Donny Osmond is looking back on his decades-long career. The 65-year-old entertainer is currently starring in Donny, his Las Vegas residency which runs through Saturday, May 27 at Harrah’s Las Vegas before returning Sept. 5, and is preparing to take the show on the road for a summer tour beginning July 18 in Waterbury, Connecticut.
ET recently sat down with Osmond for a visit down memory lane for ET’s latest rETrospective segment, featuring old interviews from the vault (including his first with ET in 1981!), career highlights and his most memorable performances.
From his first TV appearance on The Andy Williams Show and a performance of his 1972 song, “Puppy Love,” to winning season 9 of Dancing With the Stars and coming close to taking the Masked Singer crown, Osmond opened up about what he remembers from his career. One of the clips featured Osmond with his younger sister, Marie Osmond, when they spoke with ET to promote their rebooted daytime talk show, Donny & Marie, which ran from 1998 to 2000. (Their original variety show ran from 1976 to 1979.)
“It was always assumed that Donny and Marie would come back together and do something ’cause we ended our show in ’78, ’79 and in , we came back together again to do a talk show and I thought, ‘This is gonna be interesting. This is gonna be kind of fun. Let’s go for it, Marie,'” Osmond recalled thinking at the time. “We cleared all these stations all across the country and we went for it.”
“There was something about the combination about Donny and Marie, and it wouldn’t have worked had we not been siblings in my opinion,” he said, acknowledging the bond he had with his sister. “But because we grew up together, we spent so much time together as siblings. I joined the band, The Osmond Brothers, [which] kind of separated us and then Marie joined when she was like 12 or 13 and the whole Donny & Marie thing came together again. There was something organic about that and when she hit me with pies and hit me in the stomach or slapped me, it was all natural. It was all organic. I think a lot of people really related to that in families and it was all in fun.”
The siblings performed for the last time together in 2019 after wrapping up an impressive 11-year run for their Las Vegas show at the Flamingo. Osmond admitted that he’s missed working with his sister since then and seemed to close the door on reuniting with Marie professionally. “I miss working with her because we had such a rapport onstage, but that whole era is passed,” Osmond said. “It’s gone, it’s done.”
Of course, circumstances can change, which he acknowledged. “Revisiting the Donny & Marie thing, it would have to be the right thing,” Osmond said. “Marie would have to agree with it obviously.”
“I have been in this business for a long time. I learned to never say never, but there’s nothing in the back of my mind and I don’t think there is in the back of Marie’s mind of reuniting,” Osmond shared. “Maybe a one-off, but to do a Las Vegas performance like we did for 11 years, with the Donny & Marie talk show for several years, there’s nothing that has really sparked both of our minds yet.”
For now, Osmond has quite a busy rest of 2023 ahead with his upcoming Donny tour and returning to his Las Vegas residency, which will keep him booked through November. He’ll then go overseas to bring his show to the U.K. until mid-December.
“The thing I love about my residency here in Las Vegas, mostly is the fact that I put six decades of show business into a 90-minute show, which sounds like that’s impossible,” Osmond said. But we did it and do a rap in the show. I put all 65 albums that I’ve done in the show. And people say, ‘How do you do 65 albums in one show?’ You have to see it to understand how I do it. The dancers that I selected for the show, the band, the crew, the sound, the visuals. We put a lot of effort into this; I put so much effort into this. In fact, somebody said, ‘Donny, how long did it take for you to put this show together?’ And I said, ’60 years.’ Because you see my whole life, just like that, in one show.”
The entertainer also reflected on his storied career, sharing his take on why he’s been able to have longevity in an industry as unstable as Hollywood.
“To be able to say that I’ve been in show business for six decades, it’s a shock for some people to hear that. And to still be relevant,” Osmond reminisced. “I’m not as popular as I was, you know, as a teenybopper in the ’70s. But then again, the career now is even better, in my opinion, than the ’70s. Because there’s so much breadth to it. There’s so much to draw from my repertoire [and it] is so much fun to pull things from. When I put this show together in Las Vegas, I had the time of my life because I had to leave a lot of things on the editing room floor because there wasn’t enough time to put everything I wanted to do or that I’ve done in show business into the show.”
He revealed that several famous names have even reached out to him to get advice or tips on how to successfully put on a Las Vegas show.
“People have referred to me as the OG of Las Vegas, right? Adele is across the street and you have all these major headliners… I’m not going to disclose names, but some people have called me and said, ‘Do you have any advice? What do you do to have a successful show?’ And they’ve even said, ‘Donny, you need to put on a masterclass on how to put a show together,'” Osmond revealed.
“Maybe someday I’ll do something like that. But it’s a nice compliment that these entertainers, they call me and they’re just interested in saying, ‘Give us some pointers, give us some techniques,'” he continued. “The main takeaway from the Donny show, when I first put this whole show together, I said I want people to leave my theater thinking they just spent 90 minutes in my living room. And it works.”
Donny runs through Saturday, May 27 at Harrah’s Las Vegas before returning Sept. 5. The Donny summer tour kicks off Tuesday, July 18 in Connecticut and wraps Sunday, Aug. 13 in Reno, Nevada.
Source: ET Online