Sharon Osbourne: Heavy-Metal Matriarch London-born Sharon Osbourne (née Arden) was the apple of her father's eye. Dad was a music manager who worked with rock icons such as Little Richard and Chuck Berry. At age 15, Osbourne quit school to work full-time for her father as a receptionist. At 23, the ambitious young woman packed her bags for Los Angeles to open another branch of dad's business. One of her first tasks was to collect money from recently fired metal sensation Ozzy Osbourne. When Osbourne found the rock star, he was strung out on alcohol and drugs and knocking on death's door. Sympathetic to his suffering because of her own struggles with alcohol, Osbourne decided to help Ozzy get back on his feet by managing his career. In 1980, Ozzy released his first solo album, which went platinum. Despite being married, the newly crowned "Prince of Darkness" fell in love with his manager, who had turned his flailing career right side up. In 1981, Ozzy divorced his wife; the following year he exchanged vows with Osbourne in a July 4 ceremony on a beach in Maui. But as one bond formed, another fizzled, as Osbourne and her dad went to war over Ozzy's career. Cut off from her parents, Osbourne decided to create a family of her own. In September 1982, the couple had their first child, daughter Aimee, followed by daughter Kelly in 1984 and son Jack in 1985. Osbourne thrived as a mother, but her life wasn't all peaches and cream. Ozzy was once again hitting rock bottom with his substance abuse. One night in 1989, Osbourne was attacked by her strung-out husband. She pressed attempted-murder charges against him but later dropped them on the condition that Ozzy enter rehab. Afterward, the couple slowly rebuilt their marriage. In 1995, Osbourne reached new heights of professional success when she launched Ozzfest, a heavy-metal tour headlined by her husband. But on a more personal level, Osbourne was struggling with overeating — the 5'2" businesswoman had ballooned to 224 pounds. Fed up with herself, Osbourne opted for stomach surgery on the eve of her 47th birthday. As a result, she shed 100 pounds. In early 2002, Osbourne, feeling good about herself inside and out, approached MTV with the idea of a reality-TV show based on her family's everyday antics. "The Osbournes" premiered in the spring of 2002, and the edgy series became an instant hit. The second season of the show garnered the kooky family $58 million. Even sweeter for Osbourne was her reconciliation with her father. However, Osbourne's perfect life came crashing down when she was diagnosed with colon cancer. The doting mother and wife underwent three months of chemotherapy, but she still found it in her heart to take in the teenage son of a friend who had recently died of the same disease. Surrounded by her loving extended family, Osbourne is recouping nicely; she is doing so well that she will begin hosting her own TV talk show in the fall of 2003.moreless
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