December 25, 1989 12:00 PM

Readers had nothing but nice things to say about cover subject Michael J. Fox (PEOPLE, Dec, 8) and almost nothing nice to say about movie critic Ralph Novak, whom they showered with bouquets of thorns for his prickly review of Steel Magnolias. They were totally unsympathetic with his irritation over the absence of strong male characters in the film, pointing out—to a woman—that there are countless movies in which females are portrayed as so much wallpaper. Turnabout, they maintain, is fair play.


Thank you, PEOPLE, for your wonderful cover story on Michael J. Fox. I’ve been following Michael’s career since the first season of Family Ties, and it’s nice to realize that such a great actor really is a nice guy. Michael, Tracey and Sam deserve all of the happiness in the world. I think this is one Hollywood family that’s going to survive.

Kelly Howard

Holliston, Mass.

Michael J. Fox should not assume that he is unsuccessful in the dramatic department because of the poor box-office showing for his film Casualties of War. The previews showed him to be a very dynamic actor, but some of my friends and I chose to stay away from the movie because of its painful subject matter.

Christine Jo Covelli

Santa Fe, N.Mex.

I don’t know which is more depressing—seeing wrinkles around my eyes or around Michael J. Fox’s.

Susan Kelly

Scottsdale, Ariz.


After reading the article describing the agonizing limbo surrounding Joe and Joyce Cruzan and the six years of “non-life” for their daughter Nancy, I was filled with an overwhelming anger—and sadness. The courts do not have to enter Nancy’s hospital room day after day; her family does. This courageous family deserves the right to decide when their daughter’s semblance of life should be brought to a humane and dignified end.

Marcia Douvia

Vallejo, Calif.


How hopeful it is for all of us victims to have a judge like Edwin Torres. In an era of plea bargains and lenient sentences, it is refreshing to know there are people like Judge Torres who have the moral fiber, courage and conviction to do what is right. Maybe if we had more like him, we could diminish crime in America and we could really “live” in our neighborhoods.

Ann Dech

St. Paul


Puhleez! If Christina Applegate is so “mature and wise,” as co-star Katey Sa-gal states, then why does she continue to allow herself to be exploited by the sleazeball producers of Married… with Children as a brain-dead slut?

Patrick Cervante

Los Angeles


Dr. Irving D. Yalom, author of Love’s Executioner, shows an appalling lack of understanding of his patients. How dare he say what he did about obese women? Those of us who are fat are not usually so by choice. Many of us spend almost every waking hour agonizing over what, for us, has become an uncontrollable addiction. Now comes this man asking us how we dare impose our ugly bodies on the rest of the world—and telling how we disgust and repel him—thereby adding more pain to the emotional burden we already carry.

Gurli M. Nielsen

Los Angeles

Ralph Novak’s so-called review of Steel Magnolias is a chauvinistic low blow. I would just like to ask him one question: How many movies have literally not one strong female figure in them? Call me when you’ve done counting—in a couple of years.

Danielle Hart


Isn’t it just typical of men to think they must always be the center of attention? Considering the vast number of male “buddy movies” that portray women as little more than sculptured bodies and grinning idiots, maybe it’s about time men got a taste of script expendability.

Susan Bovee

Oakton, Va.

Quitcherbitchin, Ralph. Can’t women enjoy an occasional book or film that portrays them as main characters rather than accessories in men’s lives?

Name Withheld

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