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For week ended June 20, 1999 Posted 26 Jun 1999

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Liz Smith on Donny Osmond (On Being an Osmond)

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 life.

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 Dreamcoat."

"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 and accomplishment.

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information