CNN Europe CNN Asia
On CNN TV Transcripts Headline News CNN International About Preferences
powered by Yahoo!
Return to Transcripts main page


Profiles of Halle Berry, Ozzy Osbourne

Aired January 1, 2003 - 14:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: Next on PEOPLE IN THE NEWS, she's the barrier-breaking beauty whose new movie gives her a license to thrill.

HALLE BERRY, ACTRESS: I just felt as a woman that I had to stuff my sexuality somewhere. I'm learning, hey, that's my secret weapon.


ANNOUNCER: But beneath the beauty, a background of racial turmoil and pain.


ANNE-MARIE O'NEILL, SENIOR EDITOR, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: Halle Berry had it rough growing up. Her father, she says, was abusive alcoholic.


ANNOUNCER: She went from beauty pageants to the big screen, but her relationships haven't been as successful.


CHRISTOPHER JOHN FARLEY, AUTHOR, "INTRODUCING HALLE BERRY": Halle Berry had him served with divorce papers, you know, between the fifth and sixth innings.


ANNOUNCER: She made history by scoring a monster upset at last year's Oscars.


BERRY: I saw that sign and I was thinking, wait a minute, 74 years.


ANNOUNCER: Now she's the new Bond girl in "Die Another Day." A look at Halle Berry. Then, she is the sort of success story they make movies about. PAULA ZAHN, HOST: Hi welcome to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS. I'm Paula Zahn. Halle Berry is having a big year. A year that has changed her life. She has made history at the Oscars and joined the most successful franchise in movie history. With the premiere of the latest James Bond thriller, "Die Another Day," Berry should be on top of the world. Instead, she's had to deal with heartache and hurdles she never would have imagined. Here's Daryn Kagan.


PIERCE BRONSON, ACTOR: Magnificent view!

BERRY: My friends call me Jinx.

BRONSON: My friends call me James Bond.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bond, James and Berry, Halle Berry, a combination to die for...

BERRY: I could use a little help here!

KAGAN: ... in "Die Another Day," the 20th James Bond film and Berry's first since taking home Oscar.

BERRY: It's a great night. I never thought it would be possible in my lifetime.


KAGAN: Halle Berry is that rarest of Hollywood celebrity, a stunning mixture of glamour, beauty, and acting ability.

BERRY: I met your daddy.

BRONSON: I love the woman to bits. I mean she's the most beautiful lady and she's a girl who's at the top of her game.

Jinx, you say?

BERRY: Born on Friday the 13th.

KAGAN: And Berry's character, Jinx, may be the toughest Bond babe to date.

BERRY: Well, she has all of the elements of a Bond girl. You know, she's beautiful, she's sexy and she's comfortable with her sexuality. But this time, she also is Bond's equal, for real.

Your mama.

You know she essentially has the same job that he has. She's a trained assassin for her country as he is. And not only does he want her physically but he needs her because she saves his hide a couple of times.

BRONSON: Not yet! FARLEY: Halle Berry, from early on in her career, was someone that threw herself into a role, not just emotionally but intellectually as well.

KAGAN: Berry's drive, her talent and her good fortune have made her one of most recognizable stars in the world. But Halle Berry's story isn't just one of great fame. It's also a study in law, in pain, in the search for love and acceptance.

FARLEY: When we look at Halle, it's hard to believe there's that much pain in her background. I mean she's got the beautiful smile, the beautiful skin, the beautiful attitude. She's nothing but friendly and applicable to anyone that's ever met her. But she does have this core of pain that goes back to her father.

KAGAN: Halle Berry was born in 1966. She was named after a hometown department store in Cleveland, Ohio. At the time, John F. Kennedy had already been assassinated. Martin Luther King Jr. was about to be. And Berry's childhood was as turbulent as the times.

O'NEILL: Halle Berry had it rough growing up. Her father, she says, was an abusive alcoholic. He left the family when she was four.

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": What was the lowest point ever?

BERRY: Ever in my life or career -- or this career?

KING: Either one, life?

BERRY: Life. Probably when I was 10 and my father who had left us came back to live with us for a year. That was probably one of the worst life -- years of my life.

KING: It was a bad year?

BERRY: A terror -- the worst year of my life, yes. And probably because I loved him so much, I think, on some level and desperately wanted a father. But having him come back into our home and being very violent and being an alcoholic and sort of abusing my mother and my sister, but never me, I think I grew up with a lot of guilt because...

