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Interview With Marie Osmond

Aired August 7, 2004 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, Marie Osmond. The music and television star has been America's sweetheart since she was a little girl, but she's overcome a lot on her road to success: depression, sexually abused as a child -- now, the death of her beloved mother, Olive.


KING: How does she do it and keep that one-of-a-kind smile. Marie Osmond for the hour is next on LARRY KING LIVE.


KING (on camera): It's a great pleasure to welcome to LARRY KING LIVE tonight Marie Osmond, close friend of the family, music, and TV star. She's talked publicly about many, many things, including postpartum depression, divorce, sexual abuse. She's a recording artist, of course, for many years, TV star, talk show host, and host of a new upcoming radio show called "Marie and Friends."

Give me a little history of this. How did this come about?

M. OSMOND: That was depressing! History...

KING: Welcome to a sad hour.

M. OSMOND: I'll tell you the history...

KING: The radio history...

M. OSMOND: The radio history, in a nutshell, it's your fault.

KING: Remind me.

M. OSMOND: OK, so, I'm -- I just -- long story short, OK, I decided to -- we finished the talk show, went on the book tour. I think it was last time that I was here, we promoted the book we did on postpartum.

KING: Three years ago.

M. OSMOND: Three years ago, isn't it amazing? And what happened is, intuitively, I just really felt like I needed to be home in Utah for some reason. I always follow my gut instinct. My mother gets sick, and I happen to not take -- I mean, I had turned down several Broadway shows and television projects and things like that. And because of it, I was able to be with her the whole two-and-a-half years.

But Jones radio came to me and said, "You know, you're quite a talker."

KING: No kidding.

M. OSMOND: I know -- blah, blah. And you've had an interesting life, lots of things. You're definitely opinionated, and you're nuts. And so, would you be interested in doing radio?

And I said, no, because I don't want to leave home. They said, "We'll build you a studio five minutes from your house." I said, "Sounds good. How much?" No...

KING: Not a bad idea.

M. OSMOND: You know what, honestly, work to me now is strictly for fun and enjoyment.

KING: In the interest of fair reportage, Marie Osmond's manager of many, many years is Karl Engemann, who happens to be my father-in- law.

M. OSMOND: Right...

KING: ... have that straight, there is a...

M. OSMOND: The godfather's in the building.

KING: That's right, there is a family tie. He wanted you to do it, too, didn't he...

M. OSMOND: He did.

KING: ... as I remember? And I recommended that you do do it.

M. OSMOND: Well, I was at dinner at your house. And of course, Larry, I mean, you are Mr. Radio...

KING: Mr. Radio.

M. OSMOND: ... or you're Mr. Television, you're fabulous at all that. And we were having fun one night just talking, and he said, "Do it." So, it's your fault.

KING: Now, what's -- now, you've been doing things, because I guessed it -- yet it says you debut in February, so explain this to me.

M. OSMOND: We started. We just -- kind of just got our chops wet, you know what I'm saying? So, we just actually launched. We picked up five more stations a week ago, or something like that. But we're just starting to launch across the country. It's nationwide.

And we have people in England right now interested in it. And it's just...

KING: So, it is on now on some stations.

M. OSMOND: It is on right now. If you don't have it in your area, then call your local station and say, "Get with it!" No...

KING: What's the show? What happens on the show?

M. OSMOND: It's music and -- it's a mix of music and talk. And...

KING: You interview people?

M. OSMOND: Yes, everything.


This is Marie Osmond. You're listening to "Marie and Friends."


KING: Do you still do soapboxings? Do you get off on tangents? Do you...

M. OSMOND: I'm always off on a tangent. You know that.

KING: Do you give opinions?

M. OSMOND: Yes, you know, we have crazy caller -- I'll tell you what, I think radio, the way I liken it is -- you know, television, I grew up in that innocent era of television -- three networks, couple of independents.

And radio, I think, has hit that niche of -- that picket fence, that neighbor next door, where people feel like they can kind of get into your daily life. You're there for them every day. You talk about things.

Larry, I love taking the phone calls. I was locked in a hotel most of my life. Locked -- I was in secured facilities as we traveled all over the world. And so, for me to be able to take phone calls and talk to people -- people think celebrities' lives are so fascinating, it's real people.

KING: And also, you're a natural. You have a good voice. And you're naturally attuned to it. And you're tuning into people well. So, it should be a walk in the park for you.

M. OSMOND: I'm having so much fun. The other day, I, you know, made a comment that I was running and we're all crazy and I left my Jamba Juice on top of the car. I get in the car, drive away, and I say, "Where's my juice?" I slam on the brakes and it come down my front windshield. And you know, just little things like that. I said, "Do you ever have anything like that happen?" So, I think people are telling me these funny stories because they know I'm not going to diss them or make them look stupid or something?

KING: What time of day are you on?

M. OSMOND: It varies in different markets, but usually drive time, home time.

KING: Do you miss audiences, singing, Broadway?

M. OSMOND: Of course.

KING: Don't you miss the schtick?

