Tragic Details About Marie Osmond

Marie Osmond is not just an entertainer — she's a force of nature. Her career began at age three when she started performing alongside her older brothers, and it seems like she hasn't stopped working since. She became a bonafide teen idol in the '70s when she starred in "Donny & Marie," an upbeat variety show that featured Marie and her brother. Marie Osmond then went on to have a successful singing career, host several talk shows, become a bestselling author, and perform countless shows in Las Vegas.

But Osmond's story is much darker than one might guess from her sunny persona and self-deprecating sense of humor. From surviving sexual abuse to struggling with mental health issues to losing several family members, including her 18-year-old son, Osmond had faced some unimaginable challenges. Here's how she found the strength to thrive in the face of tragedy, and what the star's life looks like now.

Her childhood was all work and no play

Marie Osmond was born in 1959, the second youngest of nine children and the only girl. The Osmonds were devout Mormons who lived in Utah, and they were quite the musical family. Marie's older brothers Alan, Wayne, Merrill, and Jay formed a barbershop quartet and were later joined by Donny and Jimmy, performing all together as The Osmonds. Marie was just three years old when she made her TV debut alongside her brothers on "The Andy Williams Show."

However, the Osmonds' success came at a price for Marie, as she spent most of her childhood performing instead of just being a kid. She told Larry King in a 2001 interview, "You know, when I was told — 'Can I go out and play?' No, I was working. I was recording." And while she says she doesn't regret growing up in the spotlight, she acknowledged that there was "a lot of pressure," admitting, "I grew up really fast."

Another issue that arose from Osmond's early life as an entertainer was a people-pleasing attitude that sometimes proved detrimental. She told Larry King, "I was so desirous to please everyone that I did nothing for myself."

Marie Osmond was sexually abused as a child

Sadly, the pressures of the entertainment industry were not the only thing that kept Marie Osmond from having a normal childhood. In Osmond's 2001 memoir, "Behind the Smile: My Journey Out of Postpartum Depression," she revealed she had been sexually abused as a child. Osmond said that there was more than one incident, and while she did not identify her abusers, she wrote, "They were not people I have ever had a close relationship with, including my family, my friends, and business associates." She also revealed, "The abuse occurred in brief periods where it was assumed I was in a safe environment."

The effects of the abuse Osmond endured lasted through her adult life, affecting her mental health and contributing to her postpartum depression. In 2019, Osmond spoke on "The Talk," where she had a brief stint as a co-host, about how her early experiences made her question her sexuality. "When I was 8 or 9, I actually thought I was gay," she said. "And the reason is because I had been sexually abused to the point that men ... they made me sick. I didn't trust them, I didn't like them" (via People).

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Body shaming as a teen led to her eating disorder

By the time Marie Osmond was a teenager, she was already a household name and starring in her own variety show, "Donny & Marie," alongside her brother Donny Osmond. The Osmond siblings were known for their wholesome image and bright smiles, but behind the scenes, trouble was brewing for Marie. She was pulled aside and brutally body-shamed by the powers that be at the studio. "One day, I was taken out into a parking lot and one of the studio people told me that if I didn't drop 10 pounds, they were going to cancel the show," she told Fox News. "They said I was an embarrassment to my family and I needed to keep the food out of my fat face."

As a result, Osmond, who was already a petite 103 pounds, pared herself down to 93, and it wasn't with the help of a nutritious diet. The singer told Fox that her method of weight loss was "starvation," explaining, "I would literally starve myself for three days before taping, drinking lemon water and cayenne pepper with maple syrup so I [could] be skinny."

Osmond struggled with her weight throughout her adult life, eventually becoming a spokesperson for Nutrisystem in 2007, the program she credits with helping her healthily manage her weight.

Postpartum depression took a toll on Marie Osmond

Marie Osmond is the mother of eight children, with the oldest born in 1983 and the youngest in 2002. Osmond has said that after the births of her first six children, she had what is commonly referred to as the baby blues. But after her son Matthew was born in 1999, Osmond experienced a bout of serious postpartum depression.

Osmond spoke out about her ordeal in an interview with TV Guide in 1999, explaining, "I was absolutely physically exhausted ... I went into absolute muscle spasms where I couldn't get out of bed. I couldn't move my arms" (via New York Post). The stress became so intense that Osmond left her children with a babysitter and drove away. "I just really felt that my kids would be better off if they did not have a mother," she said. When she returned home days later, she was diagnosed with depression.

Osmond detailed her experience and how she managed to get through it in her 2001 memoir, "Behind the Smile: My Journey Out of Postpartum Depression," which aimed to help other women suffering from PPD. "We need to pull open the curtain of silence and talk about the physical and emotional changes that happen during postpartum depression," she wrote.

