By a margin of 3 to 1, correspondents approved of our selection of Brad Pitt as the Sexiest Man Alive (PEOPLE, Jan. 30), and more than 500 let us know what they thought—virtually doubling our previous record for Sexiest Man correspondence, set by Mark Harmon in 1986. Objections to Pitt were largely generational; naysayers felt he was simply too young.
SEXIEST MAN ALIVE
I feel like a 13-year-old in love with the latest teen heartthrob instead of being 32 and eight months pregnant. I haven’t had someone on my mind like this since David Cassidy—except my husband, of course.
CHRISTINE KANE, Syracuse, N.Y.
My only complaint about Brad Pitt on the cover is all the fainting women I had to step over to buy my two copies!
SANDRA SPAIN, Vernal, Utah
I’m a 50-year-old mom with a serious crush on that adorable Brad Pitt. Just saw him in Legends of the Fall and came away with the same feelings I had years ago when I first saw Paul Newman.
MEG MARSTON, Snellville, Ga.
Paul Newman is still sexier than Brad Pitt will ever be.
SHIRL LEECH, Sun City West, Ariz.
When I saw your Sexiest Man Alive headline, I thought of a tall, dark, handsome European male, 40ish, Old World charm, money, knowledgeable about food and wine and able to discuss world events, culture and love in two or three languages. Then I saw Brad Pitt. Will your editorial staff be going through puberty anytime soon?
TOM DAVIS, Los Gatos, Calif.
My choice? Daniel Day-Lewis. Every time I watch Last of the Mohicans, I need a cold shower and a cigarette, and I don’t smoke!
GRACE LA MEL, Boston
As long as Ralph Fiennes is walking on this earth, there is no way Brad Pitt is the Sexiest Man Alive.
AMY STOCKMAN, Watertown, Mass.
Has your committee not yet discovered George Clooney?
BECKY HARKER, Machesney Park, Ill.
Just how stupid does Susan Smith think everyone is? After getting caught, she tells her sob story about how she did not want to live and did not want her children to live. Now she’s sending out the story that she is in a sea of grief and wants to die. Yet she hires a top criminal defense lawyer to save her neck. Come on, Susan. If you really don’t want to live, give up the charade and plead guilty.
DAVID N. SCHAFFER, Chicago
GULF WAR BABIES
I find it pathetic that our government has such a history of denial and neglect where our war veterans are concerned. An absence of “hard medical evidence” does not confirm that there is no connection between Gulf War syndrome and the death and deformities veterans’ children are experiencing. It simply means our government is not yet willing to admit they are responsible for exposing our soldiers (and, indirectly, their children) to experimental drugs they had no right using.
GABRIELLA WILSON, Bakersfield, Calif.
I would like any contacts you have to help me and my family. My brother was in the Persian Gulf, and he and his wife have since had a baby with a defect. Her name is Gabrielle. It has been very hard for us all. Please pray for her, as she is still in intensive care.
BRENDA FADDEN, Wheatridge, Colo.
We received many requests for information on Gulf War syndrome. On Feb. 2, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced a toll-free telephone hot line to inform Gulf War veterans and their families of available medical care and other benefits. The number is 1-800-PGW-VETS (1-800-749-8387).
Oprah was compelled to reveal her past drug use because women on her show were exposing theirs? Oprah has discussed drug abuse on her show a million times, and now she breaks down and comes clean? What the heck has happened to Oprah anyway? She’s like the hypochondriac of dysfunction. And now she wants to “lift us up to where she is”? I don’t want to go there. I liked her better in the old days, when she actually listened to people and let them finish a sentence. Now she’s too busy lounging in her reclining pose, showing off her wardrobe and playing amateur psychologist.
DEBBIE VEREEN, Yonkers, N.Y.
I think Oprah missed her calling in life. She should have been an opera singer: “Me, me, me, me!”
MARY PAT JAMES, Athens, Ala.