If it seems as if Marie Osmond has been a part of the showbiz firmament forever, it’s because she kind of has. In fact, the Utah native was just 14 years old when her first single, “Paper Roses,” skyrocketed to No. 1 on Billboard‘s country music chart in 1973.

That auspicious teenage debut was just the beginning. She was still a teenager when she partnered with older brother Donny Osmond to host Donny & Marie, a hit TV variety show that ran from 1975 until 1979. As the years passed, Osmond displayed an uncanny gift for reinvention, ranging from performing onstage in Las Vegas to musical theater to her stint on CBS daytime talk show The Talk.

Yet, Marie Osmond’s life has not been without its tragic moments, including two divorces and the devastating loss of a child. Through it all, however, Osmond has continually demonstrated deep reserves of inner strength, overcoming whatever obstacles were placed in her path. Boasting a show business career spanning from the 1970s to the present, there’s much to learn about this multi-talented performer. Read on to discover the untold truth of Marie Osmond.

Marie Osmond comes from a famous showbiz family

Before the world heard of Marie Osmond, her siblings were already famous. As Salt Lake City’s Deseret News detailed, she was one of nine children — and the only girl. Her father, George, harnessed the musical talents of four of her brothers — Alan, Wayne, Merrill, and Jay — as a singing group. In 1962, The Osmond Brothers — who later called themselves The Osmonds — made their first television appearance on The Andy Williams Show and quickly became a sought-after act, making more TV appearances, recording albums, and touring the world. Younger brother Donny eventually joined the group, stealing the spotlight to become a teen idol. He also led his brothers in a more pop-friendly direction, culminating in their biggest hit, 1971’s “One Bad Apple,” which hit No. 1 on Billboard‘s Hot 100.

When ABC came calling with an offer for a TV variety show, it wasn’t for the brothers, but for Donny and Marie. As a duo, they quickly eclipsed their brothers’ fame. “My brothers are legendary,” said Marie, paying tribute to The Osmonds. “I have spent a lifetime studying and learning singing, but I promise you I have never heard anybody sing like my four original brothers.”

Marie Osmond's biggest success came when partnered with brother Donny

When Donny & Marie premiered in 1975, reported People, Marie Osmond and brother Donny Osmond were 16 and 18, respectively. As longtime fans will recall, each episode kicked off with a duet of their theme song, Marie declaring herself to be “a little bit country” while her brother was “a little bit rock ‘n’ roll.” When their ABC variety show ended in 1979, their musical partnership didn’t. Off and on, the siblings continued to perform as a duo for decades, culminating in a wildly successful Las Vegas act that ran for 11 years at the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel and Casino.

When the Vegas show ended its run in 2019, Marie memorialized their final performance at the Flamingo in a heartfelt Instagram post. “Well we made it over the finish line and I only limped a little!!” she wrote, captioning a video of herself and her brother taking their final bows. “Last night as ‘Donny and Marie’ we sang together again but this time was for the last time. I’m not losing him, we are, after all, still brother and sister and I’ll see him at Christmas.”

Body shaming as a teenage star left Marie Osmond with an eating disorder

In a 1977 cover story for People, Marie Osmond revealed her preference for wearing “black, slinky dresses” on her variety show. “They make me look thinner,” she declared, with the magazine noting that she stood five-foot-four and “[weighed] all of 95 pounds.”

That quote took on a more tragic undertone when she revealed, decades later, that she struggled with an eating disorder while she and brother Donny were at the height of their TV fame. “I would literally starve myself for three days before taping [Donny & Marie], drinking lemon water and cayenne pepper with maple syrup so I can be skinny,” she said in a 2019 interview with Fox News.

She blamed network executives for shattering her self-image after telling her that they would cancel the show if she didn’t lose ten pounds. Osmond revealed, “They said I was an embarrassment to my family and I needed to keep the food out of my fat face.”

Why Marie Osmond questioned her own sexuality

An eating disorder wasn’t the only secret from the past that Marie Osmond had been hiding. In her 2001 memoir, Behind the Smile, she revealed she was sexually abused as a child. This abuse, she revealed during a 2019 episode of The Talk, led her to question her sexuality.

“I share my life here, but when I was 8 or 9, I actually thought I was gay,” said Osmond on the show, as reported by People. Between her distaste for men, stemming from the sexual abuse she endured, and her constant comparison of her body to that of other girls because of her poor body image, she began questioning her sexuality.

Ultimately, she explained, it was the positive relationship she had with her father and brothers that helped her work through those feelings. “And truly, they changed my opinion on men,” she added, “which made me feel that it was something I was going through.”

Marie Osmond's biggest musical hit was a remake of a song made famous by a controversial singer

Marie Osmond was just 14 years old when she recorded her first single, “Paper Roses.” Released in 1973, the single became a huge hit for the teen singer, soaring to No. 1 on Billboard‘s country music chart. Not only was the track a success with country fans, it also became a crossover hit on pop radio, spending 23 weeks on the Top 200.