KING: Why not you?

BERRY: Why not me? Yes. And that -- it was the worst -- the worst year.

KING: The youngest daughter of a white mother and a black father, Berry also struggled early on with the ugliness of racism.

O'NEILL: Another factor that made her childhood difficult was coming to terms with being a biracial child and experiencing all kinds of discrimination. And in growing up, she's always said that the person who helped her deal with that was her mother.

FARRELL: Her father left and her mom sat her down and said, "Listen, you're black. You're being raised by a white mother, but you're black. People are going to treat you that way. You think of yourself that way and life will be easier for you."

KAGAN: But little was easy in Cleveland during the late 60's and 70's for a young person of mixed race.

FARRELL: She originally attended some -- mostly black schools in the city. And she found that black girls would make fun of her for looking partly white. And then, when she moved out to the suburbs, she found that white girls would make fun of her for looking partly black. It's almost as if she couldn't win.

KAGAN: Berry internalized much of her struggle with discrimination and need for acceptance fueled an intense desire to succeed.

FARRELL: Halle wanted to be loved because she felt a pull from both sides. That made her a joiner and she became a cheerleader and she was good at that. She ran for class president, she was good at that. Then she wanted to become prom queen, too and she ran for that. And she seemingly won, but then there was some sort of difficulty and they had a meeting and they said it was a tie and a white girl has tied with you. And they had a coin flip that Halle won but she felt suspicious of that.

KAGAN: After high school, the young woman who had always thought to play down the color of her skin turned to the most image-driven of affairs, beauty pageants.

O'NEILL: She was a beauty queen and she's attributed that with how she managed to overcome like difficult times she had had with being treated with discrimination and this way to make her stand up and say, "No, you know, I'm beautiful whatever you say."

KAGAN: Berry's pageant life took her from Cleveland to Chicago, a big city with big hurdles, bad roommates and bitter lessons.

FARRELL: One of her roommates kind of skipped out without paying the more than $1,000 worth of rent that was owed. And Halle didn't know what to do. She didn't have the money to pay for it. So she calls her mom, Judith, and Judith said, "Listen, want to make it in the big city, you want to be a success, you've got to deal with this on your own." And Halle didn't understand it at first but it helped her. It helped her to be self-sufficient.

KAGAN: With no safety net and no one to bail her out, Halle Berry risked it all, trading her tiara for the uncertainty of acting.

When PEOPLE IN THE NEWS continues, Halle Berry fights for her first big break in "Jungle Fever" and falls hard for the wrong man.

FARRELL: One thing people can learn from Halle Berry's relationship with David Justice is if you don't like baseball, then don't marry a baseball player.





KAGAN (voice-over): Halle Berry began her career onstage as a beauty queen, eventually becoming first runner-up in the 1985 Miss U.S.A. competition.

FARRELL: Lauren Becall once said that stardom isn't a profession, it's an accident. And the same is really true of Halle Berry's path to stardom. She really got into being a beauty queen quite by accident. She needed money.

KAGAN: Although she was known as terrific competitor, Berry wouldn't remain on the pageant circuit for long. She had bigger plans. She was going to be an actress.

In 1999, Berry landed a part in the television sitcom, "Living Dolls." It was her first big job. She was on her way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are you working on?

BERRY: Finding properties of hyper kinetic complex molecules.

KAGAN: And then, the lights went out. While filming an episode of "Living Dolls," Berry collapsed. No one knew what was wrong. Doctors were consulted and Berry was eventually informed that she had diabetes. Adding to her stress, "Living Dolls" was canceled after only a few weeks on the air. For Berry, it seemed grim but she actually was about to step into the right place at the right time.

FARRELL: When Halle Berry really was coming of age as a star in Hollywood, there were people like the Hughes brothers, Spike Lee, Robert Townsend, directors who had a vision for blacks on screen.

KAGAN: Ironically, director, Spike Lee's vision for Halle Berry almost cost the young actress her break into film. Lee didn't think Berry was right to play Samuel L. Jackson's drug-addicted girlfriend in "Jungle Fever," thought she was too beautiful.

SAMUEL L. JACKSON, ACTOR: I want you all to meet my new woman, Viv.

KAGAN: But Berry was out to prove that she was more than a pretty face. She stopped bathing for several days to prepare for the gritty role and eventually won Lee over.

BERRY: Here!

KAGAN: Critical praise for jungle fever led to more substantial roles, including a starring term in 1995's "Losing Isaiah."

