Summarized by Rosemary Pollock
Liz Smith on Donny Osmond (On Being an Osmond)
(Long Island) NY Newsday 20Jun99 L5
By Liz Smith
"Life Is Just What You Make It: My Story So Far", an autobiography by
Donny Osmond has recently been released by Hyperion and is available on
local bookshelves. The story of Donny's life from a performing
teen-idol to a young has-been and than to a comeback kid, chronicles
many years and experiences of a child performer who was denied a child's
In striving for the families "all for one, one for all" motto, Donny
experienced disappointment, cynicism, arrogance and despair. Anxiety
attacks, stage fright and the crushing reality of his success nearly
brought him to breakdown. Oddly enough this phobia arrived shortly
after his success with the touring of "Joseph and the Amazing Techniclor
"Life Is Just What You Make It," is a cautionary tale about child
stardom that through the eyes of Donny borders on child abuse. In a
poignant tale of writing a letter to his parents, Donny retells the
frustration and stress of performing only to be ignored by his parents.
Seeing himself as the family, "money machine", Donny never brought up
the letter again,feeling guilty for having those feelings. "Oh, I think
I went over the line with this book," Osmond said. "I did. I know I
did. My parents told me!"
With many successes in his personal life including a loving 2l-year
marriage, a strong committment to his Mormon religion and five children
including a 20 year-old son, Donny speaks lovingly of his parents.
Asked if he would allow his children to enter show business, he
responds, "I wouldn't discourage them. But I wouldn't encourage them,
either. Even if it works out, you pay a high price."
With melancholy overtones, "Life Is Just What You Make It: My Story So
Far" is an introspective look into a life that is yet full of promise