Donald Clark Osmond (Donny) is certainly not a stranger to the entertainment business. For more than 50 years, he has performed on stage with his brothers, in concert and shows with his famous sister Marie, on solo tours in different parts of the world including the United Kingdom, and he has also been spotlighted on the Broadway stage. Thus, it should come as no surprise that Donny also has a long-standing performance relationship with Disney.
In an interview with broadway.com in October 2006, Donny said, “It’s because of Disney that I am in show business. Walt basically discovered my brothers singing in Disneyland and then put us on his television shows.” When he was asked why he was interested in making his return to Broadway in the musical Beauty and the Beast, he commented, “I had loved the film since it opened in 1991, and then the stage show as well—and I’m not saying this just because here I am playing the role of Gaston. My involvement with this show began with my relationship with the folks at Disney, for whom I did [the 1998 animated feature] Mulan.”
In Mulan, Donny sang the vocals for the song “I’ll Make a Man Out of You,” a song which Entertainment Weekly dubbed “one of the top 20 Disney songs of all time.” After receiving the news from his friend Tom Cuddy about the success of the song, Donny remarked in a Facebook post, “I’m honored that “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” made Entertainment Weekly‘s Top 20 Disney Songs of All Time. In my grandkids’ eyes, this is easily my greatest accomplishment yet.”
So, how did Donny Osmond land the role of the “swaggering, muscle-bound dope Gaston, who chases Belle, clanks beer steins, sings about his own wonderfulness and battles the Beast”? In this case, he did not have to audition for the part. Disney approached him. Some of Donny’s fans might wonder why he did not ask to audition for the lead role of the Beast, but Donny said, “I was more interested in Gaston. This is the role I want to play for the simple reason that it really goes against type.”
However, with his decades-long career, Donny Osmond has managed to stay grounded despite all the fame and fortune. He attributes his down-to-earth attitude to his faith. In a January 2015 Huffington Post interview, Donny told Nancy Redd, “I have such a firm belief in God, Jesus Christ. I’m a true Christian. I want to be careful that I don’t shove it down anybody’s throats.” Although he never served a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he says that his ties to the Church have served him well. He further commented, “It’s kept me grounded in life. If you have a belief in a higher power, in God, and you recognize that, it keeps you humble. It keeps your … feet on the ground, it keeps your perspective on life.”
Per LDS Living, Donny recently posted a comment on his Facebook page about how much being a part of the Broadway musical Beauty and the Beast meant to him. In the post, he said, “When I hear that trademark music, I can’t help but smile and think of my days playing Gaston in Broadway’s Beauty and the Beast. Gaston was a very fun character to play. And I must admit, it felt great to let my true colors shine as the arrogant, self-consumed villain.”