BERRY: If you think you're just going walk up in this court and take my baby like you take some puppy from a pound, you got another thing coming, lady.

KAGAN: And later, opposite Hollywood legend, Warren Beatty in "Bulworth." Although Berry was dazzling critics in 1990s, she was becoming better known to the public as a Cover Girl.

O'NEILL: Then there came a time where she was really known as the face of Revlon. She was wearing beautiful gowns to all of the performances and award shows and became more as Halle Berry beauty queen.

KAGAN: Whatever her professional image, Berry's career was definitely on the rise. Her private life, however, was another matter.

O'NEILL: Halle Berry has not had as much luck in love as she has had in her career. She started off badly. She talked about a former boyfriend who beat her so hard that she ended up deaf in one hear or 80 percent deaf in one ear.

KAGAN: But it was Berry's disastrous marriage to baseball player, David Justice that really ushered in a dark period in the actress's life.

FARRELL: One thing people can learn from Halle Berry's relationship with David Justice is if you don't like baseball, you know, don't marry a baseball player. She never really liked baseball.

BERRY: It wasn't the life for me. You know what I mean. To some people, it's a great life. It wasn't something that I found a lot of happiness with.

KAGAN: Berry's split with Justice was very tense and very messy.

FARRELL: Halle Berry had him served with divorce papers, you know, between the fifth and sixth innings of a Padre's game. That's not a good way to sort of make friends with someone who's soon to be your ex.

O'NEILL: All kinds of accusations have flown on both sides of her marriage with David Justice. She had accused him in print of sleeping with prostitutes, strippers. He's accused her of all kinds of things as well. And she put a restraining order against him. It was messy. It was really nasty on both sides.

KAGAN: The divorce took an enormous toll on Berry.

BERRY: I was a woman who grew up with that fantasy that was, you know, pushed down my throat -- you have to find your prince and he will take care of you and that will be happiness. My sense of self and my self-worth was totally connected to him, so when he left, I felt like nothing.

KAGAN: Filled with a sense of failure and questioning her own worth, Halle Berry seriously considered ending her own life.

BERRY: When I was in that moment and sitting in the car -- I was going to asphyxiate myself in a garage. When I was sitting there really with all my heart wanting to end my life, I thought of my mother and I thought wow, how unfair. I would break her heart. My heart's broken and I'm going to kill myself. I would break her heart. I would break her heart.

KAGAN: Berry also became to realize that suicide would be a cowardly act. She'd be walking out on her family, her fans, herself. Berry decided to take more control over her life and her career.

In 1999, Berry released her most personal film to date, HBO's "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge." The film follows the life of the first black woman ever nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award and her struggle in 1950's Hollywood.

FARRERLL: She had a personal connection to Dorothy Dandridge. Halle Berry was born in the same hospital in Cleveland as Dorothy Dandridge was. When she was a kid, she first saw Dorothy Dandridge on screen in the movie, "Carmen Jones" and it shocked her. She'd never seen a black woman like that on screen.

KAGAN: Berry fought hard to bring her vision of Dandridge's life to television. When HBO refused to increase the film's budget, Berry dug into her own pocket.

FARRELL: One scene she thought was key was a scene that showed Dorothy Dandridge and her sister arriving for the Oscars. And Halle Berry felt it was necessary, necessary to sort of show their joy, show their moment of triumph. And so, she paid for the whole day of shooting out of her own pocket.

KAGAN: Berry won a Golden Globe for the portrayal of Dorothy Dandridge, but her success would soon be overshadowed by controversy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The People versus Halle Marie Berry.

KAGAN: That story when our look at Halle Berry continues.


ZAHN: In "Die Another Day," Halle Berry pays homage to the Bond girl, who started it all 40 years ago, which leads us to this week's "Where Are They Now?"


ANNOUNCER: As Honey Ryder in 1962's " Doctor No," Ursula Andress defined the generation and set the standard for Bond girl beauty. Best known for her statuess bikini scenes in movies like, Elvis' "Fun in Acapulco," the Swiss-born bombshell was married to actor, John Derek. She later had a child with much younger, Harry Hamlin, who she met on the set of the 1981 film, "Clash of The Titans." So where is Ursula Andress now?

At 66, the actress lives in Rome, enjoying the fruits of her one- time super celebrity status. Healthy and active, she continues to pop up on the international celebrity scene. She's appeared in a number of art films and continues to gain appreciation for her iconic role as what some see as the sexiest Bond girl ever.


