Oscar Style
Is it just me, or did Gwyneth Paltrow look like Dennis the Menace in a Barbie gown?
Sharon Serano, Haddonfield, N.J.

Someone—a true friend, not another sycophant—ought to have advised that lovely but flat-chested lady that no one, not even someone with a classically beautiful face, looks good, let alone great, in super-low décolleté. The gown just hung there, uncomfortable to watch.
Mareile-Angy Ogle, Milpitas, Calif.

Gwyneth Paltrow is a pretty woman, but whoever talked her into shellacking her hair to her head for the scars should have his or her hairdresser's license revoked.
Cheryl Drayer, Dallas

Gwyneth's beauty and class transcend all of Hollywood. She is a lovely, gracious, poised woman who looked absolutely perfect on Oscar night.
Veronica Alexander, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

I think you missed a real knockout by not featuring a picture of the lovely young Japanese lady in the stunning purple gown. She made the "stars" look as if they were fading!
Karen Schultes, Arlington, Texas

Her name is Keiko Ibi. She received an Oscar for her documentary film The Personals: Improvisations on Romance in the Golden Years.—ED.

As a woman with a less than svelte physique, I drooled over Whoopi's magnificent black velvet with the overgarment in golden rust tones. Now that's fashion! Any fool with a Singer could make beautiful young Gwyneth look stunning. Making a real-world-shaped mature woman look so elegant gets my vote for best designer.
Phoenix McFarland, Surrey, B.C.

No matter how you cut it, drape it or expose it, none of the females at the Oscars could hold a candle to Sophia Loren, truly an elegant lady.
Doreen Miller, Edmonton, Alta.

I am disgusted that PEOPLE would print a picture of Monica Lewinsky at an Oscar party. This woman's only claim to fame is that she performed oral sex on the President of the United States. I find it ironic that in the picture that you did print of her, her mouth was wide open!
Maura M. Young, via e-mail

Instead of giving credit to all the actors and actresses nominated, like Tom Hanks, you waste space with a picture of Monica Lewinsky?
Carol Rutledge, Raleigh, N.C.

At an event some of the world's most glamorous women attend, and where they should look their best, I have never seen such ill-fitting, cheap-looking clothes. Save for a precious few, the fashions were pathetic.
Al Menotti, Park Ridge, Ill.

Your article on the Academy Awards was very disappointing. There was a lot more to the evening than just clothes.
Diane Close, Haddonfield, N.J.

If 70 million people watched the Oscars, was it necessary to devote 40 pages to it? Jeez!
Krista Keller, Cincinnati

It is obvious who took time to look in the mirror before they went to the Oscars! I can't believe some of these designer gowns!
Paula Holte, Eagle Point, Ore.

Scoop
With friends like Sean Penn, who needs enemies? What on earth makes him believe he is capable of determining the "actors" from the "performers"? Sean is jealous of his colleague's success. If he were comfortable with his own, he wouldn't feel the need to bad-mouth Cage.
Dana Fields, via e-mail

It's hard for me to believe that Sean Penn, Nick Nolte and Stephen Baldwin have nothing better to do than sit around sniping at Nicolas Cage. I have always had respect for Mr. Cage's enormous talent. After hearing his mature and classy response to his colleagues' immature comments, I respect him even more.
Lori Hughes, Sarasota, Fla.

Sean, you have to quit taking yourself and your profession so seriously. You play make-believe, for crying out loud! Remember the proverb about people in glass houses throwing stones? Shanghai Surprise ring any bells?
Roni Wilson, Stuart, Iowa

I happen to think Nicolas Cage is an excellent actor. Can you spell jealousy? Hey, Sean, did you catch Leaving Las Vegas? He deserved his award. Where's yours? Shelia Gall, Campbell, Calif.

I've always admired Nicolas Cage for his wonderful versatility. As for Sean Penn, he has always been a legend in his own mind. His only real claim to fame would be his failed role as Madonna's husband. Nic, take my advice—if you want a true friend in Hollywood, buy a dog.
Linda A. Kennedy, New Castle, Del.

Salvatore Fortunate
I just finished reading your article on Salvatore Fortunato, and I feel so happy that he is doing well, considering. I, too, am a gay male, age 42, who was diagnosed with AIDS in 1994. However, I feel lucky never to have suffered the side effects that a lot of people have who are on these "cocktail" drugs. I wish him all the best. As someone who has lost all my friends over the years, just like Salvatore, it's nice to know someone is living a long and prosperous life.
Michael McGinsie, Brighton,

Salvatore Fortunato is truly an example of courage and strength. His words, "I have to fight, I don't have a choice," touched my heart. But what moved me to write is Robert Mastellone, president of RPM-D&L Offset, where Salvatore works. I applaud him for doing right by him, and in my book he is an angel on earth.
Maria Doyle, Rio Rancho, N.Mex.

Picks & Pans
Leah, Leah, Leah, did we see the same movie? "While I agree the concept of The Truman Show was great, the movie just didn't achieve what I hoped for. EDtv, on the other hand, gave me value for my entertainment dollar. While I know going to the movies means suspending belief in reality, that was a tall order with The Truman Show. That a man would get to be Truman's age without ever discovering his life was a television show was completely unrealistic. EDtv was not only enjoyable, it was believable.
Susan La Joie, Schaumburg, Ill.

David Strickland
I was shocked and saddened by David Strickland's suicide. I am a big fan of Suddenly Susan and the show's incredibly talented ensemble cast. Dave was a gifted actor who seemed to have a very bright future. (He always made me laugh.) I will truly miss him and his character, Todd, the neurotic, childlike music reviewer. My prayers go out to his family, friends and costars.
James Collins, Toronto

Mail
I am just wondering why people are writing and saying to stay out of Jennifer Aniston's and Brad Pitt's lives. I mean, why are they reading PEOPLE?
Tracey Maness, Springhill, La,