M. OSMOND: Of course, you know, I love it.

KING: Why don't you go back? You can do that, too. You can do both.

M. OSMOND: Well, you saw. You came out. You were very sweet...

KING: I saw you do...

M. OSMOND: "The King and I"...

KING: "King and I."

M. OSMOND: ... Broadway...

KING: But you turned down some pretty good things.

M. OSMOND: I did, yes.

KING: You turned down, "Annie Get Your Gun."

M. OSMOND: I did. I turned down some things in London...

KING: Ever regret it?

M. OSMOND: No. Not -- I think that women can do it all; I just don't think you can do it all at once. And I didn't want any regrets with my mother.

KING: I want to get to your mother -- so you miss it.

M. OSMOND: I love it.

KING: But not enough to go back now?

M. OSMOND: Not right now. Right now is really good. I really like doing this. I really like the people, Larry. I mean, you're the first person that said, "Do you have an interest? Are you fascinated?" Reality, real life, it interests me. People, their everyday lives are fun. KING: Mostly, you've got a good work gig. How far do you live from where you work?

M. OSMOND: Five minutes.

KING: You drive over. You do your radio show every day.

M. OSMOND: I can walk if I want.

KING: And then, you go home. That's not a bad...

M. OSMOND: It's a great gig.

KING: How many children are at home with you?

M. OSMOND: I have seven -- eight if you count my husband.

KING: And you have another child, what, on a Mormon mission?

M. OSMOND: Yes, he's on a mission. He's in Taiwan. He's speaking Chinese.

KING: They go from what age to what age?

M. OSMOND: Twenty-one, had him when were I was five, and to almost two. So, that's my baby.

KING: Are you done?

M. OSMOND: I'm done.

KING: How many are adopted?

M. OSMOND: I don't remember.

KING: Is it true, once they're there, you don't remember -- it's not remembering, you don't even think about it?

M. OSMOND: There's -- really, there's no difference. I can tell you that honestly, because I've had children of my own and I've had children that are adopted. And I don't even think about it.

They're just -- they're the joys of my life. It's really part of the reason why I did this. I think growing up on the road, I think it's wonderful and -- you know, for a long time I took my children with me as I toured. I used to do, you know, 260 days a year on the road doing fairs and festivals and honky-tonks and symphony dates and whatever.

But your children, once they start to get a certain age, they need to have their own life. And you have to realize that as a mother. And so, having them be in school and be in drill team and, you know, have those things, it's important.

KING: Why did you want so many -- let me ask you in a minute, I want to take a break. We'll take a break. We'll be right back with Marie Osmond. Why so many children, and lots of other things to discuss with a woman who talks about a lot of things.

She's still got her -- lots of things going on. Don't go away.



D. OSMOND: Home, James!

M. OSMOND: Home, James? Take yourself home, you big turkey!




M. OSMOND: Hey, everybody, this is Marie Osmond. How's your day going, huh? We were skimming through these ads. They were written by senior citizens, and it really proves that, you know what, we may lose our looks, but we do not lose our sense of humor, which is a beautiful thing.

Sexy, fashion conscious, blue-haired beauty in her 80s, slim, 5'4", used to be 5'6", active grandmother with original teeth seeking a dedicated flosser, to share rare steaks, corn on the cob and caramel candy.


KING: We're back with Marie Osmond. The Marie Osmond radio show is in full swing and it's growing and growing, right?

M. OSMOND: "Marie & Friends."

KING: Keep on picking up stations. And it's called "Marie & Friends." If you don't have it in your local area, you can contact local radio stations about it.

Why so many children? Why, since you adopted -- why?

M. OSMOND: You're fascinated with this.

KING: Why? Why?

M. OSMOND: Why not? I don't know.

KING: I mean, if you can have your own children, why also adopt children?

M. OSMOND: You know what, all I can say is that I asked my mother, I said, when did you know you were done? She says, "you'll know." So I had baby number five, I'm thinking, am I done? Baby number six, please, am I done?

KING: Who told you you were done?

M. OSMOND: I knew.

KING: Or are you done?

M. OSMOND: I knew. I just knew. It was fabulous.

KING: Are you done?

M. OSMOND: I am done. Are you happy about that, Larry?

KING: It just -- it fascinates me because it's so hard...

M. OSMOND: You know, it's a really interesting topic.

KING: Raising children is not easy.

M. OSMOND: Well, that's one of the things, is I think that, you know, the fact is, is I think a lot of times people think Marie Osmond, naive, goody-goody, you know, whatever. But having eight children, I'm interested. It's like we talk about everything from the statistic on depression. It's like 25 percent of the people have it now in the nation. If you have it, it's like three times more of a chance your child will have it. We talk about signs to see. We talk about all kinds of things. Raising children. We have experts on. Cutting parties. This is craziness that kids are in so much internal pain now that they go and slice themselves.

KING: So, the obvious becomes, again, why would you want more if it's that hard?

