American singer, Donny Osmond,
who had his first major hit Puppy Love in 1972 and starred in the TV show Donny and Marie from
1976-1978 suffers from anxiety. Donny had stage fright and experienced a panic attack during a
performance in 1994.
The panic attacks prevented him from singing and made him believe he was going to black out.
Donny was scared of shopping centres as he thought people might gather around to ridicule him.
Donny sought assistance from a psychologist and engaged in cognitive behavioural
Life Is Just What You Make It:
My Story So Far by Donny Osmond and Patricia Romanowski .
Singer/actress/director Barbara Streisand's social phobia prevented her from singing in public
for twenty seven years. Whilst giving a concert in
Central Park, New York in 1967, Streisand forgot the words
to severl songs. From then on, Streisand was worried that she might make embarrassing
mistakes again if she performed in public and therefore totally avoided such
Streisand learnt to cope with
her stage fright and gave a comeback tour in 1994. She gradually exposed herself to her fear of
performing live, starting with a smaller warm up show, then a national tour and then performing
in front of a large television audience. The gradual accumulation of positive responses to her
performances led to a change in Streisand's thinking.
Sir Laurence Olivier
Actor Laurence Olivier
developed social phobia when at the peak of his career. At the time he was both acting in and
directing a play at the National Theatre, London. The problem started when he began thinking
that he might be too tired to recall his lines. Olivier recounts in his autobiography that he
suffered from social phobia for five years.
Commonwealth gold medallist,
Queensland swimmer Susie O'Neill has had to overcome anxiety in order to fulfil her potential
as an athlete. In an interview for the Australian Womens. Weekly, November 1998, Susie spoke of
how her anxiety had impacted upon her ability to perform as a swimmer. In the early days she
dreaded ever winning in case it meant she had to stand on the dais and be the centre of
attention. Then she'd pray she wouldn't be chosen for a team event because she was terrified of
trying to talk to people she didn't know.
Australian actress, Rebecca
Gibney, who has starred in the Flying Doctors, Come In Spinner, Halifax FP and Altogether Now
has had to contend with debilitating panic attacks too. In an interview in new idea 7/9/96
dealing with panic attacks Rebecca said she did not understand what as happening to her when
she walked off the set of Halifax FP in uncontrollable tears, anxious she would not remember
her lines. Then again at the Logie Awards in 1996, the stress an anxiety took hold and she was
overcome with nausea and shortness of breath, pacing the foyer and unable to take her
Gary Mc Donald
Australian actor, Gary McDonald
who has starred in the Norman Gunston Show, Mother and Son had experienced social phobia and
Australian actor/comedian -
Wogs Out of Work, Acropolis Now - has experienced social phobia and panic
American, Oscar winning actor,
Kim Basinger is reported to suffer from panic, agoraphobia and social
When she accepted her Oscar,
again the words wouldn't come, even though she had been practising a response for
Basinger related how she could
trace her anxiety disorders back to childhood. As a child her worst fear was being asked to
read aloud to the class. Her fear of school was such that teachers thought she as having a
Basinger has had psychological
therapy for her anxiety and apparently it has been the solution to her problems.