic connection? How they can feel each other's pain or know what they are thinking about? Well, Marie and Donny are a little like that. Donny was once quoted saying that the two can finish each other's sentences. And that they usually know what is going through in each others' minds.
You Win Some You Lose Some
The universe has a way of balancing itself out. You'll get a coupon for free French fries in the morning and a leak in your bathtub in the afternoon. That's just the way things go. Yes, even for celebrities. Donny Osmond would be happy to tell you all about it. His example would be one day in the summer of 2011.
On that day, he received the honor of winning an international radio award, which definitely tipped the scale in the "this is a great day" direction. However, the pendulum was quick to swing the other way and on that same day, he nearly broke his sister Marie's foot by mistake as he stepped on it during a show.
Mostly celebrated for his musical talent, Merrill Osmond's achievements in other fields are often unknown or pushed aside. So, let's right that wrong now, shall we? Other than songs, the man has also published and produced dozens of scripts and teleplays (more than 90!).
Then there is the fact that he was one of the executive producers of the "Donny & Marie Show" on NBC between the years 1976 and 1979. And that wasn't the only show he executive produced — there was also "The Osmond Family Christmas Special," "The Roy Clark Special," and "The Making of an Inaugural for Ronald Reagan" among many others.
Jay With a Jig
Merrill wasn't the only sibling involved behind the scenes of the "The Donny & Marie Show." In 1976, Jay Osmond co-produced the show as well as served as the musical director on it. In addition, he was also the choreographer of Donny and Marie's dance routines. Choreography was something he did quite often for his siblings' performances both on stage and on TV.
As the youngest of the OG Osmond Brothers, he's had many years to hone his craft, having started his first step in entertainment with his brothers when he was just 2.5 years old! At 8 years old, he learned to play the drums, and during the band's 70s heyday, he became one of the Top 10 drummers in the country.
With her faith and with her image, Marie is the perfect "good girl." So, when looking for someone to cast for the part of the ultimate good girl, Sandy from "Grease" in 1978, it is no surprise that they came knocking on Marie's door.
The thing is, Sandy's story is one that turns her from a good girl to a "bad" one, which is simply not Marie's style. She turned down the role for "moral grounds", leaving the part open for Olivia Newton-John. Not that we're questioning Marie's abilities to slay that role, of course, but we simply can't picture the movie with anyone other than Olivia!
Money Making Marie
In addition to being a top-notch entertainer, Marie is a savvy businesswoman too. Anyone who has heard of her "Fine Porcelain Collector Dolls" knows all about it. This line of collectible dolls was first launched in 1991, at Disney theme parks and on QVC. It quickly became a sensation, turning into the top-selling doll line on QVC and earning a nomination for Trendsetter of the Year in the Collectibles Industry.
A hands-on woman, two years after the launch, Marie started sculpting some of her own dolls herself! The doll line was nominated for the Dolls of Excellence Award three times at the 1997 International Toy Fair. In 1998, QVC sold her 1,000,000th doll.
In addition to being a singer, a dancer, and an all-round entertainer, Marie Osmond is also a published author, and a prolific one as well! She currently has three books to her name, all of which became New York Times bestsellers, of course.
The first is "Behind the Smile," which was released in 2001 and deals with her post-natal experiences. The second is "Might As Well Laugh About It Now," which was released in 2009. Co-authored with Marcia Wilkie, the book focuses on the major key points in Osmond's life. And finally, there is "The Key Is Love," which was released in 2013, also co-authored by Wilkie, and focuses on her mother's values.
Hey Soul Sister
Out of the nine Osmond siblings, Marie is the only girl. Sounds statistically unreasonable but it's true nonetheless. Turns out you can be an only child even if you have eight brothers. This kind of experience has its upside (no one will dare to think about messing with you) and its downsides (no one to share clothes or gossip about boys with).
So while all her brothers had each other, Marie never had a sister. What she did have was Donny, who was arguably the closest thing to a sister she could get. In her words, "I never had a sister growing up. Donny was the closest thing."
Does anyone remember the humungous Cartoon Network hit "Johnny Bravo"? Obviously! A huge cartoon dude with an Elvis complex? How could anyone forget? Anyway, dear Donny Osmond was featured on the show as himself, or rather, a cartoonish version of himself. It is a cartoon after all.
In this special Christmas episode of the show, Donny's character helps Johnny and his friend, little Susie, to find Santa at the North Pole after Johnny forgot to deliver his family's Christmas letters to the big bearded man. In a true Osmond fashion, the episode is almost too wholesome to handle, which makes it hysterically funny.
The One With Donny Osmond
During its years on the air, the hit sitcom "Friends" has seen many Hollywood superstars come and go for cameos. Some were there for a blink (we're looking at you, baby Dakota Fanning) and some stayed for a couple of episodes or more (did anybody say Reese Witherspoon?).
In season 10, episode 11, we were blessed with a cameo of Donny Osmond on the show! Donny played the host of a gameshow called "Pyramid" in which Joey participated. Interestingly, he wasn't the only celebrity guest in the episode and had to share that title with Danny DeVito, who played a middle-aged, not-very-successful stripper, who was booked last minute for Phoebe's bachelorette party.
Donny the Nerd
Knowing how to laugh at yourself is probably one of the best qualities in a person. When you can make fun of yourself, no one can make fun of you, which means you win that game before it has even been played! Donny knows a thing or two about that.
With the wholesome nature of him and his family, the man is well aware of the fact that some people might find him nerdy, but that doesn't seem to bother him one bit. In fact, he even had a cameo in the music video for Weird Al Yankovic's parody song, "White & Nerdy".
After She's Gone
Marie Osmond has amassed quite a fortune in her lifetime, thanks to hard work and dedication. She has also built a big family with eight children. Quite a self-made woman! Well, this self-made woman would like to pass the values that she believes on to her family.
This is why she stated in 2020 that after her passing, she would like her fortune to be donated to charity rather than have it passed down to her children. In her opinion, leaving them all of this money would be a disservice to them since a person needs to make their own money.
Down the Aisle, and Then up and Down Again
Marie Osmond has had her period of dating, during which she got to date some high-profile dudes like Erik Estrada and Andy Gibb. Her first marriage was to the relatively anonymous Stephen Lyle Craig, with whom she had one child. The two divorced three years later but their love story was far from being over.
Marie's second husband was Brian Blosil, with whom she shares two kids. They were married from 1986 to 2007, and this is where things get interesting. After the two ended things, Marie got back together with her old flame Stephen! They got married once again in 2011 and Marie surprised everyone when she wore her very first dress from the 80s to that second ceremony.