Nearly all of entertainer Marie Osmond's life has played out publicly. The mother of eight and best-selling author lets readers in on her thoughts and insights in her new book, "Might As Well Start Laughing Now."
The beloved superstar describes the milestones in her personal and public life, as well as her missteps. Read an excerpt of her book below and get Osmond's advice about how to survive.
Yes, I really did an episode of The Love Boat. It's pretty hard to comprehend that I would turn down the role of Sandy opposite John Travolta in the movie Grease, and then later agree to play a sheltered Italian girl on The Love Boat, but it's true.
Even now, thirty years later, some people I meet will still bring up my decision, and the fact that Olivia Newton-John achieved such major fame in the role that I turned down. They usually ask me about it with a quizzical look of disbelief, like: "What happened? I thought you didn't do drugs? Did you have a mental lapse?"
I'm sure it would have been a lot of fun to work with John Travolta and the talented cast, but I still have no regrets.
Even though the music was fun and the script was good, the ending of the story seemed to send a strongly mixed message to young girls, one that made me feel uncomfortable: the sweet "good girl" chooses to become a very different person due to peer pressure. As Rizzo sings in the movie, Sandy was "lousy with virginity." With the "cool" girls rating her moral values as a personal flaw, Sandy vows to change.
At the end of the movie, she appears as her transformed self in tight black pants, a revealing shirt, sassy high heels, a cigarette in hand, and an attitude of "come and get it." This is the "happy" ending for Sandy – becoming exactly what her peers and boyfriend want her to be. From my perspective, it was not a story of a girl becoming a woman; it was a story of a girl becoming a sex object.
When the part was offered to me, I was still a teenager. Being in the public eye, I was watched closely by many other young people. Beyond that, however, I had been raised to believe that being a female was a blessing full of unique privilege. I see women as being the co-creators and nurturers of the future, the nucleus of the family. My parents had taught me that having self-respect as a woman could never be replaced by any amount of money, possessions, or popularity. It's something I want each of my own daughters to know, and something I learned a lot about in 1982 on the set of The Love Boat.
When I was offered the guest-star role of Maria Rosselli, one of the deciding factors for me was the chance to work with two incredible stage and screen legends: the funny and dear Ernest Borgnine, and the outrageously talented Shelley Winters. In the story line, the two of them were playing my cantankerous grandparents, who were journeying with me to meet my husband-to-be.