You might remember that she's a little bit country and her brother Donny was little bit rock 'n' roll from their 1970s television variety show "Donny & Marie." Today, Marie Osmond is temporarily putting aside song and dance for the talk-show set.
She flies to Los Angeles to do the talk show after every performance of "Donny & Marie," the live Las Vegas show at the Flamingo Hotel. In her spare time, she has authored several books and co-founded the Children's Miracle Network. She is the mother of eight children, five adopted.
Her personal life has seen its share of ups and downs with three marriages (twice to the same man), postpartum depression, weight struggles and, in 2010, the suicide of her son Michael, who had suffered from depression. Her new talk show "Marie!" is on the Hallmark Channel on weekdays at noon (EDT).
Excerpts from an interview:
Q: Do you think being a celebrity will help you when you are interviewing celebrities?
A: I've been performing now for five decades, which is crazy. But I think that it's fun because I can relate pretty much on any level. I've sat in that other seat for so many years, I think I know how to help them (guests) be comfortable. Seriously, I can relate to just about anything.
Q: Do you think being open about your weight struggles, divorce and postpartum depression increased your popularity, particularly with women of a certain age?
A: It's interesting. When I did "Dancing With the Stars," I got literally thousands of emails from people saying, "We relate to you. I've been divorced. I'm raising kids on my own." Or, "You've had money. You've lost money."
Some of the best advice I ever got was from my friends. Women are so strong and knowledgeable. You know, instead of competing with each other, I would love to complete each other. Take away that wall of competition and say, "Hey, let's just all get together and help each other be brilliant." I don't know if that is what people find interesting in my life. I know that I find other people's lives interesting. I don't claim to know everything. I claim to be a seeker of knowledge. It's why I'm excited about this show.
Q: You did that famous interview on "Oprah" about losing your son Michael. It was a raw time in your life. Do you ever have second thoughts about that, and why was it important to you to do that?
A: I hadn't really spoken about it, and we were going out on a Christmas tour. I wanted to answer the questions and kind of make it be done. So that every interview I did, every place we went, I wouldn't be hit again and again and again. People wanted to know certain things. It's tough. I'll tell you, it is a lousy club to belong to.
I always thought I had great empathy, but I will tell you it is one of those things you just don't understand until you go through it. It's really hard, and it never gets easy. I learned that from someone who came through one of our meet-and-greets after the show. She put her arms around me and said, "I lost my son." I said, "Does it ever get easier?" She said, "No."
Q: You have had some terrible times and real stress in your life. You have said a good laugh helps relieve some stress, but when it's serious stuff like divorce or other things ...
A: And things called alimony, which is all my money! Those kinds of things. (Laughs)
Q: So other than laughing, what else do you lean on?
A: I'm a woman of great faith. I just know that God is there for us. He doesn't always answer our prayers easily, and this life was never meant to be easy.
I mean, I look in the audience every night and I know there isn't one person out there who hasn't been through something challenging. It's how we go through it.
Q: That is going to be your advantage on your talk show. They will relate to you for all the reasons we said.
A: I hope they feel that way. My dad was an interesting man. I'm his only daughter and I have eight brothers. We went to Australia, Sweden, Japan -- you name it -- and all over the United States. One of the things that my father did is, he loved to listen. He loved people. You could find him sitting in a cab talking to a driver or backstage with crew guys talking about their hobbies or whatever it was. He was curious about other people. I know I inherited that quality. I think people are fascinating. I don't care what they do. It's their passion, their life. So I hope that is what people see in this show. We will find the passion in everybody.
Some of the people I have on, others say, "Well, they aren't celebrity guests." I say, "Are you kidding me? They are interesting people." Sometimes it's just the real people who have the most interesting information which can teach us and help us get through life.
Q: You have said in past interviews that your safe place was on stage. Was there ever a time that was not the case?
A: I might have said that on "Oprah." That was in connection to the fact that I was afraid I would never get on stage again because I was so devastated after my son's death. I made a calculated decision to go back to work quickly, so that I could be strong for my children. I was afraid I would crumble. A lot of people were like "Why did you go back to work so early?" It was for strength.
The one thing about the stage is that you can control it. Life is not controllable, but I can control that hour-and-a-half, two hours, whatever that time is I am on stage. It became a safe place for me.
My safe place, my safe, safe place is at home.
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