M. OSMOND: You know what, God has blessed me that I can raise them. And...

KING: Obviously.

M. OSMOND: And that I'm passionate. I came from a family of nine, it's not that big of a deal to have eight. But I love them, and they teach me. I don't teach them anything.

KING: You're the only girl in your family, though.

M. OSMOND: I was, the only girl.

KING: Tell me about the passing of mom. She lived to what age?

M. OSMOND: 77.

KING: And your dad's still alive.

M. OSMOND: He is. Comes over the show, hangs out.

KING: How is he doing?

M. OSMOND: He's doing OK. He's doing all right.

KING: What did your mom die of?

M. OSMOND: She had kidney failure. But you know, in her...

KING: She was supposed to die a year ago, right? I mean, she hung on, right?

M. OSMOND: Two and a half years, amazing woman. Taught me to the end. She's a powerful woman. My mother was a strong woman. And being her only daughter, I had -- you know, I talk about all this kind of stuff. You have issues. It's like, you know what, I don't know that I want to be my mother, I want to be myself. It's kind of a chick thing.

I remember one day, I was probably 14 or 15, and she had come in the kitchen and she was wearing this purple muumuu and her hair was kind of up on her head with a hairpiece of curls, you know, and I looked at her, and I remember thinking, I could take you down. And the only problem was is I said it out loud, I didn't think it. And it was the most amazing thing, because she looked -- she moved back and she struck this sumo pose, and she goes, "bring it on." And she -- I can't tell you how fast I was pinned and down. We had -- we -- the most brilliant woman I've ever known in my life.

KING: She was a matriarch, right? I mean, she...

M. OSMOND: Most amazing, intuitive, fun. I remember sitting there thinking, I have the coolest mother in the world.

KING: Were all the children in show business?

M. OSMOND: Except my two older brothers, who are deaf.

KING: The ones who are deaf, they didn't do anything, but the other seven all sang. You were The Osmonds, you toured and you and Donny, right? I mean, but they were all in show business.

M. OSMOND: Right.

KING: That took some kind of parenting.

M. OSMOND: It did. It took a lot of watching.

KING: Because you work young, right?

M. OSMOND: Right. You know what, her funeral, I was being the only girl, and my brothers kind of left everything up to me to plan. And I don't look at death as scary.

KING: Because of your faith?

M. OSMOND: Yeah, because of my beliefs. But she says it's another celebration. Your birth is a celebration. Your baptism is a celebration. Your marriage is a celebration, and your death is a celebration. Moving on to the next existence. And so, I made it like a wedding. It was fabulous. I dressed her. I did her makeup, her hair. It was wonderful. And it was...

KING: Were there a lot of tears or no tears?

M. OSMOND: She had this amazing sense of humor, and I could feel her, my dear friend was there helping me with her hair. And I could just kind of feel her say, "no, no, more bang."

KING: Were there less tears then?

M. OSMOND: There's a big hole in me, you know? You can't help but have, you know, even...

KING: You only have one mother.

M. OSMOND: Yeah. There's only one mother. And, you know, it's like, I want to pick up the phone and go over and touch her hand. And, you know, lots of times, I just crawl in the bed next to her and snuggle her while she was sick.

KING: How long were your parents married?

M. OSMOND: They were married 60 years.

KING: How's your father dealing with this? That's tough.

M. OSMOND: It's tough. He's having a hard time, but I'm his girlfriend now. So I see him, you know, almost every day, he comes over the radio show. He loves it.

KING: Were all the kids there at the death?

M. OSMOND: Not everybody was there, but everybody flew in for...


KING: That's what I mean. They all came in for the funeral, right?

M. OSMOND: Oh, yeah. Everybody spoke, the whole family, all the brothers. It was really amazing, Larry. You talk about -- Garth Brooks sent some flowers that I thought was really profound. He said, "your mom was the kind of woman who knew the power of the word mother."

And she, as I watched all my brothers speak of their devotion and love for her, it was amazing, because they all, nobody knew what anybody was going to say, I gave them two and a half minutes, I was clocking it. But everybody spoke about how she taught them to know God. And she taught them to love their wives. And she taught them to be loyal and true and honest men. And (INAUDIBLE).

KING: Was she active in the show business aspect, too?

M. OSMOND: No, she wasn't a stage mother.

KING: Your father was, though. M. OSMOND: He wasn't really, either. They just had a real strong belief in their children.

KING: You know, when President Clinton was here a couple of weeks ago, we were talking a lot about depression, and he had two people in his life kill themselves, two close friends, a close friend in the early years at Oxford and Vince Foster, of course, while at the White House. Have you gotten over it, or do you never get over it?

M. OSMOND: That's an interesting question. I think once you've had, you know, the experience, whether it's postpartum or depression, it's the same feeling. You still have -- it doesn't matter. Depression is depression. I think when you let yourself get really tired, I think it's easier to succumb. It's kind of like, if you have a tendency to be an alcoholic, you'll always have that door open and a foot in there, tempting you, you know? And so, you can't let yourself go there. Especially now there's so much that they found out about women and there's lots of things I talk about health.

