June 01, 1998 12:00 PM

Most Beautiful

It’s a shame—first shunned by the Academy Awards, now by PEOPLE. Kate Winslet really should have been one of the 50 Most Beautiful, not only for physical appearance, but also for sheer talent. No matter what press Leo gets, she was the star.

Stephanie Farrer, via e-mail

You can’t tell me your readers want to look at photos of all those random people in your issue more than Kate Winslet. I mean, who is this Doritos model you put in there?

Sara Lathrop, Chicago

Okay, here’s the scenario. I’m sitting at work, bored outta my mind, everyone’s annoying me, and I feel like bashing my head off the wall. Then, like a message from heaven, the mail comes along with Leo’s angelic face on the cover. PEOPLE, you seriously are my savior!

Erin O’Connell, via e-mail

Thanks a million for recognizing Olivia Newton-John as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People. I couldn’t agree more. Not only has she spent over 30 years entertaining us with her flawless voice, she has dedicated much of that time to children’s health research, AIDS awareness, breast cancer awareness, animal rights and the protection of the planet. If we all had a fraction of Olivia’s energy and devotion, what a Most Beautiful Planet it would be.

Denise Ann Smith, Columbus, Ohio

I was just ecstatic to find Prince William inside the 50 Most Beautiful People issue. He certainly has natural beauty. Take it from this 15-year-old American teenager and Briton-wannabe, you guys scored again!

Sarah Smith, Bristow, Va.

I feel befuddled, bewildered and betrayed by your glaring omission of Ben Affleck. How could you include one half of the Oscar golden pair (Matt Damon) and not the other? Then to add insult to injury you included his girlfriend (Gwyneth Paltrow). Then it dawned on me—you must be saving Ben for the Sexiest Man Alive cover!

Brenda Wilson, Wayne, N.J.

I think you spelled beautiful wrong. It’s B-E-N A-F-F-L-E-C-K.

Courtney Blute, via e-mail

Okay, just where in hell are Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson and George Clooney?

Pamela Martin, Athens, Ga.

If Celine Balitran weren’t George Clooney‘s girlfriend, do we really believe she would have risen to be one of PEOPLE’S 50 Most Beautiful People without actually having accomplished anything? I think not!

Fran Turtle, Cincinnati

Anna Kournikova beautiful? Please! When telling the world she’s “beautiful, famous and gorgeous,” she forgot to add ridiculous, immature, arrogant and spoiled.

Claire Sim, Calgary, Alta.

Wow! Anna Kournikova is obnoxious! Someone needs to tell her that beauty fades, but dumb is forever!

Dana Zalkauskas, Cumming, Ga.

When I picked up your 50 Most Beautiful People issue, I thought it felt unusually heavy. Upon reaching page 121, I realized why: Anna Kournikova’s ego was in it!

Kelly Cromwell, Bedminister, N.J.

They probably heard my shouts of sheer delight down the block. Tom Selleck is absolutely drop-dead gorgeous and truly the most beautiful person in the issue.

K. Weaver, Middletown, R.I.

Jeffrey Kramer was way off the mark in his comment about Dylan McDermott: “Women under 40 want to marry him, and women over 40 want to adopt him.” I’m 48 and believe me, when I think of Dylan, I’m definitely not thinking about adopting him! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go take a very long, very cold shower.

Edilyn C. Zalwezaire, Tucson

I wish to register my disappointment with the 50 Most Beautiful People issue. How much longer will your magazine continue to equate success with the way a person looks? Do you not see how this leads thousands of people to starvation dieting and low self-esteem as they compare themselves to your 50 unrealistic role models? How about a 50 Most Spiritual People issue? Or a 50 Most Honest People issue? Either that, or rename your annual issue the 50 Most Vain People in the World.

Keath Graham, Baton Rouge

In being so obviously prejudiced and omitting anyone from your list who isn’t stick-thin, methinks you reinforce the stupid idea that gaunt is beautiful. I notice when you do cover large people, it’s with emphasis on their largeness (“Big girls make it in Hollywood,” etc.), as if that were the eighth wonder of the world. Shame on you, PEOPLE, I will not be renewing my subscription until you get off the skeletal bandwagon.

Dorothee Hartleb, Folsom, Calif.

While I disagree with some of your selections of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World, I applaud you for reaching beyond our society’s limited definition of what constitutes beauty. Bravo!

Laurie Lyndaker, Croghan, N.Y.

Once again I am appalled at the exclusion of Madonna. She looks absolutely stunning for someone who is turning 40 this year.

Dave Gardner, Toronto

Again! You left Adrian Paul out again! He is one of the most beautiful people in the galaxy, and still he hasn’t made your magazine. What is wrong with this picture?


I just have to say that I am outraged that Brad Pitt was not one of the most beautiful people! I will never forgive you as long as I live!

Mary Pitt, via e-mail

Those eyes! Those lips! I can only imagine this cover is under many a pillow at night!

Sara C. Lapham, Garland, Texas

ER Beauties

We salute PEOPLE for recognizing some of the beautiful—and hardworking—heroes of our ER; they are truly the greatest. One caveat: Don’t look for the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Boston, because we’re actually in Worcester, New England’s second-largest city and a place with a great history and great institution of its own.

Mark L. Shelton, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester, Mass.

Christopher Reeve

The saga of Christopher and Dana Reeve continues to inspire me. Christopher’s refusal to wallow in self-pity, despite being trapped in a body that doesn’t work, makes me ashamed of my own petty complaints. Dana is a model for anyone who considers dashing out of a marriage at the first sign of trouble.

Pamela Wakely, Lombard, Ill.

James Cameron

A trend seems to be developing whereby prominent, much-married Oscar winners break up with their current spouses shortly after the awards. Last year it was Billy Bob Thornton and his wife, Pietra, now James Cameron and Linda Hamilton. And next year?

Harriet E. Giwertz, New York City

Stephen Fagan

It breaks my heart that Rachel and Lisa Fagan were deprived of knowing their mother by such a manipulative, deceitful man. Stephen Fagan has taken something from these three women that can never be replaced. My sincerest hope is that someday these two beautiful daughters will overcome the negative information he fed them and give their mother a chance. Stephen Fagan deserves the same sentence he gave Barbara Kurth—20 years!

Caryn Lowe, Carrollton, Texas


I was glad to see other readers dislike the new layout for PEOPLE. I can’t stand it! The articles look too much like advertisements. The new bright color scheme is distracting and takes away from the meat of the magazine. Go back to your old format.

Stacey Higgs, via e-mail

I want the classic PEOPLE back. The new format is cheesy. Why mess with success?

Karen Guest, Fort Worth

I love the new layout—I found it refreshing! I read about all the people complaining about the changes, and I have one thing to say: Life is about changes! Grow with them!

Ashleah Hoffman, Lake Placid, N.Y.

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