Olive May Davis
May 4, 1925
Samaria, Idaho, U.S.
|Died||May 9, 2004 (aged 79)|
Provo, Utah, U.S.
|Other names||Mother Osmond|
George Osmond (m. 1944)
|Children||Virl Osmond |
Olive May Osmond (née Davis; May 4, 1925 – May 9, 2004) was the matriarch of the American Osmond singing family.
Life and career
Osmond was born in Samaria, Idaho, the daughter of Vera Ann (née Nichols) and Thomas Martin Davis. She moved to Ogden, Utah where she worked as a secretary. There she met and fell in love with George Osmond. They married on December 1, 1944.
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. The other children, Alan, Wayne, Merrill, Jay, Donny, Marie, and Jimmy, were born healthy.
George formed a barbershop quartet consisting of Alan, Wayne, Merrill, and Jay. Singer Andy Williams' father saw their act at Disneyland, and from 1962 to 1971, the Osmond Brothers appeared on The Andy Williams Show. Donny made his debut on the program the day after his sixth birthday.
The brothers eventually left The Andy Williams Show and were regulars on The Jerry Lewis Show for a year before launching a successful recording career. They—including Donny, Marie, and Jimmy as solo artists—scored several hits, The Osmonds' biggest being "One Bad Apple", which climbed to Number 1. From 1976 to 1979, Donny and Marie hosted The Donny and Marie Show.
Marie played Olive in the 1982 TV movie Side by Side: The True Story of the Osmond Family. Another 2001 TV movie, Inside the Osmonds, produced by Jimmy, depicted the brothers' egos, George's fiscal mismanagement, and the family's quest to build a multi-media empire as leading to their downfall. As a nurturer and because of her love for all children who are struggling, Olive leveraged her family's fame to start The Osmond Foundation, now known as the Children's Miracle Network which Marie continues to support.
Olive Osmond died on May 9, 2004, which was Mother's Day and five days after her 79th birthday. The cause of her death was listed as complications from a stroke she had suffered on November 13, 2001. She was surrounded by her family. She is still remembered and loved by people everywhere as "Mother Osmond." She was survived by husband George (who died on November 6, 2007), their 9 children, 55 grandchildren, and 22 great-grandchildren.
George and Olive Osmond had nine children:
- (George) Virl Osmond, Jr. (born October 19th 1945)
- Thomas Rulon "Tom" Osmond (born October 26th 1947)
- Alan Ralph Osmond (born June 22nd 1949)
- (Melvin) Wayne Osmond (born August 28th 1951)
- Merrill Davis Osmond (born April 30th 1953)
- Jay Wesley Osmond (born March 2nd 1955)
- Donald "Donny" Clark Osmond (born December 9th 1957)
- Olive Marie Osmond (born October 13th 1959)
- James Arthur "Jimmy" Osmond (born April 16th 1963)