Tony Orlando on Overcoming Tragedy: ‘Faith in the Lord Was My Saving Grace’
By Movieguide® Staff
Tony Orlando said it was his faith in God that helped him overcome his life’s darkest moments.
The singer experienced a challenging year when his show was canceled in 1977. However, that same year Orlando would also lost his best friend and sister.
“Yes, I was upset,” the 77-year-old told Closer Weekly. “But it also came at a time when something more important happened, the death of my friend Freddie Prinze. He was on the show “Chico and the Man,” and we had become show business brothers. He died at 22 of a suicide. I loved him like a younger brother, and I had never seen anybody die before.”
“In one year, I lost my TV show – which was not important, really,” he continued. “I lost Freddie, and I lost my sister, who was 20 years old. She was born with cerebral palsy, but she was my first audience. I went through a depression that was unbelievable. I committed myself to rehab in a hospital for a year.”
Orlando credits his faith for encouraging him to continue to make music and live his life.
“It all came down to my faith,” Orlando said. “My faith in the Lord was my saving grace. I was ashamed of disappointing God, who had gifted me with all this. I’ve always told people to keep the faith. It sounds like a cliche, but it’s not. You have to keep the faith, so you are not alone.”
Orlando also said that a key to his happiness is his relationship with his wife, Francine. The couple married in 1990 and recently passed 30 years of marriage.
“A long time ago, the comedian Danny Thomas told me, ‘Never go to bed angry. Always apologize before you sleep,'” Orlando recalled. “I think the other key is keeping God in the family.”
As for upcoming projects, Orlando is excited about what the future holds.
“We were working on the story of my life called ‘Rooftop Dreams’ and were scheduled to go to Broadway before the pandemic, so hopefully, that opening night will happen in the future,” Orlando said.