KING: Plus medication, right?

M. OSMOND: Well, but see, medicating it, there's lots of other ways, too. There is lots of reasons hormonally why you can be depressed. It isn't necessarily a drug necessarily in the brain. It can be just that, you know, your progestin levels, your hormones get out of whack, and then it sucks your cortisol level, and then your cortisol makes you puffy and fat. And I don't know anything worse than being puffy and fat. So you're depressed.

KING: We'll be right back with Marie Osmond. Her radio show is "Marie & Friends." She's also going to be doing some television gigs. She's still got the doll thing going. More with Marie Osmond, who keeps on being. Don't go away.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll be right back right after this.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, Marie Osmond. Marie, come on out!




KING: We're back with Marie Osmond. In her 2001 book, "Behind The Smile: My Journey Out Of Postpartum Depression," she talked for the first time about being sexually abused as a child. Do you ever get over that?

M. OSMOND: I think it's one of the most...

KING: You never named who it was, right? And you still don't.

M. OSMOND: Or were.

KING: Or were.

M. OSMOND: No. That wasn't why I came out with it. I don't think that's necessary. I think it's one of the most sick things that can happen to a person, because it robs you of your boundaries. It robs you of natural thinking. It's like for to you make a decision or whatever, it's a natural -- I'm not a psychologist nor do I claim to analyze it. But for you to say, no would be automatic, for somebody who has been abused, you have to really sit and think about it.

KING: Really?

M. OSMOND: Yes. It's a real...

KING: So it never leaves you.

M. OSMOND: Well, I think, the scars are very deep. I believe in healing. I think that I'm doing fine. But I think, periodically, things creep up, insecurities. I think it's horrible.

KING: Does your faith help?

M. OSMOND: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. It's the only way you can get through life. Is to...

KING: When you...

M. OSMOND: Is to find that positive release, you know? Humor is a wonderful way to get through things. I think you have to be positive. I think that -- that's one of the things I try to do in the show is if people can tune in for five minutes, ten minutes, on the drive home and they're expressed or whatever -- I mean, can't turn on anything where it's not depressing anymore. And it makes me crazy.

No wonder people, No. 1 pill is anti-depressants. It's wearing. And so what I try to do, I really believe that the endorphins and the hormonal levels and things like that, you can solve anything by finding the humor in it. Not necessarily sexual abuse.

KING: No, there's nothing funny in...

M. OSMOND: No, it's not.

KING: Do people talk about it a lot on your show, about depression? Do you get calls from people who have depression?

M. OSMOND: We talk about everything. Yes, we get everything. We talk about everything from depression keys -- signs to look for it in your children, in yourself. To the late he have craze, which is to say 70 percent of all people snoop in people's houses when they visit in the bathroom. Did you know that?


M. OSMOND: Real statistic.

KING: They snoop.

M. OSMOND: They snoop in your cabinets.

KING: Looking for?

M. OSMOND: Who knows.

KING: What kind of pills you might be taking?

M. OSMOND: Do you ever snoop? Have you ever been in someone's house and snooped?

KING: Never snooped.

M. OSMOND: I never snooped either.

KING: And I never...

M. OSMOND: 70 percent...

KING: I have a lot of curiosity...

M. OSMOND: People calling in and saying, why are you snoop? I don't know, I was just curious about what was in there. I mean we talk about everything nutty and crazy and fun.

KING: You have to take medication?

M. OSMOND: I did when I first.

KING: You don't need it anymore? You get through that?

M. OSMOND: Yes. I don't need it anymore.

KING: Do you worry about it in any of your children? Your biological children?

M. OSMOND: Yes. Well, I do, I think that -- you know, it's interesting, because postpartum -- the thing that's fascinating is that you could have depression and it could be your great- grandfather's, but it came -- came through your cells. It just came through your DNA.

And so I think, sometimes people are wandering around so depressed they don't know why and it's not their stuff. So, you know, who knows? Am I against medication? No. Am I against -- I think there is a lot of forms of nutritional benefits and things like that. That's what I found.

I found, you know -- another thing we just found out that's fascinating is this internal clock with the sun. You know if you go to bed at 10:00 every day, you heal your thyroid, your lymphs, all those things those things filter out the toxins in your body. If you stay up late or say, I'm a late-night person, what happens is adrenaline just kicks in and then you start producing cortisol, which is robbing from Peter to pay Paul and then you get depressed.

KING: You've learned a lot, obviously. You've studied this.

M. OSMOND: Larry, you know me, I'm a curious woman. I love learning. I love knowing. I love people. And I love laughing.

KING: Do we know why people have postpartum?

M. OSMOND: I think there are lots of reasons.

KING: Right after the birth of a child, they get depressed why? What's the main reason?

