The singing group The Osmonds were popular in the 1960s. The two stand-outs were, of course, Donny and Marie, who hosted a variety show in the 1970s before launching solo careers. Today, they are one of the top acts in Las Vegas.
Most people know that the family is extremely talented and affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. But there are many behind-the-scenes stories about the Osmonds that you may not know, including tales of mental and physical abuse, health problems, and financial ruin.
Marie Was Just 15 When She Felt The Pressure To Be Skinny
Marie was not part of her brothers’ singing group, but when she was 15 years old she was asked to join her brother Donny on a TV program. She later recalled this was when she began feeling the pressure to be thin. She revealed: “I had producers take me out into the parking lot when I was 103 pounds and tell me that I was obese, disgusting and a disgrace to my family.”
While starring on the successful Donny & Marie show, she was reportedly threatened to sustain a weight of 97 pounds or the program would be canceled.
The Family Lost Millions Of Dollars
While the Osmonds were hugely successful, they didn’t always have the best insight – or advice – when it came to managing their money. During a 1999 interview with MarketWatch, Osmond recalled “losing quite a bit of money” over the course of his career because he and his family “trusted the wrong people.”
While his father made good investments, the money grew too fast for them to successfully manage it all. When asked how much the family lost, Donny replied, “It was in the millions – millions of dollars. And it all could have worked had there been a better business plan.” Marie told Forbes in 2017, “I believe it was around $100 million dollars.”
Marie Was Abused When She Was A Young Girl
While Marie always appeared to be happy and put together while performing, she had some painful memories inside that she eventually opened up about publicly. She revealed in her book Behind the Smile that she was abused as a young girl and through her teens. Marie did not name her abuser, but she did say that the person was not a member of her family or a friend.
She explained in her memoir, “During my childhood and teen years, I was abused. It ranged from invasions of privacy to having my personal property stolen, and, most damaging, to being sexually abused.”
The Osmonds’ First Two Children Were Deaf & Mom And Dad Were Told To Stop Having Kids
George Virl Osmond, Sr. and Olive Osmond had nine children: Virl, Tom, Alan, Wayne, Merrill, Jay, Donny, Marie, and Jimmy. Their first two sons, Virl and Tom, were each born with a hearing impairment. During an interview with Ability magazine, Marie commented, “God does interesting things to you. My parents’ first two children were born deaf, and the next four have perfect pitch.”
George and Olive were told not to have more kids, but luckily they did. Alan, Wayne, Merrill, and Jay started off as a barbershop quartet. Donny and Jimmy later joined the group, and they became The Osmonds. Marie launched a solo career in 1973.
The Worst Moment Of Marie’s Life Was When Her Son Took His Own Life
In 2010, Marie’s son Michael Blosil took his own life. Eight months after the incident, she did an interview with Oprah Winfrey to talk about the difficulties in moving on with her loss. “Your life changes,” she said. “Some things are so in stone, and other things are like a wave that comes in and out of your life. I’ve been through some tough things in my life, Oprah. This is probably the hardest thing.”
While Michael had previously struggled with drug abuse, it was not a factor in his death. “My son was clean when he jumped,” she said. “There were no drugs in his system, but I believe the ramifications were there.”
Donny Has Social Anxiety Disorder
Donny may seem like he’s got everything under control when he performs, but he struggles with social anxiety disorder. He was diagnosed in the 1990s. He told 48 Hours: “There are times I remember before I walked on stage where if I had the choice of walking on stage or dying, I would have chosen death.”
His anxiety began when he was a child star and just 11-years-old. “Ever since I started in the business, I knew at least somebody in that audience is looking at me all the time,” he said. “So I’ve got to be perfect.”
Marie Remarried Her First Husband & Wore The Same Wedding Dress The Second Time Around
Marie married Stephen Lyle Craig on June 26, 1982. They had a son, Stephen James Craig, on April 20, 1983. The couple divorced in October 1985. The following year, Marie married Brian Blosil. The couple had two biological children and adopted five more. They divorced in 2007.
In 2011, Osmond remarried her first husband and wore her dress from the 1982 wedding. She later said of their relationship: “Who would have thought 28 years later and we’d be back together? It’s wonderful, it’s nice to be happy. The last marriage I had for 20 years was not a happy one. It’s nice to have peace in your life.”
