Under The Microscope With Jimmy Osmond
by Sarah Ewing
November 14, 2011
The 48-year-old entertainer on taking advantage of room service whilst opening for the King in Las Vegas and the shock of having a stroke at 40
'I had a stroke when I was 40, which caught me completely off-guard,' said Jimmy Osmond
HOW FIT DO YOU FEEL FOR YOUR AGE?
I regularly play football with my four kids (Sophia, 17, Zachary, 14, Wyatt, 11, and Bella, nine). However, I don’t have much muscle tone — despite doing 200-plus shows a year I’m more of a sedentary performer.
HOW HEALTHILY DO YOU EAT?
It can be hard avoiding calorie-rich food on the road. I remember opening for Elvis in Vegas when I was 11 and, with food on tap via room service, gobbling down a mountain of grilled cheese sandwiches. Midway through one of my songs, I threw up over the entire front row. When I looked up at the balcony, Elvis was laughing his head off at me.
TAKE ANY VITAMINS?
I don’t really take anything except a daily aspirin, recommended by my doctor. But I love those Gummy Bear vitamins — I probably pop too many actually.
'I remember opening for Elvis Presley when I was 11 and, with food on tap via room service, gobbling down a mountain of grilled cheese sandwiches'
ANY FOOD VICES?
Probably all ice-cream. I love pistachio, Rocky Road, pralines and cream and the chocolate-chocolate-chip from Haagen-Dazs. I get big cravings for that.
I had a stroke when I was 40, which caught me completely off-guard. After I suffered from crazy vision-blurring headaches doctors found a hole in my heart the size of a pound coin, which was sending little blood clots up to my brain.
It was a birth defect and often closes up of its own accord, but in my case it hadn’t, so I needed surgery. After further tests, it turned out three of my brothers, two nephews and my daughter Bella had it, too.
We’re all now being used in a study at the University of Utah to look at the genetic angle. It made me realise that life really is a gift and we just have to embrace it.
HOW WELL DO YOU HANDLE PAIN?
Pretty good as I come from hardy stock. Dad was an army sergeant, World War II veteran and a cowboy, and was one of those guys that if he’d cut his finger off, he’d have fed it to the cat!
'I threw up over the entire front row. When I looked up at the balcony, Elvis was laughing his head off at me'
EVER GOOGLED AN ILLNESS?
No, but my wife Michelle does regularly. She’s amazing. Whenever one of us or the children is sick, she’s straight online. She gives more helpful advice than the doctor, I think.
HAVE YOU EVER TRIED ALTERNATIVE THERAPY?
Massage and chiropractic have helped me with general aches and pains. I had acupuncture once, which just felt a bit pokey and tickly, so not sure it really helped.
I went through a phase not long after my stroke where I was a little germ-phobic, always worried that I was going to pick up a bug and washed my hands lots.
LIKE TO LIVE FOR EVER?
I’m a strong believer that through Jesus Christ, we’ll all have eternal life.
Jimmy Osmond is performing at the Macmillan Centenary Gala on November 28 at the London Palladium, with proceeds to Macmillan Cancer Support.