ANNOUNCER: Our profile of Halle Berry continues when PEOPLE IN THE NEWS returns.




BERRY: Thank you, Bob.

KAGAN (voice-over): Halle Berry found new life in playing Dorothy Dandridge. The accolades rolled in, her career had reached a new level. Things were finally looking up, but the moment was short- lived. Berry would soon learn the price of her celebrity. In 2000, Berry was indicted for leaving the scene of a car accident.

FARRELL: Halle had been hanging out with a friend, eating chips, drinking diet cola, was driving home in West Hollywood in a rented car, went through an intersection, and ran into another car.

KAGAN: Berry suffered a head injury in the accident. To this day, she says she doesn't remember the crash, and can't explain why she left.

O'NEILL: She got incredibly bad publicity surrounding that event and she actually had to perform community service. So she was kind of down and out there for a while.

KAGAN: In the midst of this very public turmoil, Berry would find solace in the arms of R&B singer, Eric Benet. The couple quietly married early last year.

O'NEILL: Halle has said that Eric Benet had a lot to do with how her life has turned around. She seems to find a lot of strength in him. He seems to give her a lot of support. She spends a lot of time with his daughter, India.

KAGAN: By 2001, Halle Berry had a new man, new family and she was looking for her next challenge. She found it in a project called "Monster's Ball".

BERRY: From the movement I read the script, I thought, I've got to play this. And never thinking it would bring awards; I really thought what it would do would bring credibility to my body of work.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You looking for Hank?


KAGAN: However surprising it might seem now, Halle Berry had to put up a monster fight to win her role in "Monster's Ball". The filmmakers just couldn't see Berry in this racially charged drama. She didn't fit their idea of Leticia, a poor death row widow who falls in love with the husband's executioner.

FARRELL: So Halle shows up to meet Lee Daniels, the producer of "Monster's Ball" and they get to talking and they get to arguing. She began to deliver her argumentative lines in the same cadence the character would. And so Lee Daniels saw the character on the page come to life before his eyes, arguing with him and it won him over.

BERRY: My name is Leticia Musgrove.

KAGAN: For her performance in "Monster's Ball," Halle Berry was nominated for an Oscar. Life was about to imitate art. Just like her scene from "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge," Berry was about to walk down the red carpet, a black woman who defied the odds to become a Best Actress nominee. And Berry thought, like Dandridge, she wouldn't win. She didn't even write an acceptance speech.

BERRY: The night before, I had an Oscar party and Oprah Winfrey came and she sad to me -- her last words to me, "Girl, write a speech." And I said, "Oprah, I don't need to write" -- she said, "Write a speech." So I went home and I thought about it. And I thought I'm not going to write a speech. I'm really not going need a speech.

KAGAN: But Berry did need a speech. She not only walked down the red carpet at the Oscars, she walked into history, becoming the first African-American woman to win the award for Best Actress. Though berry was nearly speechless when her name was first announced, she did eventually find her voice and she spoke for nearly three minutes, a lifetime at the Oscars.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I also liked the moment when they were trying to shoe you off the stage and you said, "74 years."

BERRY: I saw that sign and I'm thinking, wait a minute, 74 years. So I didn't want to be too indulgent, but I did have to thank, you know, some of those people.

KAGAN: A big win in what should have been Halle Berry's best year. She had an Oscar in hand and a starring role in the latest James Bond thriller.

BERRY: James!

KAGAN: Almost as soon as Berry started filming, reports began to surface that her marriage to Eric Benet was in trouble. For months, Berry remained quiet about her family life, about her husband.


KAGAN: And then as "Die Another Day" was about to premiere, a bombshell confession. Berry confirmed to "Essence" magazine that her marriage was in jeopardy saying, "The truth is that during the period of my most significant public success -- the Academy Awards -- my private life faced a staggering crisis." Without touching on specifics, Berry went on to say, "All romantic relationships suffer crises. No woman alive can claim otherwise." Berry announced she and Benet had entered psychotherapy, that they were working to salvage their marriage and that she wasn't giving up.

KING: Your home life is happy now?

BERRY: Yes, my home life is -- it's good.

KING: You got a good guy?

BERRY: I think so.

KING: Not sure?

BERRY: I'm sure.

KING: Halle!

BERRY: No, I am sure. We are like, you know, a lot of couples. We -- you know, marriage is hard. But if you're really committed and you're in it for the long run, which we both are -- you know we're the kind of people who will fight for it.

