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In Branson, Jimmy Osmond returns the favor to Andy Williams

First Published      Last Updated Mar 14 2014 02:19 pm

Jimmy Osmond is trying to pay back to the man who launched his stardom and that of his famous family.

Osmond, the youngest of the performing Osmond clan, has taken the job of Head of Operations for the Andy Williams Moon River Theatre in Branson, Mo. — 47 years after a 3-year-old Jimmy Osmond made his TV debut on Williams' variety show.

"It will always be Andy's theater, and I'm going to run it the way I hope he'd want it to be ran," Osmond told the Branson Tri-Lakes News.

Osmond moved to Branson in the '90s, along with other members of his family, when he opened the Osmond Family Theatre in 1992. The family performed there for a decade, before Jimmy started renting the theater out to other performers — and the Osmonds started performing at other Branson venues.

Osmond sold the theater in 2009, and it's now known as the Clay Cooper Theatre.

Some years later, Osmond said, Williams contacted him to ask if he could book shows at the theater. They even talked about performing together in 2012, but Williams died before the Osmonds returned to Branson.

The Osmonds went on to perform the Christmas show at the Andy Williams Theatre that year, sharing the stage with the Lennon Sisters. Last year, the Williams family asked Osmond to help run the theater and book acts.

For the coming season, Osmond has booked The Lettermen, Sha Na Na, "The Price Is Right" and illusionist Rick Thomas. Also, the Osmond Brothers and the Lennon Sisters will return for a Christmas show.