Stars in his eyes: Family is everything to Little Jimmy Osmond

HE’S known as Little Jimmy Osmond but there’s nothing small about his career. The youngest of the 1970s chart-topping Osmond family, Jimmy joined his brothers aged three, earning his first of six gold records two years later. And though he has sung and glittered with showbiz royalty through the decades — including Elvis and Andy Williams — he carries his fame lightly.

Stars in his eyes: Family is everything to Little Jimmy Osmond

By Irene Feighan

HE’S known as Little Jimmy Osmond but there’s nothing small about his career.

The youngest of the 1970s chart-topping Osmond family, Jimmy joined his brothers aged three, earning his first of six gold records two years later.

And though he has sung and glittered with showbiz royalty through the decades — including Elvis and Andy Williams — he carries his fame lightly.

In fact, he’s decidedly unstarry.

Over the phone from his Missouri base, he listens carefully to the questions — “it’s like a trip to the psychiatric,” he jokes — and answers each one fully.

Family is the centre of his world. He married Michelle in 1991 — “we are still love birds” — and opens up when he talks about their four children, aged from 16 to 24.

“All my kids have done really well,” says the 55-year-old who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “I think it’s because Michelle is so good — they seem to have respect for people and they seem to have some discipline in their life which is really valuable. All that has come from her, not from me — I’m the Disneyland Dad. I like to spoil.”

Moon River and me, a tribute to Andy Williams, September 7, Lime Tree Theatre, Limerick, and September 8, The Helix, DCU.

What shape are you in?

You can always be in better shape. I can still hike a mountain with my daughter — and I do 200 shows a year, so that keeps me going. When you own your own theatre and you’re on tour or doing pantomime or whatever you can tick by a lot of shows every year.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

I love to cook — I was a runner up in Celebrity MasterChef — and I kinda got heavier. At the start of this year I decided to cook a bit healthier and it has paid off. I’ve dropped weight and I feel so much better. I’ve probably got a long way to go to my personal goal but I feel good.

What are your guiltiest pleasures?

Ice cream would be number one, two, three, four, and five. I like making ice cream with fresh fruit at home. In the summer we get great peaches and strawberries.

What would keep you awake at night?

I’m a pretty good sleeper. But I worry about my kids.

How do you relax?

I love to laugh — and to make light of the craziness. Things have a way of working themselves out regardless of the problems we all face. My mum had a great saying: Tragedy plus timing plus humour — you might as well laugh about it now.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

I’d love to have my mum. She just had a way of communicating with people and she was always such a positive force in my life. I’d also like Elvis to show up — he was cool. And my little family — we always love to eat dinner together. I love hearing about their lives and being involved as much as they’ll let me.

What’s your favourite smell?

Gardenia — my mum loved it too. I used to have a place in Hawaii — we had gardenias everywhere. Also, there’s nothing like a good steak and fresh bread in the oven. I like patchouli oil as well .

What would you change about your appearance?

I hate looking at pictures of myself or when I’m on TV. But I’m just grateful that I have a body that works and a mind that works and I can still sing.

When is the last time you cried?

Last night. I was helping my son Wyatt clean his room and we were having a good chat — it was so cool. He just hugged me and told me how much he loved me. Even now it kinda chokes me up. He is going on a church service mission in South Africa and he’ll be gone quite a while. It buckles me at the knees.

What traits do you least like in others?

Ego and selfishness. I think they are the root of all our troubles in the world. I also hate people who hate others — I just don’t get it.

What traits do you least like about yourself?

I’m a little bit overly critical with myself. Also, my ego every once in a while flares and I hate that in me.

Do you pray?

There is always a prayer in my heart — morning, noon and night. There isn’t a show that I’ve ever done in my life where I haven’t said a prayer before I’ve come on. I need that energy and power and relationship with God.

What would cheer up your day?

I just love spending time with my loved ones — hearing from one of my siblings that I worked so hard with for so many years. Even though families have conflicts, I’m grateful that I can still be friends with my siblings after all these years.

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