KAGAN: Berry says nothing is more important to her than her family and that was never more evidence than right after she won her Oscar.

BERRY: Thank you. This is the only reason this happened really.


BERRY: Everything sort of came together for me, finding that piece, finding a partner. I became a mother, you know. I had so many more reasons to do what a do and I think that's the reason this reward came my way.

KAGAN: Berry has been working almost nonstop since the Academy Awards. In addition to "Die Another Day," she's also reprising her role as Storm in the sequel to her box office hit, "X-Men," a vast departure from her performance in "Monster's Ball".

O'NEILL: Halle Berry clearly has range and she's trying to show it off whether it works in the future will be interesting to see.

KAGAN: Whatever roles Halle Berry chooses in the future, one thing is for sure -- she's proven time and time again that she's much more than just a pretty face.


ZAHN: In addition to staring in "Die Another Day" and working on "X-Men II," Halle Berry is also co-producing four upcoming films. And there is serious talk that her character, Jinx, may become the first spin-off from the James Bond series.


PAULA ZAHN, CNN: Hi, welcome to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS. I'm Paula Zahn. It isn't Ozzie and Harriet, but it sure is fun to watch. The Osbournes are back for another season, and much has changed for Ozzy, Sharon, Kelly, and Jack -- oh, they're still foul-mouthed and frantic, but they're also having to face reality. Life has grown more intense for America's most dysfunctional TV family.

It's a plot twist that has even the Prince of Darkness himself scared. Here's Bill Hemmer.

OZZY OSBOURNE: I'm a little bit like Conan the Barbarian; I'm an (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

BILL HEMMER, CNN: It's been a strange and eventful year for the shock rocker who once asked us to bark at the moon. This was no more evident than at this year's Press Club Dinner in Washington, D.C.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What a fantastic audience we have tonight. Hollywood stars, Ozzy Osbourne. Ozzy, Mom loves your stuff.


HEMMER: Quite a compliment from the former Texas governor, especially considering that Ozzy was arrested back in 1982 for urinating on San Antonio's Alamo. But that's what happens when you get off the crazy train.


And become America's favorite television father.


Ozzy and his brood, wife Sharon, son Jack, and daughter Kelly became unlikely stars on last season's surprise MTV hit "The Osbournes."

TODD GOLD, SENIOR EDITOR, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: I was talking to Sharon and we were both kind of laughing at the success of the show and she said can you believe this after all these years Ozzy finally makes it as a comedian.


OZZY OSBOURNE: Now (EXPLETIVE DELETED) off, guy, or you and I are going to be dead if you (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

I like warming my buns by the fire.


HEMMER: Viewers were asked if you were stranded on a desert island, which Osbourne would be the most fun to have company with. Well, 45 percent said they'd take solitude. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JACK OSBOURNE: Don't, Kelly, that's my spritz.

KELLY OSBOURNE: This is my 15 minutes and I'm taking it for what it's worth.


HEMMER: But 2002 has not been all good times for the Osbourne family. This summer, family matriarch Sharon announced to the world her colon cancer diagnosis. The news devastated Ozzy in what seems to have been a pattern in a career that has spanned three decades.

There are some who think that your husband is cursed.

SHARON OSBOURNE: He's a survivor like I am. He's not cursed; he's blessed. I mean, we both are.

HEMMER: It's been a long, hard road for the blizzard of Ozz. John Michael Osbourne was born in the working class town of Birmingham, England on December 3, 1948. He was delivered in one of the small bedrooms of his parent's home at 14 Lodge Road (ph) in a lower-class section of the city.

JASON FINE, SENIOR EDITOR, "ROLLING STONE": Ozzy grew up in a very poor neighborhood and his family didn't have much money -- I mean, you know -- his mother had to stretch meals and they didn't have new clothes in eh winter time. Ozzy sees himself as a working class guy.

HEMMER: John first got his nickname Ozzy on the playgrounds here at his first school, Prince Albert Road Juniors. Ozzy would quit school at the age of 15 and take random odd jobs around the working class town.

FINE: His dyslexia hurt his ability to do well in school and he dropped out. And I think that he carried around that feeling of being -- you know -- the class dummy for a long time.