A house fire led her to make a difficult decision

In 2005, Marie Osmond and her family suffered a close call when their Orem, Utah, home caught fire. Luckily no one was hurt, but the damage from the fire was significant. Osmond was in California at a speaking engagement at the time, but her then-husband, Brian Blosil, was home with some of the couple's children. "I ran through the house, got all my kids," Blosil told Deseret News.

According to Osmond, the fire was a wake-up call that pushed her to end her marriage. She and Blosil wed in 1986 and welcomed seven children together, but by 2005, things had begun to fall apart. Osmond told Closer Weekly, "I realized this home I had created was a facade to a marriage that wasn't happy for 20 years. I really believe it was God — they say, 'The burning within.' So sometimes these things happen to wake us up."

In March 2007, less than two years after the fire, Osmond and Blosil announced they were getting divorced. "Though our marriage is ending, we continue to have a very amicable relationship," read a joint statement issued by the couple (via Reuters).

Marie Osmond collapsed on Dancing with the Stars

Through all the trials and tribulations Marie Osmond has experienced, she has always been an entertainer. In 2007, Osmond brought her talent to the "Dancing with the Stars" ballroom, where she showed off her impressive moves. But even the most seasoned performers can have an off night. During the show's Latin night, after dancing a rigorous samba with partner Jonathan Roberts, Osmond fainted while getting her critique from the judges.

Osmond's collapse, which occurred during a live broadcast, gave both the home audience and those in the studio a serious scare. Executive producer Conrad Green told TV Guide, "When you've got a live show and one of your contestants collapses, you tend to run pretty fast." He added, "I was obviously very concerned." Osmond was unconscious for about 30 seconds, but she came to with her signature sense of humor. According to her partner, Roberts, "She looked around ... and she said, 'Oh, crap. I fainted on live TV.'"

Osmond blamed her collapse on a combination of allergies and poor air quality. She also mentioned her personal life, telling the judges and the audience in the following episode, "I'm divorced, but I'm still going through stuff ... and every woman will understand." She added, "After 40 years in this business, you can take spins in many directions" (via ABC). Osmond was not voted off that week and even ended up coming in third for the entire competition.

She lost her son to suicide

Of all the misfortune Marie Osmond has faced in her life, the most devastating has to be the death of her son Michael. Michael Blosil was just 18 years old when he died by suicide in 2010. According to Osmond in an interview with Oprah, Blosil had been going through a difficult time, and he entered rehab for substance issues while Osmond was on "Dancing with the Stars." Osmond told Oprah that her son tried to take his life while in rehab but promised he wouldn't make another attempt. "And I believed him," she said.

Osmond had been performing in Vegas with her brother Donny and was headed onstage when she saw she had a phone call from her son. "I was just running out as my phone rang, and I couldn't get to it," she told Oprah. She called him back that night but he didn't answer, and she later got a call from the coroner's office. "I knew," Osmond said. "It was Mike." Blosil, who was a student at The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, leaped to his death from his 8th-floor apartment in Los Angeles. 

Even though Osmond has been seemingly unstoppable in the ensuing years, the grief has remained. In 2019, she shared with "CBS Sunday Morning," "You know, I don't think you're ever through it ... God gives you respites, and then all of a sudden it'll hit you like the day it did" (via People).

Marie Osmond suffered another loss when her grandniece died unexpectedly

Tragedy struck again for Marie Osmond and her family in 2014 when Osmond's grandniece died in an accident at the age of seven. The granddaughter of Marie's brother Jay, London Mortenson, died at her family's home in Arizona when a moving trailer door fell on her, according to RadarOnline. A source close to the family told Radar, "When Marie heard about it, she was devastated ... All those horrible memories of what happened with her son came flooding back!" the accident also occurred just four years after the death of Marie's son Michael Blosil.

The Mortensons were reportedly in the middle of preparing to move from Arizona to Utah to be closer to the rest of the family when the accident occurred. Jay Osmond took to Twitter to break the devastating news, writing, "Our hearts are heavy with the loss of (wife) Karen's granddaughter. How sad it is to lose someone so sweet and so young" (via RadarOnline).

Her family has been plagued by health issues

In 2019, Marie Osmond spoke out about the health issues that members of her family had been dealing with. In an interview with People Now, Osmond revealed, "It's been an interesting year, my brother Virl had a stroke, my brother Tom had a quadruple bypass, Jimmy had a stroke and Donny, of course, is having surgery" (via Fox News).

Osmond also spoke about how her faith has helped her and her family cope with the tough times they'd been facing. "I've had a lot of loss in my life and difficult things. Everybody does, I'm not saying there's any difference. But I have great faith."

Despite Osmond's optimistic outlook, she did hint on a 2019 episode of "Watch What Happens Live" that she and Donny might be ready to retire their Vegas show. "We're just thinking maybe this year, but I don't know ... you know, Donny's getting old," she joked.