05/30/1983 at 01:00 AM EDT
Kristy McNichol (PEOPLE, May 9) should not worry. At 20, she has already proved that she is a better actress than most stars twice her age. Even Bette Davis has had her flops, and insurance companies are still willing to take a risk on Elizabeth Taylor. I also feel a deep respect for Jimmy McNichol. He's the brother we would all like to have.
My heart goes out to Kristy McNichol. She is going through emotions most 20-year-olds experience: fear, uncertainty and apprehension about the future. To make matters worse, she is in a crazy business, surrounded by selfish people. I hope her family continues to stick by her and that Hollywood executives realize a young life is worth more than any movie budget. Just give the girl time to catch her breath.
The fact that Kristy McNichol is depressed hardly warrants a cover story. There must have been nothing happening to report. I should have her problems and she should have mine: Then we'll see who's depressed!
New York City
Like Kristy McNichol, I have suffered a chemical imbalance. I turned from a bubbly personality into a shell filled with depression and nervousness. I soon found out from a very competent physician that researchers have been tracing a cause of depression to chemical imbalances in the body. So many people have the wrong idea about depression: They think it is a severe mental illness from which there is no chance of recovery. Thanks to my doctor, I am feeling normal again, and I'm able to do the things I used to do. No, my depression was not caused by any situation in my life: I truly believe it was 90 percent biochemical. I fell in love with Kristy McNichol on Family because she was a beautiful young actress and a compassionate human being. Now I have even more compassion for this super lady.
Cynthia L. Baltzer
As an American woman struggling to raise four children, fighting inflation with my diminishing dollar, I was dumbfounded as I read Tales From an Arabian Nightmare. I am sure most of us cannot comprehend the extravagance of the Al-Fassis. As a convert to Islam, I was appalled and disheartened when I realized that many of my fellow Americans will think this sick and ugly series of escapades and the Al-Fassis' abhorrent life-style are typical of Muslims. Nothing is farther from the truth.
After enduring a bucketful of problems, Robert Blake has swallowed his pride and pulled his life together. His performance in Blood Feud was brilliant. Although the route to his comeback may have been painful, his story is an inspiration to all who struggle with private demons.
New York City
I am an avid PEOPLE reader; however, you achieved an all-time low in this issue. I found it offensive that Robert Blake would show the world his behind and equally offensive that you would choose to photograph it.
Mrs. T. McAlister
Nice buns, Blake!
Isn't it comforting to know that rapists, murderers and child molesters are enjoying the challenge of fresh air and sunshine at Richard Kimball's wilderness therapy clinic? What America needs now is a prime-time game show called Name Your Crime. The criminal describes his crime, audience applause is measured, and the criminal with the highest score is awarded the vacation of his choice.
Jane Mullins O'Rear
Lake City, Fla.
I just read your article on Craig Diamond, the attorney who defended the company that manufactured DES and then discovered that he was a DES victim. I must admit to feeling some smug satisfaction as well as sympathy. Because my mother took DES, I know Mr. Diamond has good reason to be concerned for his daughter. DES cost me the life of my firstborn, a son, in August 1982. Because of physical abnormalities I could not carry him to term, and my chances for having another child are slim. May Mr. Diamond's daughter never know this pain or emptiness. May she never live with the fear of cervical cancer or endure the countless exams DES daughters undergo. Forgive my bitterness, but wouldn't it be ironic if the presidents of the 37 companies that made DES had mothers who were treated with the drug? God forgive them; I can't.
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
I took DES in 1954. I have lived with an all-pervading fear since 1971, when I learned of the horrendous things that could happen to my daughter. She is married and plans to have a family. Twice a year she sees her gynecologist, who knows I took DES and has tried to allay my anxieties to no avail. Usually, when a daughter tells her mother she is pregnant, it is cause for joy and elation. When the time comes, I will deserve an Academy Award for the great act I will put on.
Thank you for your article, which was the first I have read that explored the male side of the DES tragedy. My mother took DES to prevent miscarriage, and, until a recent visit to a doctor here in Boston, I had grave misgivings about my future as a mother because of the many sensationalist, seemingly conclusive reports on DES that I had read in the press. Seeing Craig Diamond's daughter, along with my doctor's reassurances, has given me renewed hope and optimism.