Biography

As part of Utah's Osmond dynasty, it seems only natural that bright-eyed and black-haired Marie Osmond, the second youngest of nine children and the only girl, would join the family business and become an entertainer herself. She made her debut as a toddler on The Andy Williams Show where her older siblings performed in a weekly segment. Whereas her brothers all found success in pop music, Osmond was drawn to country & western from the age of six and at age 13 became a country & western singer herself with the chart-topping hit "Paper Roses." She toured with her brothers and then appeared on a Bob Hope television special and this led to numerous guest appearances on other shows. It was ABC programming president Fred Silverman who came up with the idea of teaming the still-teenaged Osmond with her older brother, Donny (himself a popular recording artist), to create The Donny and Marie Show in 1975. Beginning each week with Marie sweetly proclaiming, "I'm a little bit country," answered by Donny's "and I'm a little bit rock and roll," the toothy duo would host a series of comedy sketches and musical moments until 1979. The show was a number one hit and to cash in on their popularity the duo was starred in the awful Goin' Coconuts (1978). That same year, Osmond starred opposite Timothy Bottoms in The Gift of Love, the television adaptation of O. Henry's touching Christmas tale The Gift of the Magi. Other television movies included I Married Wyatt Earp (1983). In 1995, she attempted a television series with the sitcom Maybe This Time, co-starring Betty White, but it barely lasted a season. Though she has not had a hit record since the '80s, Osmond continues touring, bringing her four children with her. In addition to performing, she has made an exercise video for pregnant women, published a beauty book, designed a line of clothing patterns -- most notably designs -- and oversees the manufacturing of fine porcelain collector dolls which she hawks on shopping networks and Disney theme parks. Osmond was raised in a deeply religious Mormon family and though she is twice married, stays close to her faith. She is committed to helping children and in the '80s she and actor John Schneider founded the Children's Miracle Network, a charitable organization that helps children's hospitals around the world. As did many others of her generation, Marie Osmond achieved renewed fame via the "reality television" trend that began sweeping the airwaves in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In 2006, Osmond signed to appear as one of the judges on the FOX series Celebrity Duets, and the following year, ABC tapped her to perform as a celebrity participant on the fifth season of its blockbuster series Dancing with the Stars. On that program, Osmond danced opposite returning participant Jonathan Roberts. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi