Our pictures of stars in their wonder years (PEOPLE, Aug. 26) left readers nostalgic. There was little sympathy, however, for Grady Carter, a longtime smoker who quit five years ago and then successfully sued the tobacco industry for negligence.
BEFORE THEY WERE FAMOUS
I was very excited to find out that in high school most superstars weren’t as beautiful or popular as they are now. But did anyone else notice that Matt LeBlanc was a dead ringer for Peter Brady?
SARAH FERGUSON, Farmington, N. Y.
After seeing Brad Pitt‘s before picture, I think there is still hope for the boys in my class. I am keeping my fingers crossed!
North Lewisburg, Ohio
Your article should have been called “Before They Had Elective Surgery.” Besides the obvious nose, eye and cheek jobs, there was enough collagen to give the entire population of Denver Mick Jagger lips. But I was relieved to see that Jay Leno never had the chin implant I’ve always suspected.
J. SCOTT STRAWN, Littleton, Colo.
Just to let you know that the Baldwin brothers graduated from Alfred G. Berner High School (which is no longer a high school but a junior high), not Massapequa High School.
CAROL M. SMITH, Newark, Del.
It made me feel all warm and fuzzy to see the happy, cancer-free Carters embracing, and to know that finally, in our enlightened age, we are rewarding people for their stupidity. I am 64, and there was never any doubt in my mind, when friends started smoking in high school, that nicotine could be addictive. Where has this guy been living?
ARLENE J. WELLS
Fountain Hills, Ariz.
Grady Carter should count his blessings. My mother died of lung cancer three months after she was diagnosed. She started smoking at 21. There isn’t enough money in the world to replace the loss of my best friend or the grandmother of my children.
PEGGY LUHRS BEAL, Austin, Texas
My heart goes out to Brooks Douglass and Leslie Frizzell. I wonder how anyone who opposes capital punishment could read that article and not feel anger toward those men who took their mom’s and dad’s lives and caused such deep pain. Anyone who takes another person’s life does not deserve any rights.
RITA MILLER, Lexington, Ky.
No words can express the pain and anguish of the Douglass family, and my deepest sympathies are with them. However, their story reaffirms my feelings about the unfairness of the death penalty laws. Both Steven Keith Hatch and Glen Burton Ake committed the crime, yet both did not get the death penalty. For whatever reason, Ake, the one who actually pulled the trigger, gets life, while Hatch gets death. Go figure.
SUSAN WEISS, Chicago
I enjoy Tom Cruise‘s acting ability and his humanitarian efforts, but please don’t give him hero status when someone else was put at risk and their name wasn’t even published. The people who deserve recognition are those out there giving blood, volunteering, putting out fires, protecting us and teaching our children. I am willing to bet most of those heroes have never vacationed on a yacht.
STEVE ZUMBRUNN, Calgary, Alta.
GLORIA ON GLORIA
Your article on me was 99 percent accurate and beautifully written, but I must correct a glaring mistake. In trying to paint an idyllic picture of being on a ride with a happy family, writer Peter Castro said that my daughter Emily was seated on my lap. This never happened and will never happen. I make everyone in my car buckle their seat belts, as my family will attest. I always ride with Emily in her car seat, and I sit next to her in the back. Mr. Castro was in the front seat with my husband. Perhaps this is where the idea that Emily was “on my lap” came from. We have received countless letters and calls about that one sentence, and I thank everyone for their concern. I hope you will clarify this mistake.
GLORIA ESTEFAN, Miami Beach
We believe Ms. Estefan is correct, and we apologize for any misunderstanding.