M. OSMOND: I think a lot of it's hormonal. You know, in the olden days, when women would go through menopause, they used to send them to insane asylums and have hysterectomies which -- thus, you know, hysterical, hysterectomy. And most of these women ended up never coming out, because you're taking out all these hormone- producing organs and there's a lot of reasons for that. In cases of severe postpartum depression, usually there's something in their past statistically, so who knows why exactly.

KING: Was it hard for you to initially talk about it, because you're such an upbeat, lively, show business, Miss Good Time person?

M. OSMOND: I don't know if I'm showbiz, but I -- I think I'm like my mother.

KING: Did she talk about things?

M. OSMOND: Oh, yes, she's -- she was an interesting lady.

KING: Did she talk about her personal life?

M. OSMOND: But you decided to talk about it?

M. OSMOND: Yes. She saved my life, though, she's the one who said I'm going to tell you something I never told anybody. And she went through it. But she never told me.

And if you go through it, your chances of your children having it is more likely. So, I will watch my biological children.

KING: Have you seen any of the signs in your children?

M. OSMOND: No, but being their mother, I can depress them sometimes. Take out the trash.

KING; How about teenagers?

M. OSMOND: I don't know how they get through -- I don't know how they get through life.

KING: How many do you have that are considered teens?

M. OSMOND: Three.

KING: Boys and girls?


KING: We'll be right back with Marie Osmond, the Marie Osmond Radio Show called Marie and Friends, right? Is in full swing. I want to ask her about television and her dolls and other things, don't go away.


D. OSMOND: She's singing quite well, too. She surprised me. I mean, she surprised me when she cut her album. I really think she has a good career ahead of her in music.

M. OSMOND: Can I use the pinky?

D. OSMOND; No. Come on, that sounds lousy.

So one of these days we'll probably end up doing her show.








KING: We're back with Marie Osmond. We've talked about health and depression, which takes us into a television thing you're involved with.


KING: What is this? This is new?

M. OSMOND: This is new. This is brand new. I just signed on to do this. It's going to be for Oxygen and for PAX.

KING: Both networks going to have it? M. OSMOND: Yes. It's called "Here's to Your Health." And what it is, is there's so many fabulous technologies that are out there. We're going to talk about, you know, alternative medications, the wonderful technologies and things that we have.

Really, what's going on, like I said, for so many years, I think they were so mean to women, not -- you know, I mean like we were talking about, just sending them off to institutions and things like that.

But it's going to be fun, informative, upbeat. I think that they -- they came to me because I'm very, you know, pro health and children and everything else because of Children's Miracle Network. I'm one of the founders of that.

And you know, you have 170 of the premiere hospitals that only make up two percent of all of our hospitals in the United States, but yet, they take care of 85 to 90 percent of all of our children. So...

KING: When will this show be on?

M. OSMOND: It's going to start airing -- see, you would ask me that, and I'm not quite sure. But it's -- we're going to be shooting a full season starting next month.

KING: OK. Are you going to be the host?

M. OSMOND: I am.

KING: And you will interview people?

M. OSMOND: Yes, and we'll be talking about things setting up, showing new technologies.

KING: And it's both the PAX network and the Oxygen network? That's...

M. OSMOND: Fabulous.

KING: ... two-network deal.

M. OSMOND: Isn't that fabulous?

KING: So, you're coming back to television.

M. OSMOND: Yes, but see there, that's the other thing I love is that they're coming to me so I can shoot it right at home.

KING: Another thing: You don't leave your house for anything.

M. OSMOND: You know, what can I say? After 40 years, I guess it's a little perk.

KING: For the television, shot in your home. The radio's a five-minute walk.

M. OSMOND: Well, it's a studio a few minutes from my home. Yes, so it's nice.

KING: You got a good manager.

M. OSMOND: Hey, you got a good father-in-law.

KING: Not a bad, not a bad -- this is not a bad deal.

M. OSMOND: No, it -- really, Larry, you know, you talk about Broadway and all these things. I went to three shows -- I was just in London, I just got back from Rome and selling my dolls and -- over there meeting sculptors. But I go to these shows, and I'm going, gosh, it's so fun.

But there are lots of funny roles for older women, and I probably will be one of those women, you know -- we went and saw "Thoroughly Modern Millie," and I'll be the Asian lady.

KING: You'll be in a revival of "Annie," but you'll take care of the orphan girls, right?

M. OSMOND: You know, I -- I just -- there's so many fabulous things out there. It's my first -- it's my passion.

KING: Will you come back some day to it?

M. OSMOND: I'd -- you know, I'd love to. Absolutely. I need to make sure that my kids are OK first.

KING: You can still sing, right? Do you sing?

M. OSMOND: I sing.

KING: I mean, do you sing at home, because you don't sing professionally anymore, right?

M. OSMOND: No, I haven't. I've been asked to do Christmas shows and things like that.

KING: You say no?

M. OSMOND: Not yet. Not yet. Just been waiting my mom. I haven't wanted to leave her side. And my dad is, you know, getting older now. So, I just, you know, Larry, don't want -- I don't want to hear about it via a phone call, you know?

KING: Donny's out working.