However, Osmond wasn’t the first singer to record the song. Anita Bryant originally released “Paper Roses,” where it peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart back in 1960 to become Bryant’s highest-charting hit.

A few years after the release of Osmond’s version, Bryant transformed from fading pop singer to anti-gay activist with the publication of her 1977 memoir The Anita Bryant Story: The Survival of Our Nation’s Families and the Threat of Militant Homosexuality. A longtime spokesperson for Florida Citrus, Bryant’s launch of the anti-gay organization Save Our Children — and her incendiary comments — led to a boycott on orange juice that ultimately ended her spokesperson gig. In the end, Bryant became more infamous than famous, cratering her entertainment career.

Marie Osmond stepped into an iconic Julie Andrews role onstage

In addition to music and television, Marie Osmond also unleashed her talents on the world of musical theater. In 1994, she took on the role of governess Maria in a touring production of The Sound of Music. Stepping into the shoes of the legendary Julie Andrews — who played Maria in the 1965 movie — inevitably invites comparisons to a performance considered to be iconic. However, a Variety review of one of Osmond’s Los Angeles performances was resoundingly positive, declaring the production had “enough spice to counteract the sugar.”

In 1997, Osmond made her Broadway debut when she joined a revival of The King and I. As Playbill reported, she was stepping in to replace Faith Prince, who had completed a nine-month run after she replaced Donna Murphy. After the show ended its Broadway run, Osmond remained onboard with the touring production, taking the show on the road. While Variety theater critic Dennis Harvey admitted that her previous turn in The Sound of Music “did not raise hopes,” he praised Osmond’s “wholly different, and wholly delightful, performance that’s matched by [the play’s] top-drawer surrounding production.”

Marie Osmond tried her hand at talk radio

After Donny & Marie, Marie Osmond’s subsequent forays into television weren’t nearly as successful. In 1980, she debuted her solo variety show, Marie, which only aired seven episodes before vanishing. In 1997, she reunited with brother Donny to revive Donny & Marie, this time bypassing networks and airing as a syndicated series. Following that show’s cancelation in 2000, she turned to a whole other medium.

In the summer of 2004, the Deseret News reported on Osmond’s new career as a talk-radio host with her own show, Marie & Friends. According to Osmond, she’d turned down Broadway roles and other jobs that would take her away from her home in Utah. The new radio show would allow her to keep working without traveling so she could be closer to her husband and eight children, who, at the time, ranged in age from 22 months to 21 years.

Speaking with the Los Angeles Times, she promised Howard Stern would not have to watch his back, as Marie & Friends was “safe” G-rated radio, “funny and clever and quick-witted without getting to the blue side.” The show was canceled in January 2005, less than a year after its debut.

The hilarious reason Marie Osmond passed on dating David Cassidy

Back in the height of her Donny & Marie fame in the late 1970s, teenage Marie Osmond was dating. As she recalled in an interview with People, being one of TV’s top teen stars had its perks — one of which was apparently having her pick of the hottest male teen idols of the era.

“I dated a log of people, and never really publicized it,” she told People. Among the celebrities she dated was Doobie Brothers singer Michael McDonald, described by Osmond as “probably the first person I had a crush on.” She also revealed she went out with late pop star Andy Gibb. “Love him,” she said.

Then there was David Cassidy of TV’s The Partridge Family. Since they were both successful singers with hit TV series, on paper they would appear to be a perfect match. “Everybody wanted to date David,” she explained, figuring she’d “check him out” when they wound up recording in the same studio facility. However, she ultimately decided against it. “I looked at him and said, ‘It’s not going to happen. His butt’s smaller than mine. Not going to do it,'” she quipped.

Marie Osmond's third marriage was to her first husband

Back in 1977, Marie Osmond was one of TV’s hottest stars thanks to the success of Donny & Marie. That year, the 18-year-old spoke with People about whether she envisioned marriage in her future. “I’m not in any rush, but by the time I’m 21 I’ll probably want to be getting serious,” she said. “Showbiz isn’t for eternity; marriage is.”

Her prediction held true. In 1982, at age 22, she and boyfriend Steve Craig tied the knot. Sadly, as the Chicago Tribune reported, she filed for divorce just three years later. A year later, in 1986, Osmond married Brian Blosil. That marriage lasted a lot longer, but came to an end in 2007, reported the Deseret News.

Marie Osmond married again, in 2011 — to the man she divorced in 1985. As People reported, she and first husband Steve Craig married again, more than a quarter-century after their split. In a subsequent interview with People, Osmond said she saw the hand of the Almighty in the way her life had played out. “Nothing is an accident,” she said of remarrying Craig. “I am a spiritual person. So [I believe] God has his timing.”

