James Arthur Osmond (born 16 April 1963) is an American singer, actor, and businessman. He was born in Canoga Park, California, making him the only one of the late George Virl Osmond Sr. (12 October 1917 – 6 November 2007) and the late Olive May Davis Osmond's (4 May 1925 – 9 May 2004) nine children not to have been born in the family’s hometown of Ogden, Utah. He is the youngest of the nine. His siblings are Virl, Tom, Alan, Wayne, Merrill, Jay, Donny, and Marie. Virl and Tom, the oldest of his siblings, were born hearing impaired.
For a time, Jimmy sang with his brothers—Alan, Wayne, Merrill, Jay, and Donny—musically known as The Osmond Brothers. He began his career at the age of three, appearing with his brothers on the Andy Williams Show in 1966. recalling that experience, he said, "I’d seen my brothers on TV and thought, 'I’d like to do that.' It just seemed the natural thing to do. Singing and dancing were the family business." At five years of age, he became the first member of his family to receive a gold record for "My Little Darling" which he recorded in Japanese. He said, "I was the first American to sing in Japanese and have a No 1 hit. The Japanese people were so nice to me; they flooded me with presents and flowers. It was surreal."
In 1972, The Guinness Book of World Records named him the youngest performer to have a #1 single on the United Kingdom Singles Chart for his recording of "Long Haired Lover from Liverpool." The song was credited to "Little Jimmy Osmond." He also recorded several other albums (two in Japanese, one in Spanish – "Siempre Tu") and numerous singles. As a solo artist, Jimmy has accumulated six gold records, one platinum record, and two gold albums. About his successes, he says:
- My dad was an army sergeant and we never really celebrated our successes, so we never had a chance to get spoiled. But if my dad hadn’t been so strict, we would have gone off the rails big-time. We were offered everything. Thank goodness, we had our Mormon belief, which gave us a code to live by. The biggest temptations were drink, drugs and girls.
By the time Jimmy was 14, he was living on his own in Japan earning lots of money from hosting his own television show. In the 1980s, he got into concert promotion, working for Bon Jovi and Michael Jackson.
In addition to a successful solo career, Jimmy starred in the 1978 film The Great Brain. He made guest appearances on the television shows Fame (two episodes) and Love Boat. He has appeared on several celebrity reality shows, such as I’m a Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here! (2005), All-Star Family Fortunes (2006), Celebrity Bedlam (2012), and Celebrity MasterChef (2016 – he was a finalist). In January 2010, Jimmy participated in the British ITV1 celebrity reality television program Popstar to Opera Star.
He appeared on the Donny & Marie show from 1976 to 1979. He has also appeared in musical theater, including starring in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamboat. He also appeared in Grease, Chicago, and Peter Pan. He also starred in Boogie Nights in 2004 at the Grand Theatre in Blackpool. In 2005, Jimmy Osmond’s American Jukebox Show toured the UK, again to the Grand Theatre in Blackpool. Costars of the show included Billy Pearce and his brothers Jay and Wayne. From 11 December 2010 to 2 January 2011, he played Buttons in Cinderella at the White Rock Theatre in Hastings, and from 16 December 2011 to 15 January 2012, the role of Wishee Washee in Aladdin at Grand Theatre, Swansea.
In 2018, while performing in a play in Birmingham, England, Jimmy suffered a stroke. He was in the cast of “Peter Pan,” playing the Captain Hook character, when he felt discomfort during a performance at the Birmingham Hippodrome. After the show, he was driven to the hospital where he was diagnosed with having a stroke. He also suffered a mini-stroke in 2004.
Success Beyond the Solo Career and Acting
He has had a successful career as a producer for BBC, ABC, PBS, and the Disney Channel. In 2014, he became the owner and manager of the Andy Williams Moon River Performing Arts Center in Branson, Missouri. Also in 2014, he authored a semi-autobiographical children’s picture book, Awesome Possum Family Band. In 2015, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Arts and Humanities from Iowa Wesleyan University. He was the first Osmond family member to receive that distinction. He delivered the keynote commencement speech on 9 May 2015.
Jimmy Osmond is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He married Michele Larson in 1992. They have four children: Sophia Michele (born 1994), Zachary James “Zack” (born 1997), Arthur Wyatt (born 2000), and Isabella Olive Renae “Bella” (born 2002). He still performs with his brothers, produces the Osmonds' shows (which nowadays consists of himself, Merrill, and Jay), runs a property business and has appeared on British TV. He was also the lead singer for his family’s album titled I Can’t Get There Without You which was released in 2012, celebrating their 50th anniversary in show business. He is also chairman of the Osmond Foundation and president of Osmond Entertainment. You can learn more about Jimmy Osmond at MormonMusic.org.