M. OSMOND: He is. Donny's a workaholic.

KING: Does a great job on the Pyramid, by the way. Is he happy with that?

M. OSMOND: Yes, I think -- didn't it just get changed to -- he's actually over in England right now. He's doing the Castle tours...

KING: Oh, really? M. OSMOND: ... over there. He's loving that. Yes, and Jimmy's doing a play over there. They're all busy.

KING: You mentioned dolls in Europe. You have your dolls in Europe?

M. OSMOND: I have been doing dolls for 14 years now.

KING: They have a QVC in Europe?

M. OSMOND: It's a branch of QVC there. We do -- I like it, because you know, people think...

KING: You go on and sell things on television in Europe?

M. OSMOND: Well, the reason I do it on television is because I think people have this thing, like, it's a celebrity token endorsement. And I sculpt them. I design them. I create them. I have a brand-new vinyl that's coming out in August that is my own patent. It's called "Cuddle Me Vinyl." It's "Babies A Bloom." It has a heartbeat. It's amazing. It's fabulous.

Then, of course, I have my porcelain dolls. I have a whole line of sewing machines coming out with Bernina and embroidery cards.

KING: In your name?

M. OSMOND: My name.

KING: Marie sewing machines.

M. OSMOND: They're fabulous.

KING: Is the response as popular in Europe to sales on television as brisk as it is in the United States?

M. OSMOND: Well, they don't have the viewing audience that we have here, but it's picking up really, really fast. And I think they like it, because when they listen to you, they know you know what you're talking about. It's not like you're just, oh and this is cute and this is pretty, you know?

I mean, this is why -- as a matter of fact, we just got an award for being the most innovative doll line out there.

KING: Were they -- this is done in London?

M. OSMOND: It's done in London.

KING: How did the doll thing begin with you?

M. OSMOND: You know, my mother. You know, God bless her. Most amazing woman I know. I'd work 14 hours a day doing Donny and Marie. I'd come home and she'd say, "OK, it's time to learn to make bread." And I'd think, "What? You're kidding me." And then, I'd come home again, and she'd -- "OK, now you're going to learn, you know, to bottle cherries and make peaches and make jam." And you know, "And I'm going to show how to make a nice tuck in the bed when you make it."

KING: So, why dolls?

M. OSMOND: We collected throughout the world, and...

KING: How'd it start?

M. OSMOND: I'm her only daughter. I was O.D.'d on pink and dolls.

KING: And when did you decide "I want to make dolls"?

M. OSMOND: I actually told my manager, Karl, I said, "I've got to have a diversion. I need a diversion from just, you know, being on the road and doing shows and recording albums. And I want a hobby."

And it just -- I think that people who are real collectors see the passion in someone else. And I think people see that I have a great passion for it. It's fun.

KING: Are these characters from movies, like "Shrek?" Is that considered a doll?

M. OSMOND: That's more of a toy.

KING: Puppet? It's more of a toy than a doll.

M. OSMOND: Yes, would you like me to do a Larry doll?

KING: Yes, I'd love a Larry doll.

M. OSMOND: Would you like a Larry -- want to be a baby, or do you want to be you? I could do a baby with suspenders and a tie.

KING: And little glasses? A little Larry doll?

M. OSMOND: Little glasses -- you want to do a little Larry doll? I'll do one for you.

KING: I'll go for it.

M. OSMOND: OK. I'll do one for you.

KING: I'll go for it. And I don't want any money. Just -- give it to the cardiac foundation.

M. OSMOND: We'll give it to your charity.

KING: OK, a deal. A Larry doll.

M. OSMOND: I need baby pictures.

KING: No, you got -- I want you to do me as a baby.

M. OSMOND: No, I want to a baby -- I need your baby pictures. I'll sculpt it for you.

KING: No, do me like now, like here.

M. OSMOND: No, I'll do you as a baby with glasses and suspenders. Wouldn't that be great? I love it.

KING: Baby snooks. Anyway, we'll be back with Marie Osmond on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.





KING: We're back with Marie Osmond. The Jones Radio Network has her show, the two different television networks has her health show. Her dolls still sell everywhere.

M. OSMOND: You got to look out for the fabrics and the sewing machine, and the...

KING: Now this sewing machine? What is this?

M. OSMOND: It's fabulous. I mean, it's the most amazing thing, Bernina.

KING: How are they going to sell this, in stores?

M. OSMOND: It will be both. It will be, you know, also QVC, retail, whatever. But fabrics to go along with scrapbooking. But the thing is it's going to be fun, fast and, you know, just fabulous.

KING: Are you becoming Mother Marie?

M. OSMOND: I don't know. Do I look like Mother Marie?

KING: You don't look like Mother Marie. But you have dolls and so much...

M. OSMOND: You know what? I believe in things that make life better for women. And I know so many people that want to do all these things with their kids, and there's no time, Larry. So I want to make them fun and fast. It's important. It's like one of the callers called in and it was the most wonderful idea. She says as they travel, she has her kids take a postcard and write it to themselves at home, and mail it from wherever they are, so when they get home they put the pictures with the postcard, and they create these memories that are wonderful.