HEMMER: Ozzy could not hold on to work long and soon turned to a life of petty crime. He was arrested for breaking and entering shortly before his 18th birthday. Unable to pay the fine, he was sentenced to three months in the Wintson Green Prison (ph). It was inside these walls that he got his first tattoo, his trademark Ozzy across the knuckles. After serving just six weeks of his sentence Ozzy decided to give up crime and labor jobs, and try a career in music. He wanted to model that career after four other working class Brits.

OZZY OSBOURNE: I started out loving the Beatles, I wanted to be a Beatle -- I mean -- but my music is nothing like the Beatles, you know.

(MUSIC) HEMMER: He was asked to join former classmate Tony Iommi as well as Geezer, Butler and Bill Ward to form what would become the heavy metal group Black Sabbath.


The daughter of black Sabbath's manager Don Arden remembers the first time she saw Ozzy with the group.

SHARON OSBOURNE: I was shocked but intrigued by it because it was so dark and it wasn't about, you know, boy meets girl on a Saturday night.

HEMMER: The band would score big with what would become metal standards like "Paranoid" and "Iron Man." But with rock stardom came the rock lifestyle and a descent into addiction.

OZZY OSBOURNE: We were all so messed up on drugs and alcohol and the spoils of war, you know, these young kids that believed in the myth of being a rock star.

HEMMER: The drugs would begin to take a toll on the band's success.

FINE: Ozzy once said you know at first we were a rock band that did coke; later on we became a coke band that did rock.

HEMMER: When ego and victory became overwhelming, Ozzy left Black Sabbath in 1979. After the break up Ozzy locked himself inside of a Park Hotel in Los Angeles. He drowned himself in junk food, alcohol, and hard drugs. In the midst of this binge, Ozzy got an offer he could not refuse from manager Don Arden's daughter, Sharon.

FINE: Sharon came and Ozzy was supposed to have some money to give to Sharon but instead Ozzy had spent all that money on cocaine. And Sharon really chewed him out for it, but that was the beginning of their relationship.

OZZY OSBOURNE: And she said to me, you clean your act up and get rid of all these -- half eaten pizzas that were in the room and empty beer bottles and the vodka bottles and all these drug paraphernalia and I'll manage you and I thought what do you want to manage me for? And shortly after that I fell madly in love with her.

SHARON OSBOURNE: In fact the best thing that ever happened to Ozzy was to get fired from Black Sabbath.

HEMMER: Sharon became Ozzy's manager and a romance soon developed. The two would become engaged and marry in Hawaii on a day that holds a different meaning for most Americans.

You got married on July 4th -- and the reason was because you wanted to make sure you picked a date that he would remember?


HEMMER: Is that a true story?

SHARON OSBOURNE: It's true. On July 4 there's fireworks and Ozzy loves fireworks so I thought it's a good day because there's always a celebration and it's just a great day to get married on.

HEMMER: The celebration would continue. Sharon got Ozzy a new recording contract, officially starting his solo career.

Ozzy was paired with guitar prodigy Randy Rhodes and the two would become musical soul mates, releasing "Blizzard of Ozz" and "Diary of a Madman."

SHARON OSBOURNE: He was so patient with Ozzy and nurturing that he brought out the best.

HEMMER: Both albums would go multi-platinum while on tour Ozzy's life and reputation would change forever. In Des Moines Iowa, concertgoers threw a live bat on stage. Ozzy, thinking it was made of rubber, bit its head off.

SHARON OSBOURNE: It's something that was a complete and utter mistake and then we're like lying in bed and it's on the morning news and we're laughing and we're like why would they put this on the news it's so stupid?

HEMMER: When PEOPLE IN THE NEWS continues, just as Ozzy hits a professional high, a tragic accident puts his career in jeopardy.


HEMMER: In 1982, Ozzy Osbourne was on the top of the heavy metal world. His solo career had skyrocketed and his live shows were bringing him notoriety and tons of money, but that would all change on one fateful evening. In March of 1982, while en route to Orlando Florida to continue the "Diary of a Madman" tour, a plane carrying 25- year-old guitarist Randy Rhodes crashed while joyriding in Leesburg, Florida. The pilot clipped Ozzy's parked tour bus and crashed into a nearby house.

SHARON OSBOURNE: You lose your best friend and its like you can -- you can never replace it you can't forget it; it's something that will always haunt I know me and Ozzy for the rest of our lives.

HEMMER: Ozzy struggled on enjoying some moderate success in the 80s with songs like "Miracle Man" but he was unable to duplicate the success that he achieved with Rhodes.