The Family Was Close Friends With Elvis Presley
The Osmonds were very friendly with several celebrities, including The King himself. Donny explained during a 2017 interview with The Guardian: “Overall, my dad was my mentor in life, but musically, it was people like Stevie Wonder and Andy Williams. When I was nine, we opened for Nancy Sinatra, and Frank Sinatra came to the rehearsal and then to the opening night to hear me sing.”
“Elvis Presley was a friend of the family. What I might have missed out on in terms of a ‘normal’ childhood and schooling experiences was more than made up for by these extraordinary musical moments.”
Rachael’s Wedding May Have Caused a Rift Between Her and Marie
Marie Osmonds’s daughter Rachael tied the knot with now-husband Gabriel Krueger on Christmas Day in 2012. The two said ‘I do’ in an intimate ceremony in Park City, Utah, surrounded only by their closest family members and friends.
The adorable couple raised some eyebrows, considering they wed just 10 days after Gabriel proposed. According to a source close to the family, the duo allegedly couldn’t wait to get hitched so they could consummate their marriage. According to the same source, this caused a rift between Marie and Rachael since her mother wanted to wait until November so she could have a proper ceremony in a Mormon temple.
But “Dirty Old Men” Like Groucho Marx Were On Marie’s Dislike List
Numerous celebrities appeared as guest stars on the Donny & Marie show, including Desi Arnaz, Chuck Berry, Lucille Ball, Charo, Billy Crystal, Ron Howard, Bob Hope, Evel Knievel, Barry Manilow, and Dick Van Dyke. But Marie didn’t like every famous guest she shared the stage with.
She once recalled meeting comedian and TV star Groucho Marx, who was in his 80’s when he appeared on the program. Marie was not comfortable after Marx pinched her. She referred to him as a “dirty old man.” Marie was just a teenager when she hosted the show, so you can imagine how that made her feel.
Donny’s Father Warned Him His Career Would End If He Married Debbie Glenn
Donny was a teen idol, and his father feared that if he got into a serious relationship, it would mark the end of his career. Still, Donnie secretly started dating a girl named Debbie Glenn. He was smitten and married her at age 20. His dad warned him, “Well, there goes your career, but this is ushering in your personal life.”
The two wound up having five children — all sons. “If I hadn’t married her, I’d have been a mess. Now I had someone who understood me and with whom I could build a future together,” he told The Guardian in 2017. The couple has been married 40 years.
Marie Battled Postpartum Depression
Marie has eight children, and she has experienced issues such as postpartum depression. She told Ability magazine in an interview: “My body had basically shut down and decided it was going to die – and I’m a tough broad. You know, you don’t work 30-something years in this business without knowing how to push yourself. So, I just kept pushing myself and pushing myself.”
She has been very vocal about helping other moms deal with the problem: “This is a physical thing that is fixable. I know, I’m a survivor. Believe me, there was no way I thought I could survive. There are answers out there that need to be found.”
Lucille Ball Gave Marie Valuable Advice
Marie is the only female in a family with eight brothers. Some of the best advice she ever got was from Lucille Ball. Marie was 16 when she appeared on Lucy’s show.
“She was a tough lady,” Marie told the Las Vegas Sun in 2009. “She waved me over and she said, ‘So. You learned a few things in the makeup room, huh? You wanna learn a few more?’ And I thought ‘Oh wow, I’m dead.’ But she goes, ‘OK. You’re worth my time. You’ll be in the business a while. Let me teach you a few things.’ She taught me about lighting, for one thing.”
Donny Is A Self-Described “Nerd” With Some Savvy Technical Skills
In addition to being a singer, actor, and all-around entertainer, Donny also has some other skills up his sleeve. He’s referred to himself as a “total nerd” and is a Mac geek. In addition to performing at the Flamingo in Las Vegas, Donny was also responsible for some of the behind-the-scenes action.
Donny created the secret video control room backstage. He also set up the audio and computer systems that help the show run smoothly. Using family videos and photos, Donny also created the video montage that was part of the performance. “It’s my little world in here,” he told the Las Vegas Sun in 2009.
