Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Olive Osmond (born Olive May Davis in Samaria, Idaho on May 4, 1925 - May 9, 2004 in Provo, Utah) was the matriarch of the American Osmond singing family, and mother of entertainers Donny Osmond and Marie Osmond.
Their first two children, Virl and Tom , were born with a degenerative condition which left them nearly deaf. Doctors warned the couple that any other children would be at risk of inheriting the same disorder, but George and Olive wanted a large family. Fortunately, the rest of the children, Alan , Wayne , Merrill , Jay , Donny, Marie, and Jimmy , were born healthy.
Soon, George had Alan, Wayne, Merrill and Jay performing as a barbershop quartet. Singer Andy Williams saw their act at Disneyland, and from 1962-1971, the Osmond Brothers were on The Andy Williams Show. Donny made his show-business debut on the show the day after his sixth birthday.
The brothers eventually left The Andy Williams Show and launched a successful recording career. They - including Donny, Marie, and Jimmy as solo artists - scored several hits, their biggest the #1 "One Bad Apple." From 1976-1979, Donny and Marie hosted The Donny and Marie Show. Their popularity sparked world-wide growth in the family's Mormon faith.
Perhaps the only dents in the their squeaky-clean image have been Tom's and Marie's divorces, and the family's campaign against the Equal Rights Amendment from being passed in Utah.
Marie played Olive in the 1982 TV movie Side by Side: The True Story of the Osmond Family. A less sugar-coated 2001 TV movie, Inside the Osmonds, produced by Jimmy, showed how the brothers' egos, George's fiscal mismanagement, and the family's quest to build a multi-media empire led to their downfall.
Because of Tom's and Virl's disabilities, Olive used her family's fame to start The Osmond Foundation, now known as the Children's Miracle Network .
Olive Osmond died on Mother's Day from complications of a stroke she suffered on November 13, 2001, surrounded by her husband and children. She is still remembered by Osmond fans everywhere as "Mother Osmond". She is survived by husband George, their nine children, fifty-five grandchildren, and twenty-two great-grandchildren.
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