OZZY OSBOURNE: The night he died in that tragic air crash and then I thought it was all over again and my father died and it -- for every hill I've climbed I've fallen down two.

HEMMER: While still a major force in rock music, the 80s would be a turbulent time for Osbourne. He was sued by several families across the country who claimed his song "Suicide Solution" prompted their children to kill themselves.


The lawsuits were eventually dismissed for lack of evidence, but Ozzy's growing addiction to booze and hard drugs would be an ever- bigger threat to his career.

OZZY OSBOURNE: To go into a center like the Betty Ford Center and come out a new man, well they give you the tools in there but if you slip you slip, it's like anything -- one on earth but if you have one you have ten you start again you know.

HEMMER: A key motivation for keeping Ozzy on the wagon, his three children. Daughter Aimee (ph), born in 1983, Kelly in 1984, and son Jack in 1985 but it would not be enough and Ozzy's inner demons almost landed him in jail.

FINE: Yes, in 1989 Ozzy and Sharon had a bad fight -- Ozzy was drunk -- he strangled her.

HEMMER: Sharon called the police and Ozzy was arrested and charged with assault. The charges were later dropped on the condition that Ozzy check into treatment for what was hoped to be the last time.


With a newfound sobriety, Ozzy hit new highs in his career; with the release of "No more Tears," his most mature work to date.


Concert festivals like Lollapalooza then were making big money at the time, so Sharon and Ozzy put together the heavy metal carnival simply known as Ozzfest.


LARRY HACKETT, ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITIOR, PEOPLE MAGAZINE: If Lillith is the kind of lifetime of festivals you know the Ozzfest is the headbanger festival.

HEMMER: While Ozzfest was successful and drew out the legions of Ozzy's hardcore fans, mainstream America was still weary of one of heavy metals darkest stars until an appearance on a popular MTV show changed that.

HACKETT: The Osbournes had been on an MTV show called "Cribs" and they were hysterical.

BRIAN GRADEN, PRES. OF ENTERTAINMENT, MTV: For the first time, the family appeared on cribs, we didn't even realize that Ozzy necessarily had children who were living with them when we saw this scene where Kelly and Ozzy were sort of fighting over her In Synch posters in her bedroom and you saw something kind of magical there.

HEMMER: MTV, the pioneer of reality television along with Sharon Osbourne, came up with an idea to play off the well-received "Cribs" appearance. The Osbourne family would be captured in their daily lives, a simple premise that took on a life of its own.

GRADEN: After we saw the footage of about the first five or six episodes and we realized that all of it hinged on humorous moments.

HEMMER: The Osbournes would go and become televisions first reality comedy and become MTVs biggest hit ever.

GRADEN: I mean it's bigger than any MTV show in MTV's history so you can't quite imagine that -- it's still a little surreal to all of us.

HEMMER: On average, five million viewers tuned in every Tuesday night to capture a glimpse of the rock and roll royal family.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's in its banality that people find it hilarious.

HEMMER: It's been in the humor, intentional or not, that the country has seen a softer side of the prince of bleeping darkness. While Ozzy's antics as a homebody were taking over pop culture, a former neighbor has seen it all before.

PAT BOONES, FRIEND AND FORMER NEIGHBOR: We lived next door to each other for years. Never any real problems at all and then I met Sharon and I met the kids. I never heard the language that I hear on their show.

I don't know which -- whether Ozzy or Sharon said don't use the language with Pat Boone's over here. One of my fondest memories was when they lived next door to me was riding bikes with Sharon in the afternoon on the sidewalks through Beverly Hills and says Ozzy has a balance problem. She just towed him behind her bike in a wagon.

HEMMER: It's been this dual side of Ozzy that's garnering the biggest laughs.




HEMMER: Rock star wild man meets middle aged father.

LARRY HACKETT, ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR, PEOPLE MAGAZINE: So I mean he still maintains this stage persona of being this kind of warlock, but it's so incongruous to how he really lives his life which is being a dad in his early 50s who happens to be covered in tattoos.

HEMMER: With the outrageous and unexpected success of the show came instant celebrity for the entire Osbourne clan. Merchandise hit store shelves. Magazines across the country were all about Ozzy and a new family album was released featuring a cover of "Papa Don't Preach" by Kelly Osbourne, produced by her younger brother Jack.

(MUSIC) And Kelly has a new album called appropriately enough "Shut Up." But Kelly has no reservations on how she got her record deal.