Donny Was The Oldest Contestant To Win Dancing With The Stars (& He Beat Marie)
Marie appeared on Dancing With The Stars in 2007 and came in third place. When Donny competed in 2009, he paired up with Kym Johnson and was praised for his dancing skills. A wardrobe malfunction nearly prevented him from competing in the finals, but he and Kym easily earned a spot.
When he was awarded the coveted Mirror Ball trophy, Donny was thrilled, particularly since he bested his sibling. “I beat Marie!” Donny said during an interview on Good Morning America. “I am really proud of this. I am the oldest recipient of the Mirror Ball Trophy.” He was 52 at the time.
Donny & Marie Worked 20-Hour Days While Filming Their Variety Show
Donny and Marie launched their variety show in 1976. Donny was already popular after performing with his brothers in The Osmonds, and Marie was one of the youngest singers to hit number one on the music charts with “Paper Roses” in 1973. When they launched the Donny & Marie show, it was really hard work.
The siblings typically worked 20-hour days and were tasked with learning new songs and dances every week. They also had to learn a new script each week. At the time, the 18 and 16-year-old stars were the youngest entertainers to host a variety show.
Marie Lost Nearly 50 Pounds After DWTS & Performing In Las Vegas
Marie, who has eight children, started gaining weight after giving birth to her last son. She went back to work full time and ate food to stay energetic. She went from a size 2-4 to a 12-14. At her heaviest, she weighed around 165 pounds. Her stint on Dancing With the Stars and performing in Las Vegas with Donny helped her drop the pounds.
Marie lost between 45 and 47 pounds. “I had to be healthy. Heart disease runs in my family,” she said in an interview. Her mother and grandmother died of heart disease, and Marie wants to make sure she stays healthy for her children.
Donny Allowed His 14-Year-Old Children To Get Credit Cards
After making his own mistakes with money, Donny decided to teach his children at a young age how to manage their finances. He gave both Jeremy and Don credit cards when they were just 14 years old. He told MarketWatch: “You only give them a couple of hundred dollars’ credit line, but you don’t bail them out. If they have to pay minimum, then that’s what they have to do.”
Donny also made sure they had checking accounts where they deposited their allowances. “They have to work for their money — household chores, things like that. Then they can go out and raise their own money if they want,” he explained.
Marie Has Raised Billions Of Dollars For Charity
In 1983, Marie founded the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals with actor John Schneider, Mick Shannon, and Joe Lake. CMN works to save and improve the lives of children. Since its inception, CMN has raised billions of dollars for 170 hospitals in North America.
Marie explained in 2018: “This is our 35th year. We started it since there are so many causes that need to be treated. At the Children’s Hospital, they treated everything, and they lack funding. These hospitals really need the communities’ support. That’s what we do. Today, we are almost $6.5 billion, and all of the money benefits the children and that’s very neat.”
Donny & Jimmy Osmond Settled A 25-Year-Old Bet With A Car
Donny and his brother Jimmy had a bet that lasted over 25 years. When they were younger, they played Yahtzee together. It got so competitive, they decided that whoever lost had to buy the winner a car. After 25 years, and an end goal of 300,000 points, Donny won (by a mere 20 points).
However, the car wasn’t exactly what Donny expected. “He dropped it off in front of my house and I was so embarrassed,” Donny told Ability magazine. “I had my kids spray paint it.” When Jimmy was a guest on his show, Donny gave him the same car as a birthday present.
The Poster Advertising Donny & Marie’s Las Vegas Show Is Ginormous
Donny and Marie have been performing at the Flamingo in Las Vegas for several years. Donny is referred to as “Uncle Donny” by many in his inner circle, but sometimes he wants those close to him to remember that he’s a pretty big star. When friends or people that he worked with visit Las Vegas, he’s quick to point out the marketing ads for his and Marie’s act.
At one point Donny would take visitors to the Bellagio bridge to look at the enormous Donny and Marie ad that is projected on the casino. Donny’s eye alone is 6 feet tall and 10 feet wide.
Don’t Spell Donny’s Name Wrong
Let it be known that Donny’s name is spelled using a “y” and definitely not with “ie”. While most people might not think twice about someone spelling their name wrong, that was certainly not the case for Donny Osmond.