I love stuff like that. I love things that have meaning. Anybody can go out and buy anything, a million things. It's the things that my mother made me. It's the things that my children made me. It's the things I've made my children. I have a dress that my mother gave me that she made that we were all blessed in. It's those kinds of things that are heirlooms and timeless. Those are the things I'm interested in.

KING: How's your marriage doing? I know it's had its ups and downs.

M. OSMOND: You know what, my husband really loves me. Sometimes, I don't know why he does.

KING: Did you break up because you thought he didn't?

M. OSMOND: No, no, no, no. I think everybody goes through ups and downs and...

KING: Was that part of your depression period or?

M. OSMOND: It was during that time. And I don't think it was the reason. But, you know what, he made some changes. Let me tell you something, men, if you'll make the change first, the wife always follows.

KING: It's what Laura Schlessigner says.

M. OSMOND: I'm telling you, it's true. It's both sides, you both have to change. But there was an interesting statistic, that something like 89 percent of men, when the wife leaves the house, couldn't tell you what she's wearing. And I said, that's an interesting statistic.

So I got on the phone, I called my husband, put him on the spot. We were live. I said, what was I wearing this morning? He knew everything. He even knew the earrings I was wearing. And I went, he loves me. And he does. He's a good man. He loves God. He loves his children. He's dedicated to marriage. And, you know, being Marie Osmond, I think...

KING: Not easy to be married to a famous person.

M. OSMOND: It's not. Marriage is not easy. But it's not easy being a celebrity because you don't know sometimes whether they really love you for you, or whether they love you for the perks or whatever. And I can honestly say that he loves me.

KING: When you get low period, anything that bothers you, do you ever fear falling back into the depression?

M. OSMOND: I think my heart aches for people who live in it. I don't think I'll ever go back there completely. But there are times -- my life has not been perfect. We've talked about a few of the things. I've had children that have struggled, and, you know, death is not easy. All these different things that you go through.

KING: Yeah, so when they happen... M. OSMOND: Lost fortunes and being taken advantage of in lots of different ways. If you linger in that area, yeah, you'll go into depression. I don't care who you are. You'll go into depression.

KING: How do you avoid it?

M. OSMOND: I don't allow myself to go there. I laugh. I stay positive.

KING: Willpower?

M. OSMOND: Yeah, chocolate.


KING: Funny. We'll take a break and be back with our remaining moments -- dark or milk?

M. OSMOND: Dark!

KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments with Marie Osmond. Don't go away.




KING: We're back with Marie Osmond.

M. OSMOND: Larry, you never looked cuter.

KING: This feels real.

M. OSMOND: I know!

KING: What is this made of?

M. OSMOND: That's the new vinyl we have. That's our own vinyl. Push its tummy. Do you feel its heartbeat?


M. OSMOND: Isn't that fabulous? Can you see how cute she is? You can't see her face.

KING: Can you get a shot of her?

M. OSMOND: Isn't it fabulous? And look at this, this is, this is, look at this outfit.

KING: Press this?

M. OSMOND: Turn, show her behind. Look at this. Is that the cutest? Come on. KING: Now, this is a beautiful doll. These sell for, like, what?

M. OSMOND: You know, Larry, I don't even know. This is a prototype, and it's coming out...

KING: I'm holding the prototype.

M. OSMOND: You've got the prototype. Yes. So, I don't know -- probably like, what, $70, $75?

KING: In that range?


KING: Are there people who collect dolls?

M. OSMOND: Oh, yes. Huge.

KING: Really, there are dolls -- as opposed to buy your...

M. OSMOND: Would you like me to take her...

KING: No, no, no, let her rest. I feel comforted in my depression.

M. OSMOND: Are you depressed?

KING: No, I'm not depressed.

M. OSMOND: Well, I was just was curious, because you...

KING: No, but you said -- by the way, you said you don't need medication at all.

M. OSMOND: No. I don't take any.

KING: Most people -- and I've talked to many people who are depressed -- say that they need it for life.

M. OSMOND: Well, I'll tell you what I think. I think that there are underlying issues, you know? And if you don't deal with those issues, I think you probably do need it for life.

And there are certain things like serotonin levels that can't be reproduced -- or they say. But there actually are alternative ways to help produce serotonin. So, there's lots of information out there. It's just kind of seeking out what works best for you.

KING: What stage of life are you in now? Are you happy? I mean, how would you describe where you're at? You got the radio. You got this TV thing. You've got your dolls. Your marriage is happy now. You got the kids -- some of them are maybe having some problems, but basically...

M. OSMOND: They all struggle. Kids all struggle today. Yes, it's tough -- it's tough raising kids.

KING: Especially when you have eight? How do you balance the time? How do you give number six as much...

M. OSMOND: It's hard.

KING: ... time as you want to give number three?

M. OSMOND: You have to find those moments with each one of them. They're all tender. And they kind of raise each other. It's kind of what like we did. They're very close, you know?

