Donny Osmond Reveals Struggles with Anxiety: How His Wife Guided Him Through the “Dark Years” of His Career

Donny Osmond has been entertaining people for a very long time, singing lots of songs and performing in big places. Sometimes, when people become famous, it can be tough for them, but Donny’s life has been different.

He’s been married to his wife, Debbie, for more than 45 years. They met when they were teenagers, and even though she wasn’t interested in him at first, they fell in love. Donny says Debbie saved his life and has been the most important person to him.

Donny started his career when he was really young, around six years old. He and his brothers became famous as the Osmond Brothers and even moved to Los Angeles for better opportunities. In the ’70s, Donny was a teen idol with a successful solo career.

Being famous can be hard, though. Donny explained that when you try to keep being successful and don’t realize you need to change, it gets tough. People around you might create a reality that isn’t true.

But for Donny, his family and his faith were crucial. He says having a good family and strong beliefs helped him stay true to himself. He thinks it’s dangerous to let popularity define who you are and believes in knowing the real person inside.



“It’s really tough when you’re in the middle of all this excitement, the screaming, and everything. People are screaming for an image, you know. And then you go home, put on your pants, and eat breakfast just like anyone else. You’re just like anyone else.”

Now, let’s talk about Donny Osmond and his wife Debbie’s love story.

Donny Osmond was a heartthrob, and when he was a teenager, many people fell in love with him. But for Donny, there was only one girl he loved, his wife Debbie. They’ve been married for over 40 years!

They met when they were teenagers. Donny was 17, and Debbie was 16. Even though Donny called her his first true love, she didn’t want to date him at first because she dated his brother.

“She was the hot cheerleader in town and dated my brother Jay [Osmond] before me,” Donny said in a Facebook post from 2016. “It took me 3 whole years to win her heart and convince her to marry me.”

Finally, Donny and Debbie started dating. Donny planned something special for her 17th birthday in 1976, including a limousine ride and a romantic dinner. He really wanted to impress her.

“Debbie was playing hard to get, and I wanted to plan something really, really special for our first kiss,” Donny told the Utah Valley Magazine.



After a lovely dinner, Donny planned a game for Debbie called a scavenger hunt. It led them to Utah Lake, where they shared their first kiss.

Donny and Debbie got married when Donny was 20, and Debbie was 19. They tied the knot on May 8, 1978, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah. Although many friends and family were happy for them, not everyone felt the same way.

Donny’s father, George, didn’t approve of his son being in a relationship. He thought it could harm Donny’s career. Donny said in 2017 that when he told his dad about his feelings for Debbie, his dad said, “There goes your career, but this is ushering in your personal life.”

Donny admitted that his dad was right about his career taking a hit after he got married. But he believes Debbie is an amazing person, and if he hadn’t married her, he would have been in a bad place. Donny learned a lot from his parents about love, respect, and giving children a voice. Even though his parenting style was influenced by his dad at first, he says he became a more relaxed dad over time.



Donny and Debbie became parents in 1979 when their first child, Donald Clark Osmond Jr., was born. In the following years, they had four more children: Don (born in 1979), Jeremy (1981), Brandon (1985), Christopher (1990), and Joshua (1998).

Even though Donny was a famous singer, his wife Debbie played a crucial role in making sure their kids had a normal childhood.

On Valentine’s Day in 2020, Donny wrote a sweet message to Debbie, calling her “the absolute love of my life.” He expressed gratitude for her influence in his life and praised her for being not just the love of his life but also his best friend and greatest confidant. Despite managing their five sons, running the household, spending time with grandchildren, and running a business, Donny admired how she handled everything.

During Donny’s solo career in the early 1980s, he faced mental health problems. The pressure to be perfect and deliver flawless performances every night took a toll. In Minneapolis, it reached a breaking point, leading to Donny experiencing a panic attack.



Donny Osmond went through a tough time with his mental health. One day, he was lying in bed, shaking, and he felt something was really wrong. His wife took him to the hospital, and Donny almost cried when he talked about how scary it was.

“I collapsed. I was afraid of failing, of making a mistake,” he said.

But his struggles with anxiety started even earlier, when he was a teenager. Everywhere he went, girls chased him, and the attention became too much for him to handle.

Once, after a show in Hawaii, he went to his family’s house and just curled up in a ball. His brother Jay asked him what was wrong, and Donny said he felt lonely. Jay was surprised, saying, “You just had thousands of girls screaming your name. Why are you lonely?” Donny replied, “I don’t know. I just need someone.”

Donny fell in love with Debbie not long after that, but he knew it would change everything. He thought his career would be “over” when people found out about their relationship. However, that didn’t happen. Unfortunately, his anxiety problems stayed with him for many years.

Even when he played Joseph in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” Donny didn’t believe he could do it.



In the toughest times of Donny Osmond’s career, Debbie, his wife, was his savior.

He described his anxiety like standing in the middle of a busy intersection with a huge truck rushing at him, and he couldn’t do anything about it. In an interview with People Magazine, he said, “I would walk on stage knowing I was going to die. It was horrible.”

Debbie came to his rescue during what he calls “the dark years” of his career. When he was struggling, she suggested he go out and just do an average show. Surprisingly, it turned out to be the best show he ever did because he allowed himself to make mistakes.

Donny stayed on the show for over six years, performing around 2000 times in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” This experience laid the foundation for him to become a versatile entertainer.

On The Drew Barrymore Show, Donny shared how Debbie pulled him out of a desperate place during those tough years. When making decisions, he always considers how they will affect Debbie, their children, and grandchildren. If all four green lights are on, then he goes ahead. He believes that prioritizing Debbie has been a key factor in their 43-year marriage.

Donny and Debbie are a wonderful couple, and we wish them all the best in the future! If you’re a fan of Donny Osmond, share this article.