How collapsing on Dancing With the Stars led Marie Osmond to a 40-pound weight loss

In 2007, Marie Osmond joined Dancing With the Stars. Her tenure on the show wound up making unexpected headlines — not for her dancing, but when she collapsed right after a dance performance, a few weeks into the season. As People reported, Osmond appeared “visibly winded” as she crumpled, her dance partner Jonathan Roberts breaking her fall. “This happens sometimes when I get winded,” said the “visibly embarrassed” star after she recovered. “I’m so sorry.”

Her collapse ultimately brought about an epiphany. “Doing rehearsals, I was out of breath,” Osmond told People. Revealing that she’d packed on 40 pounds during the previous five years, she realized she needed to make a lifestyle change when her eldest son came to her and said, “Mom, it would really be nice if you were there for my kids.”

She signed on with Nutrisystem, becoming their spokesperson while embarking on the company’s weight-loss regime. By the time the Dancing With the Stars finale rolled around, People noted, she had lost 27 pounds and then, subsequently, lost 13 more.

Marie Osmond's stint on The Talk was a short one

Marie Osmond made a return to television in May 2019, with CBS announcing she’d be joining the daytime series The Talk when the show returned with a new season that September. Osmond declared she was “thrilled to now call this my day job … I cannot wait to share this exciting new chapter with the viewers and the CBS family.”

As replacement for departing co-host Sara Gilbert, Osmond’s tenure turned out to be surprisingly brief. In September 2020, after just a single season, she announced she was exiting the show, explaining via Instagram she wanted to spend more time with her family. “Marie is a consummate professional, and we thank her for sharing her personal experiences, insight, as well as incredible talents, with our audience,” network spokesperson Lisa Spalla said in a statement to USA Today. “We will miss her humor, kindness and good nature, and wish her much success in her future endeavors.”

However, Page Six reported that Osmond’s decision to leave the show wasn’t hers, citing a source who claimed co-hosts Sharon Osbourne and Sheryl Underwood gave the network an “ultimatum” to engineer her exit. A different “CBS insider,” though, claimed that never happened.

Marie Osmond denied tabloid reports of a suicide attempt

In August 2006, Marie Osmond was hospitalized, with Associated Press reporting that the National Enquirer ran a story alleging her hospitalization was the result of a failed suicide attempt. Osmond’s spokesperson, Amy Hawkes, issued a firm denial, claiming the singer “basically had an adverse reaction to some medication she was taking and she blacked out.” According to Hawkes, Osmond was “fine” and was “vacationing with her family.”

Osmond’s manager, Karl Engemann, likewise dismissed the Enquirer‘s claims. “We deal with those tabloids all the time,” said Engemann. “You get tired of responding. It’s like punching Jell-O.” Interestingly, Engemann didn’t exactly shut down the rumor mill when he wouldn’t reveal what medication she took that led her to black out.

Osmond herself never addressed the rumors. However, in a 2010 interview with Oprah Winfrey, she admitted to experiencing suicidal thoughts while in the grip of crippling postpartum depression. “When I had postpartum [depression], I remember vividly, driving that car and thinking … how people would be better off without me.” She said that her maturity quickly allowed her to push that thought back down. “It was my age that told me: ‘Marie, that’s crazy,'” she said.

Marie Osmond suffered a horrific family tragedy

In 2010, Marie Osmond confronted the biggest tragedy a mother can face when her son, Michael Blosil, took his own life. He was just 18. As People pointed out, Osmond’s son was a troubled teenager, entering rehab to undergo treatment for undisclosed issues when he was just 16. He had left a note, explaining he’d been suffering from severe depression and felt friendless. “My family and I are devastated and in deep shock by the tragic loss of our dear Michael and ask that everyone respect our privacy during this difficult time,” Osmond’s rep said in a statement to People.

According to CNN, a subsequent autopsy confirmed that the cause of death was “multiple blunt trauma” after he “jumped from height.” The coroner’s report found no traces of drugs or alcohol, with the toxicology report “completely negative.” Osmond opened up about the tragedy in a 2019 episode of The Talk, reported USA Today, revealing her son “was bullied very heavily right up until the time that he committed suicide.”

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

The reason Marie Osmond is leaving her children nothing in her will

Marie Osmond has been in show business for a lot of years, and she’s earned a few bucks along the way. Celebrity Net Worth, in fact, estimated that she’s worth $20 million. When she shuffles off this mortal coil, however, her children won’t be seeing a single dime.

“I’m not leaving any money to my children. Congratulations, kids,” Osmond said during a 2019 edition of The Talk, reported USA Today. As she explained, she believed that she would be doing “a great disservice” to her children if she were “to just hand them a fortune because you take away the one most important gift you can give your children, and that’s the ability to work.”

According to Osmond, she’d noticed that children in wealthy families who had everything handed to them and never had to work for anything had a tendency to “get in trouble,” a situation she wanted to avoid with her kids. So where will all those millions ultimately wind up? “I’m going to give mine to charity,” she declared.

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