But you know, I think family is an interesting thing nowadays. A lot of families don't even live in the same state, let alone the same country.

KING: Jet society.

M. OSMOND: Yes. And we're disconnected. I think has part of this maybe even depression. I think there's a real hope. I mean, you look at, you know, President Reagan's -- we did his inauguration.

He brought a hope back to the country. He was a positive person. Those are the kinds of things that I want to do. That's what I want now. You know, where am I in my life? I've lived a lot of life in my -- my, you know, first half.

KING: ... years.

M. OSMOND: And I've seen a lot of things. And I think people are looking for that picket fence of positiveness, of hope -- just something that they can laugh about, that they can think about.

I had a great call. I had a 20-year-old. I have a lot of college students listen to my show...

KING: Can't beat that.

M. OSMOND: ... which is fabulous. Yes. I guess they don't think I'm like their mother's age. They find my humor bizarre, and I do thought-provoking segments and things like that. And they'll call in, and -- they're looking for that.

They're looking for -- it's like I did a survey on marriage, and all these kids that come from divorced families, they want nothing to do with marriage. They're scared to death, commitment.

Woman -- you know, great blessing, she calls in and she's at a stoplight. And this guy with a 10-gallon hat asked for directions, flies in, swoops her off her feet and she says good-bye. I said, what's your problem?

And so, I keep calling people back. I'm nuts.

KING: You do? M. OSMOND: I do. I have fun, just to check up where they are. And I told her, I said, "You have such fear of commitment." And I said, "Were you married before?" And she goes, "Oh, yes. I got my heart busted." People's hearts are busted. They hurt. And I think they just need to know that everybody goes through it.

KING: Your show does a lot of lean-on-my-shoulder kind of things?

M. OSMOND: No, we're not -- you know, you just got to hear it. It's crazy. It's fun. It's upbeat. It's tender.

I'm -- you know, I guess because I grew up on television and I was in people's homes, they -- women, like, they relate to me. And I guess because I'm truly interested in their life, they just open up and tell me all kinds of things, Larry. It's amazing.

Woman called me up -- this is so great. She says, "Marie, I'm over 50. Men don't look at me much anymore." She says, "So, I spoil myself." I was talking about how we need to take care of ourselves. And she said, "So, I go to New York. I stay at the Y -- it's cheap -- so I can afford to go to a Broadway show. I'm working out. And there was this guy that comes in. He's kind of balding, kind of a belly, and not super attractive, but hey, he's giving me the eye. I'm thinking, hey, a date in New York City."

And so, she says, "I go into the bathroom to see if I have" -- how did she say it -- she says "to see if I have any rings under my pits or spinach in my teeth. All of a sudden, I hear this commotion. I come back out, there's six guys, paramedics around him. He's had a heart attack."

And she says, "Marie, I just want you to know that I may be over 50, but I've still got it."

KING: That's a great call.

M. OSMOND: And these are great -- I'm telling you, they're all like this. It's fabulous. We don't get people that are depressed that call. We have people that laugh, and so they call and tell us their funny, humorous stories.

KING: But they know about your depression. Don't they call about depression and their...

M. OSMOND: Because they know I understand. They know I've been there. They know -- it's like, you know, with abuse. Raising children. The stresses. Working mothers. Being a single mother. You know, going through all those things.

KING: You've had everything, right?

M. OSMOND: I swear I have, Larry!

KING: You ain't missed a thing, have you?

M. OSMOND: Well...

KING: You've been a single mother.

M. OSMOND: ... I pray -- no more. But you know what, it's not the good things that you learn from; it's the hard things. And my mother -- I'm a lot like her that way. She always found the glass half full.

KING: Did success early, do you think, affect you? You had early success.

M. OSMOND: Yes. I mean, Larry, I mean, you think about it, I worked with people like, you know, John Wayne and Groucho Marx and Lucille Ball and...

KING: Not many young kids get that.

M. OSMOND: No. On our show, we debuted Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, and you know, the gamut...

KING: So, you think it affected you?

M. OSMOND: And I see these kinds that are starting young and, you know, I've made -- I've been through all of it. I just think -- I made a lot of choices that were maybe, you know, different. But...

KING: You're the only one who's lived your life.

M. OSMOND: Well, I try -- you know, my faith, being God centered, I think it helps a lot.

KING: Thank you, doll.

M. OSMOND: I love you, Larry.

KING: Goodbye, always great seeing you.

M. OSMOND: You're so cute.

KING: Marie Osmond -- Marie -- I'm cute?

M. OSMOND: And coming up is the Larry baby doll.

KING: "Marie and Friends" on Jones Radio Network and the "Here's to Your Health" show on two cable networks. And the dolls are everywhere.

And we thank you for joining us, and I'll be back -- I'll be back in a couple minutes. Don't go away.


KING: Thanks for joining us for this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Aaron Brown and "NEWSNIGHT" is next. See you tomorrow night. Good night.


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