KELLY OSBOURNE: Without the show I would not have a recording contract; I wouldn't be doing any of this.

HEMMER: But the highs of a newfound success would be short- lived. When Ozzy Osbourne's story continues, the foundation of a family is shaken when Sharon makes a shocking announcement.





HEMMER: With the success of the new television show, and the annual Ozzfest tour getting ready to kick off last spring, things were looking great for Ozzy Osbourne. He was sober, he was rich, and he was surrounded by a family who loved him. But once again, Ozzy's high would hit a low. In July, Sharon Osbourne, Ozzy's long time manager and wife and best friend announced to the world that she had been diagnosed with colon cancer.

FINE: Every fiber of Ozzy was shaken when he found the news he had to be sedated for a while.

KELLY OSBOURNE: I went out to dinner with some friends. My phone rang and my brother was crying and he said you need to come back to the hotel now and then he told me and I just -- I didn't know what to do. And I was with my friend Nicky Ritchie (ph) at this restaurant and she just got me a taxi and took me home and if she wasn't there I would have just like freaked -- I was like hysterical crying.

HEMMER: Sharon would have to undergo rounds of chemotherapy all summer. Ozzy took some time off from his headlining duties on Ozzfest to tend to his wife. Ever the rock, Sharon faced cancer head on.

SHARON OSBOURNE: When you go in there and there are people so much worse than me and its like how lucky am I that I've got such a great support system.

HEMMER: Even with Sharon trying to make things as easy as possible on her husband, he was still a mess. His struggle with sobriety would be tested again.

SHARON OSBOURNE: Ozzy's not doing too good right now.

HEMMER: Drinking?

SHARON OSBOURNE: Drinking, and he's very delicate. He's like dealing with it the best he can.

HEMMER: Despite Sharon's illness, the Osbourne family continued business as usual. Though pushed back, filming commenced this fall on a second season for the Osbournes.

SHARON OSBOURNE: Some days when I'm feeling really bad I'll say I just can't do this any more. And, then you wake up and you see the crew and then you know you snap out of it.

HEMMER: The larger question loomed -- how could comedy come out of chemotherapy treatment?

GRADEN: What Sharon's dealing with her diagnosis and her illness but what is interesting is that their humor remains the same.

HEMMER: The Osbournes signed up with MTV for 24 more shows at a reported 20 million dollars. They got only $200,000 for their first season. Now the second season has started with the same hijinks that fans of the show have come to expect.

GRADEN: Ozzy comes back from tour and he plans a very romantic reunion -- it involves candles and a fireplace and by the end of the episode the L.A. fire Department has to pay a visit.

HEMMER: But can the show continue to rock the ratings?

SHARON OSBOURNE: I'm not banking, you know, my whole life on being you know number one rated show.

KELLY OSBOURNE: I'm having a nervous breakdown.

SHARON OSBOURNE: The bubble will burst.

HEMMER: With the new image of Ozzy as a family man who lived a little too hard in his youth, will the softer side of Ozzy change his image in the annals of heavy metal madmen?

FINE: I think Ozzy's always going to be the guy who bit the head off a bat. You know? As crazy drug taking hard drinking hard living rock and roller. I think what the show does is it also shows that you might be those things, but you also might be a pretty great dad too.

OZZY OSBOURNE: I wouldn't be here now if it wasn't for my wife. I mean, I always loved my wife, but sometimes I don't like her. And sometimes she doesn't' like me. You know. But we love each other, you know. It's just -- I hate these people that go, oh, we've been married 56 years and we've never had a bad word. They must have been living in a different planet from each other.

HEMMER: Ozzy Osbourne's life has been filled with peaks and valleys, incredible highs, crashing into devastating lows. A manic life grounded in family values.

BOONE: Ozzy's not going to like my saying this, but he's a very tender, gentle man. This is a guy whose world revolves not so much around music as around his wife.

OZZY OSBOURNE: Rock and roll!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Part of the legacy of Ozzy Osbourne, you know, is a cautionary tale. It's also -- you know w-- a tale that includes family love -- you know -- and a lot of good things.

HEMMER: It is a tale that continues to unfold. There's no telling how long the Osbourne phenomenon may last, but the family's loyal following will always be screaming for more, and so will Ozzy.


ZAHN: that is it for this edition of PEOPLE IN THE NEWS. I'm Paula Zahn, thanks so much for joining us. Hope to see you next time.


© 2004 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.