05/27/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT
Regarding your cover story (PEOPLE, May 6), it is difficult to believe that B.D. Hyman could be so cruel about her mother, whether she is Bette Davis or not. To write a book about one's mother at all is unthinkable. To do so at a time when she is ill and vulnerable is inhuman. A word of comfort to Bette Davis. Millions of us will be outraged by the invasion of your privacy. The love and admiration we feel for you will prevent most of us from reading such a piece of trash. I won't buy My Mother's Keeper, and I hope to God no one else does.
Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.
Perhaps the best advice for B.D. was uttered by Margo Channing in Miss Davis' classic film, All About Eve. B.D., take your book and "put it where your heart ought to be."
New York City
Bette Davis' daughter says she wrote her book as "a Christian act" hoping her mother would mend her ways in order to get to heaven. But we already know where B.D. Hyman is going—it rhymes with bell.
Del Mar, Calif.
If my mother was a beautiful actress, known and respected around the world for 50 years for her talent, and I was a fat, sanctimonious Bible thumper, I would probably write a nasty book about her too.
I am in total agreement with Miss Davis. If her son-in-law Jeremy and his tribe are bound for heaven, I'd as soon stay home.
Born-again Christian—phooey! Why is it that so many of these so-called born-again Christians are born again better than anyone else? Who gave B.D. the right to judge her mother? It's too disgusting for words.
Hooray for the children of Hollywood (Crawford's, Crosby's and Davis') who consistently prove my theory that severe brain damage results from prolonged exposure to silver spoons.
Thomas A. Bua
I spent two months working with Bette Davis and her grandson, Ashley Hyman, on Family Reunion. Each morning we would meet in her dressing room or trailer to rehearse, and I watched as she coached young Ashley, who had never acted before. Never once did she lose her temper or in any way demonstrate anything but patience, love and support. His mother, who was not there at our rehearsals or during shooting, grossly misrepresents the truth of his experience. If this distortion is indicative, I have great fears about the accuracy of the rest of the book.
New York City
I am writing because I am seething to think you would print that crucifying article on Bette Davis and give that so-called daughter all the publicity she needs to make money by exposing the private life of her mother. I am ashamed for her and you.
I know exactly where B.D. is coming from. I too have a mother who has verbally abused me, made me feel guilty about everything I did, constantly makes my boys' lives miserable and can't stand the sight of my husband. But she can easily grab one of Bette Davis' Oscars for the performance she gives in front of her friends. I don't care what Bette Davis' co-stars saw while filming with her. They didn't see her when she went home at night. Just because a woman has children doesn't make her a good mother.
B.D. Hyman does us a service, letting us see how little we know about people we adore. This book may give us pause before we bestow so much reverence on our stars.
David B. Ellis
Rapid City. S.D.
It is not inconceivable to me that the mail for Miss Bette Davis will exceed in volume any and all previous stories in your magazine. I wonder if you would sketch out the figures for us readers?
We've done stories in the past that have drawn more mail, but this one is tops for the year thus far. Of the 241 readers who have written, 226 side with Bette Davis, seven with her daughter, B.D. Hyman.—ED
Emma Samms/Pamela Sue Martin
Poor Emma Samms. You had so many nice things to say about her in your "Open Letter to Pamela Sue Martin." But then you had to put their two portraits next to each other and with what result? Pamela Sue's fiery, confident beauty just about leaps off the page, leaving Emma looking plain as homemade soap.
Lake Charles, La.
I was shocked to read of film critic Pauline Kael's cruel and uncalled-for remarks regarding Sally Field's heartfelt response to her Oscar award. That moment on TV brought tears to my eyes and warmth to my heart. I trust that Sally Field will not let one critic's unkind criticism cause her pain.
Thank you for bringing Vietnam into focus. At times I had difficulty reading the print because my tears kept getting in the way. But why should I be spared the pain? The lives of these men, their loved ones, the loved ones of those who did not come home were totally torn apart. Thanks for reminding me and all who read your publication of the magnitude of their sacrifice.
Ellen Joan Stortecky