How could you name the 25 most intriguing people of 1981 (PEOPLE, Dec. 28-Jan. 4) and leave out William Hurt?
Rancho Cordova, Calif.
Not to mention Tony Geary.
Or Ronald Reagan Jr.
San Rafael, Calif.
What about Rollie Fingers of the Milwaukee Brewers?
No Dolly Parton? Really!
The Ronald Reagans
In light of President Reagan's remarks about me in his interview with PEOPLE, I think you owe me an opportunity to respond. My interviews with David Stockman and the article I wrote for the Atlantic were honest reporting, honorably done, and I resent the President's suggestion that I am somehow comparable to the would-be assassin. David Stockman, a government official, submitted to 18 interviews with me, a reporter, with the understanding that he would not be quoted directly until the appropriate point, when I would write the entire story in one comprehensive article. In late summer, I proposed that it was now time to write that article and Stockman agreed, a fact he confirmed at his press conference in November.... In October, I arranged for a distinguished photographer to take photos of Stockman in his office. Is it plausible that this high government official, after 18 interviews, most of them tape-recorded, would pose for photographs believing that he was not to be quoted in my article?...After Stockman had read the article, we had an amiable conversation in which he acknowledged that, while the political fallout would cause him considerable pain, my account of his performance as budget director was both accurate and "not unfair to me." Readers who are still puzzled by this conflict should read the Atlantic article and judge for themselves whether its tone and serious purpose are consistent with my version of the facts or the President's.
I was shocked by your portrait of Nancy Reagan. I have always enjoyed reading PEOPLE because you seem to bring out the good in people that most people overlook. Instead of making Nancy appear to be a snob, why didn't you concentrate on her work with foster grandparents? I know that it takes a very loving person to be a foster grandparent because I was a foster child. It was people like Nancy Reagan who made my life enjoyable.
Santa Clara, Calif.
With such a lovely shot of Elizabeth Taylor adorning your cover, I was flabbergasted by the tastelessness of the actual text. Miss Taylor has never been "consigned to the Hollywood junkyard." She has not been professionally active since 1976 so that she could work with her husband on his political career. When she did return to work, she chose a classy stage vehicle, The Little Foxes, received acclaim from even the roughest critics and broke box office records.
New York City
When I was a little girl, I asked my parents what "beautiful" meant, and they replied, "Elizabeth Taylor." After reading your article on Liz, I truly understand how my parents feel.
Mick Jagger worries that he is in physical danger onstage. He should think about the fact that many Stones songs glamorize violence toward women. His music touches millions of people. There are some who take it for what it is and others who try to live it.
I think it is marvelous that your magazine chose Rabbit Angstrom as one of the 25 most intriguing people of 1981. He has taken on a sort of real-life quality through the brilliance of his creator, John Updike. I enjoyed seeing a literary figure honored in this casual, almost surreal fashion.
The courage of Lech Walesa dwarfs us all.
You begin by using the euphemism "sissy" for homosexual. Then you reassure the American public about Jeremy Irons' and Anthony Andrews' heterosexuality by saying that "both are married fathers." The day that one's heterosexuality can be proven by traditional matrimony and fatherhood is the day that witches can be detected by dunking them in water.
Picks & Pans
I question your judgment in giving Rev. Jerry Falwell celebrity status. However, I admire your allowing him to air his opinions and choices. Now if we could only convince Rev. Falwell that everyone should be allowed the same right.
Yvonne K. Paplow
I thought it was quite unfair that you listed the Richard Simmons Show as one of the 10 worst television shows of 1981. Through a combination of exercise, healthful diet and open dealings with everyday emotional and physical problems, I think that Simmons has done a great service to his viewers. In addition, I find his uninhibited personality a lot of fun. If the rest of our society could loosen up a little as Richard has done, I think we'd all get along better.
Maury B. Berger, M.D.
West Allis, Wis.