Apparently, he would become infuriated when people would mess up his name, so much in fact that his crew at the Flamingo would do it on purpose and put “Donnie” on his door just to get a rise out of him.
Donny Loves Dancing On Tables
It’s clear that Donny is a natural performer, it’s what he does best. He’s been known for giving every performance his all, even if that means getting up on the audience’s tables and dancing for them.
In an interview, Marie Osmond admitted that her brother did get carried away sometimes. She also warned the public to “Hold onto your beverage.” It sounds like Donny doesn’t have any problems spilling people’s drinks or knocking them off of the table entirely.
A Day In The Life
A day in the life of Donny is anything but leisurely. Apparently, he wakes up at 6 am in order to drive his son to the airport after going to bed at 12 am. Then, he takes a call with his business manager and tries to get in another hour of sleep.
After his nap, he wakes up and goes in to record for his Disney cartoon show. After that, he works out before his show with Marie in the evening. When he’s touring, his schedule is slightly different, although it’s still extremely busy.
Donny And Marie Broke Up For An Extended Period Of Time
While the brother and sister musical duo may have seemed incredibly solid as an act together, they parted ways in the early 80s. They did this so that they could both pursue their own individual careers. This was heartbreaking for the fans of the siblings, yet, it wouldn’t last forever.
They ended up coming back together for shows in Las Vegas. Donny notes that “We always knew that we’d come back together again, and when I saw this room at the Flamingo, with the booths, I called Marie and said, ‘This is it.'”
They’re Not Together All Of The Tome
Although the two might appear to be inseparable, with their dressing rooms directly next to one another, it turns out that the two don’t spend all that much time together. Besides sharing the same stage, they don’t see much of each other.
Donny explained saying “Last week I went over to her house in Green Valley and hung out for a little while,” Donny explained. “It’s beautiful. But when I have time off, and I’m not doing anything, I’d rather go home and see my wife and kids.”
Donny Has An Interesting Habit
While we all have our weird habits and quirks, Donny is no exception. Apparently, he loves to lick salt. He’s done it for most of his life and it doesn’t look like he plans on slowing down anytime soon.
According to Marie, “Donny licks the salt off of pretzels before he eats them.” Apparently, there’s no particular reason that he does it, and he doesn’t even realize that he’s doing it half the time. But we can’t blame him, who doesn’t love salt?
Donny And Marie Have An Impressive Record Collection
It’s clear that Donny and Marie have had an impressive music career, and they have the records to prove it. Four of the pair’s records received a gold certification for their albums such as I’m Leaving it All Up To You.
They also had two singles on different albums that reached the No. 1 spot on the charts. Songs from their television show, which they made into an album also went gold. However, although they still perform together, they haven’t released an album since 2011.
Marie Has Always Had A Taste For Fashion
Becoming so popular at such a young age provided Marie and Donny with more money than a young person needs. Marie decided to use hers to support a rather lavish lifestyle.
If she wasn’t on stage performing, she was most likely shopping, or strutting around in one of her many very expensive designer outfits. She had a Louis Vuitton obsession, as she was always seen carrying one of their luxury handbags. Wherever, Marie was going, she was going there in style.
Even though his father advised him against it, Donny married Debra Glenn when he was just 20 years old. Despite his father’s warnings, their marriage worked out great and they started a loving and rather large family.
Together, the couple have five sons, Donald Clark Osmond, Jr., Jeremy James Osmond, Brandon Michael Osmond, Christopher Glenn Osmond, and Joshua Davis Osmond. The family is known to do everything whether it’s vacationing, helping charities, or going to church. Although Donny has a busy schedule, he tries to always make time for his family.
Donny Dabbled In Broadway Musicals
Donny went on to show that there isn’t any kind of performance that he can’t handle. He proved this after a successful streak while performing on Broadway. During his time doing theatre, he was in three productions and was the title character in the shows Little Johnny Jones, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat.
He also played the main villain, Gaston, in the play The Beauty and the Beast. While Donny may not seem like much of a villain, he supposedly nailed the part.
He Has Some Major Fans
Sanjeev Bhaskar, the star of the sitcom The Kumars at No. 42, admitted that he jokingly told his wife that she could leave him in order to marry Donny. Apparently, she had been a fan for years, and even had a plan to marry him when she was just 12 and would even convert to Mormonism.
