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CASTING CORNER
 
Thursday, January 31, 2002
The Osmonds

Besides the Sundance Film Festival and world-class ski resorts, Utah is home to Mormon royalty. Donny Osmond is thrilled people are finally catching on to the beauty and majesty of his home state.

He says, “I remember back in the 60s and 70s when everyone said, ‘Utah? You're out in the middle of nowhere.’”

But Utah was the middle of nowhere until the Osmond family put the state on the map. The "Donny and Marie" show and various other Osmond family ventures aired from 1976 to 1981. Their success prompted the singing clan to build their own hometown production studio in Orem, Utah.

The "Donny and Marie" show was huge in the 70s and of course it was produced at the Osmond studios. In the two decades since, an incredible number of shows have been brought to life in those studios, including a series for Disney.

The Osmond have since sold the studio, but their influence is still felt all over the state. A marquee advertises an Osmond concert in Salt Lake City. Park City is home to the Osmond general store. And burgers at the local Hard Rock Cafe are served up with a healthy dose of Osmond memorabilia.

Donny says, “It's not unusual to see an Osmond walking around in Utah.”

Most of the Osmonds still call Utah home and Donny, Marie, and their dad will be representing their beloved state when they each carry the Olympic torch. Donny says, “I just hope I don't trip.”

And Donny hinted he might have another official role in the games. He says, “Keep an eye on the closing ceremonies, that's all I’ll say!”

Even though Donny has reached the heights of Hollywood fame, it's Utah that keeps him grounded. He says, “In showbiz when you are on stage and people are giving you standing ovations and things like that, that's wonderful, I love every bit of that. But what's equally important is to take that hat off and come home and be a real person that's why I love Utah.”

 


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