You might remember 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 death of her son Michael, who had suffered from depression. Her new weekday talk show "Marie!" premieres today on the Hallmark Channel at noon.
Do you think being a celebrity will help you when you are interviewing celebrities?
I'm really excited about the show because I think I've done about every talk show on the planet [laughing]. 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.
Do you think being open about your weight struggles, divorce and postpartum depression increased your popularity, particularly with women of a certain age?
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."
Depression, adopted kids, finding love at 50 again -- I mean it's just amazing the topics that people come to. It's one thing to just air dirty laundry, but it's another thing if you feel like you've found answers.
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.
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?
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."
God gives you a little more respites in between, but it's never easy. You see your other children doing things and going through life and you just, you know, you miss them.
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 ...
And things called alimony which is all my money! Those kinds of things [laughing].
So other than laughing, what else do you lean on?
You know what? 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. God doesn't care who we are. He really doesn't. He cares what we are and how we define our life. We are all going to go through difficult things, I promise you.
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.
That is going to be your advantage on your talk show. They will relate to you for all the reasons we said.
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. With Children's Miracle Network we are going to have some great kids and families on who have been through amazing things. How they cope and how they deal with it and how they give back -- I just want everybody to feel inspired. But I really want people to laugh. I'm a little bit nutty upstairs [laughing]. You know, I love to have fun. That is what I want this show to be, too.
Your life has been in the spotlight. Is there a place on the planet where you are not recognized and experienced real anonymity?
My backyard [laughing]. People are actually very lovely. I was on the beach the other day when I flew down to see some family. It was a Sunday and one of my brothers-in-law said, "Do you ever get to go anywhere where people don't recognize you?" And within five minutes somebody walked up and we had a lovely conversation.
People are very respectful, I think, of my time. Even some of the talk shows I have done where they are told, "Don't touch the guest.' I'm just like, really? I am out in the audience. I don't see that division. I think we are all women trying to get through life. We all have different talents.
Will there be any questions which you will not ask people?
I think you have to be very respectful of their publicists and the things that they want to talk about. But I find so far it's the way you ask things. They haven't not talked about anything I have asked. I just think if people know you respect them, especially how you handle things.
Don't you think? I mean you know that better than anybody. When you talk to somebody and you ask those questions it is the way you present it that makes them either uncomfortable or OK.
You have said in past interviews that your safe place was on stage. Was there ever a time that was not the case?
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. I love being home. I am very normal [laughing]. I love crafting. I love sewing. I love doing things with my children. I love playing games. I will even play video games. I love cooking. I mean I don't LOVE cooking, but when I do cook I enjoy it. I don't like anything that takes more than one bowl. If it takes three or four bowls I don't have time for it [laughing]. I just feel very blessed, and I think that was one of the reasons I wanted to get back on it.breakfast