So, when Donny appeared on The Kumars at No. 42, she freaked out and Bhaskar said “If if you want to go off with him, it’s not a problem.” Although we know Donny would never mess with another man’s wife.
Taking His Voice To The Television And Big Screen
Donny’s voice became iconic over the years, so it’s not surprising that people eventually began offering him opportunities to work on television shows and movies.
His most memorable roles include 1972’s 1972’s Rankin-Bass Saturday morning series The Osmonds and in Hanna-Barbera’s 1997 cartoon Johnny Bravo, which went on to be a massive hit on Cartoon Network. Furthermore, he was the voice that sang “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” in Disney’s hit animated film Mulan.
Jimmy Osmond Had A Successful Career Of His Own
As the youngest member of The Osmonds, he remains as the youngest performer to have a No.1 single on the United Kingdom singles chart. The song was his 1972 hit “Long Haired Lover of Liverpool” which was released when Jimmy was just nine years old.
However, the fame didn’t come all that easy for Jimmy to handle at such an age. He says “The home I grew up in was a string of hotel rooms across the world. I don’t remember my first home, which was somewhere in Los Angeles.”
Donny Was Faced With Temptation Everywhere He Turned
As a young star, Donny was tempted with many of the things he was forbidden to partake in as a devout Mormon. Whether it was drinking, smoking, gambling, he resisted his urges to even try it. When it came to girls, he could have any girl he wanted, yet he had to resist them to because of his religious beliefs.
He admits that he’s glad that he never gave in because he says he’s one of the few from his time that’s still going strong. As a young man, even Prince and Michael Jackson looked up to him for his clean lifestyle.
He Prioritizes His Life With God And Family
People always ask Donny how he’s remained so successful and vibrant throughout the years. He claims that “It all boils down to keeping God first, then family. It’s a formula that has helped us through a lot of things […] A lot of people think I was naive, but you’re not naive growing up in this business. I grew up fast.”
Even his family agrees that their connection and relationship with God is the most important aspect of their family. The Osmond clan can frequently be seen attending church together.
Marie’s Early Fame Greatly Affected Her Life
While the fame might have seemed like a dream when she was so young, it would turn out to have a great impact on her overall life. She certainly has experienced some ups and downs in her years, but now she’s at peace with the direction in her life.
She stated that “I didn’t have a childhood because I had a different kind of life. I didn’t have a normal dating life or friends, but I don’t know that anyone’s life is perfect.” However, today, things seem more normal.
Marie Is Obsessive Over The Lighting In Interviews
As we already know, Marie always likes to look her best, especially during public appearances. The interviews that she gives are no different. Donny revealed that before each interviews, she constantly has the lights adjusted and moved so that the lighting hits her face just perfect.
While some people may call her a diva for this quirk, she just wants to look good for everyone that sees her. She doesn’t need people telling her if she doesn’t look her best.
Jimmy Osmond Never Made Any Real Money From His Musical Successes
Apparently, nine-year-old Jimmy Osmond never saw any of the real benefits of being a hit performer. His solo track “Long Haired Lover From Liverpool” sold more than one million copies, yet he never saw a dime of the profit.
He commented, “Our business is not a fair business. Today it’s different, and artists do get those big royalty checks but we sold 100 million records, and the money we made on record sales is peanuts compared to what you would make selling your own merchandise at a concert or just getting a fee to perform.”
He’s Well Off Today
While Jimmy may not have seen much money when he was a little boy, throughout his career, he accumulated over $80 million from his live performances.
He says, “We played arenas all over the world and produced tons of movies. We always stayed true to what we were good at and performed, and we were always able to make enough money through live entertainment to be able to underwrite other ventures and still have enough for our families.” He seems to be okay that he missed out on some of the money when he was younger.
He Enjoyed Having Money
While he didn’t receive any money when he was nine. He still earned a lot when he was just a little bit older. When he started making all of this money, he also started spending a lot of it too.
He claims that at their peak, he was a big spender saying “I was so young when I had those kinds of dollars. I was really into cars, so I bought loads of those. And I bought my first house when I was 14, which was a bit wild. So yes, I’ve had those moments.”