Why was the postman ringing twice as often at PEOPLE'S offices earlier this year? Because in February we asked readers for nominations for the Most Beautiful People in the World—and 699 of you responded. In addition to the expected enthusiasm for Tom Selleck types, you also made heartening pitches for the likes of Ron Kovic and Barbara Bush as well as for your own friends and family—proving that, for many, beauty begins at home.
"This bathing beauty is Kaitlin O'Brien, age 3."
—Mr. and Mrs. Timothy O'Brien, Voorhees, N.J.
"My mom, Sophia, is the prettiest girl in the world, and she does not let me eat junk food."
—Robert Voelker, 8, San Rafael, Calif.
"Real-estate broker Don Audia is an excellent candidate—beautiful outside, beautiful inside."
—Alexis Denton, San Antonio
I nominate Sting, a wonderful, compassionate, intelligent man.
—Meredith Troy, Belmont, Mass
. By admitting she had a problem and [getting off] drugs, she proved to be twice as mature as a lot of teens older than her.
—Brandon Bartilét, 19, Solvang, Calif
—D. Malcolm, Westfield, N.J
—Diane Di Dio, Haddon Heights, N.J
Wesley Walker, wide receiver for the New York Jets.
—Carol P. McCrea, Nutley, N.J
Michele Duvalier [ex-wife of the former dictator of Haiti, Jean-Claude Duvalier]. She is evil and scheming, but chic, thin, stunning and beautiful.
—Name Withheld, Albany, N.Y
Yes, you do need help in finding beautiful people. With your naming of Sean Connery as the Sexiest Man Alive and your cover of Pat Sajak's wedding, you need help desperately. I think Tom Berenger is the most gorgeous person I've ever seen. P.S. Is Estelle Getty [octogenarian Sophia on The Golden Girls] the Sexiest Woman Alive?
—Fran LeVasseur, Spring Hill, Fla
—Bonnie Johnson, Pittsburgh
—Benjamin Urrutia, Salt Lake City
I do not intend to buy the issue that glorifies the "beautiful people," but I do hope Mother Teresa is included.
—Nancy A. Harding, Cerritos, Calif
Most beautiful? Easy—Mother Teresa. Beside her, they're all slick-looking sleaze-balls.
—Wes Sanchez, Auburn, Calif
Has to be Chris Burke [the Down syndrome teen on Life Goes On] and all his "handicapped" brothers and sisters who teach us the real meaning of life.
—Cheryl Trunnell, Owensboro, Ky
My daughter and her husband.
—Mrs. Hugh G. Davis, Milwaukee
My daughter and granddaughter.
—Judith A. Glassing, Cupertino, Calif.
My son Bob.
—Dolores Semeraro, Medford, N.Y.
May I suggest my daughter Heidi Russell, not just because she's truly beautiful, but because she's such a caring and compassionate person. She is employed (after many volunteer hours spent with AIDS patients) by the Gay Men's Health Crisis in New York City. That is what being beautiful is: giving of oneself.
—Mrs. Fabius Russell, Flint, Mich.
I will enjoy looking at your Beautiful People issue, but my most beautiful person is my best friend—my grandmother Bernita. When it comes to vitality and lust for life, she holds the fresh glow of youth.
—Sandy Huhn, Lyons, Mich.
You've got to be kidding me. [An issue] on beautiful people? How offensive! Beauty shouldn't be trumpeted in this way. Give us a break!
—Steve Michaels, Newport Beach, Calif.
"You're probably looking for people who are beautiful way down deep. I unfortunately don't fall into that category. But I'm sending my picture anyway."
—Shanda Harris, Ogden, Utah
This 21-year-old says you can keep your Michelle Pfeiffers and [model] Kathy Irelands. The most beautiful woman in the world is the incomparable Audrey Hepburn. No contest.
—D.M. Robinson, Lincoln, N.H.
"Take a look at my wife, Elsie. This is our 50th wedding anniversary. The ugly guy is me."
—Egon Kurz, Delray Beach, Fla.
"Sims, Meredith and Rebecca [from left] have done some local modeling and acting but are basically regular, happy and healthy children. I am very proud of them."
—Elizabeth Ely, Nevada City, Calif.