She’s been famous almost from birth, but there has always been a down-to-earth, approachable quality about Marie Osmond. The performer, whose nearly six-decade-long career has encompassed music, television, film, live concerts, talk shows and more, credits her late mother, Olive, for keeping her humble.
“I remember being 17 years old and coming home from working an 18-hour day on Donny & Marie,” she exclusively recalls to Closer Weekly on newsstands now. “My mom said, ‘You haven’t done your chores.’ And I said, ‘Mom, we’re taping tomorrow. I have to look good. I’m like, Marie Osmond!’ And so she goes, ‘Oh really? Well, now you’re going to clean all the toilets as well as your chores. This is reality, get to work!’”
Marie, 61, has never stopped working and growing, both professionally and as a woman, wife, mother and grandmother. “It’s hard to change as you get older, but I think you should try to learn something about yourself every day,” she says. “It’s really important to try every day to be a better version of yourself.”
How has the last year treated you?
I think a real eye-opening, vision-clearing thing happened for all of us in the past year. We were forced to stay home and disconnect from distractions. We got to reconnect with what mattered most. It was a powerful thing. You know, any challenge in life can end up being a blessing if we let it.
So you weren’t upset to be at home?
For me, it was really kind of fun because it’s the first time I ever stayed home. I remarried my first husband [in 2011]. We were apart for 25 years, so we got to hang together and enjoy each other and see my children, which were all goals I had for 2020 anyway. I wanted to spend time and live my life the way I chose to, instead of doing five shows a week in Las Vegas.
What is different about your marriage to Steve the second time around?
I think the biggest difference is that you don’t let things bug you like you do when you’re young. You realize what really matters. He’s my best friend, and we have fun together. We can do nothing and have fun.
You’re a grandmother now. How many grandchildren do you have?
I have seven, and the eighth is on the way. We have been able to see them [during the pandemic]. They know to be careful. They’ll go into hibernation for 10 days or so to make sure that no one is sick and then we’ll go down to visit in our motor home. I put a foam mattress between my little grandsons’ beds, and I’ll sit and tell them stories. You don’t have to do a lot to have fun. You just need to spend time together.
Is that when you are happiest?
Yes, I’m the happiest with my family. I love my children, my grandchildren and my husband. I would also say that the next thing that makes me the happiest is helping other people. I do my own social media. I try every week to put something out there to bring people closer to faith and hope.
I love helping other people learn that you can choose to be happy.
Is that a lesson you’ve tried to pass down to your children and grandchildren?
Yes, but the hard things are part of life. Sometimes you have to sit back and let them figure it out. You’ve got to keep your mouth shut, love them unconditionally and let them figure it out.
You’re back as a Nutrisystem ambassador for the 14th year.
Yes, isn’t that crazy? But Nutrisystem changed my life. I couldn’t have done everything I’ve done without them. I never would have been able to accomplish the physicality of five shows a week in Vegas for 11 years with 50 extra pounds on my body. It would have been impossible. Before Nutrisystem, I couldn’t even walk up a flight of stairs carrying laundry without being winded.
It’s great that you’ve been able to keep those 50 pounds off.
Exactly! To me, it’s not about losing 50 pounds as much as it is about maintaining and keeping the weight off for 14 years. That’s an even bigger story because there are a lot of programs that can help you lose weight, but you put it right back on. Nutrisystem gives you the tools to change your life forever. I am living proof of that.
What else do you have coming up?
I did a Lifetime movie, and there is another one I’m doing this summer, which is really fun. I’m not a great actress, but you can’t become great unless you try. I think I’m more afraid not to try than to
And you have a new symphonic album coming too, right?
Yes, it’s the most challenging thing I have ever done and I’m loving it. It’s the product of five decades of learning to sing multiple genres of music. I’m really, really proud of myself for that. Can I sing opera? Yeah, I can. With this album, instead of doing shows all the time, I’m going to do symphonic dates and a tour.
Do you think there is anything that your fans would be surprised to learn about you?
Oh, I am sure. I have not disclosed my life completely. We all have our struggles — that is what life is about. We don’t become who we are by the great things that happen to us. We become who we are by getting through the difficult things in life.
What made you so bold and brave?
I’m the only girl [among my siblings], so my mom is my hero. She wasn’t a career woman, but her career was being a great woman. She said that when you’re in a dark tunnel and you don’t know if there is light at the end, you just have to have faith. I learned that from a woman of great faith. Frankly, I don’t know how you get through this life if you don’t have faith.
Do you think you will ever retire from show business?
I’ve worked since I was 3 years old consistently. [One day] I’ll probably be a funny little old lady character on Broadway. Or Betty White, who I love. Those funny little crazy parts that she plays — maybe I’ll end up doing that if people are still interested in me. I love bringing joy to people.
—Reporting by Katie Bruno
For more on this story, pick up the latest issue of Closer magazine, on newsstands now.