06/15/1998 at 01:00 AM EDT
While I'm sure Cher feels grief at the loss of her daughter's father, the way she is trying to profit from it is disgusting. This is a woman who "celebrated" her divorce from him, belittled him publicly every chance she got and generally disregarded his role in her success. I find it rather coincidental that she was suddenly able to communicate with him from beyond the grave just at the time that her career was in a slump.
Diane Dobbs, Las Vegas
It is positively despicable that Cher is trying to revitalize her moribund showbiz career using the ghost of Sonny Bono. It was bad enough that she upstaged his widow at the funeral. Shame on her, and shame on PEOPLE for abetting her.
George W. Seaton III, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Looks to me like Sonny has transformed Cher into a star again.
Am I missing something, or did Cher die instead of Sonny? How did his death turn into a requiem for her?
Patricia Garvey, Williams, Ariz.
What an interesting woman. What an extraordinary life. While Cher waits for those grandkids, I wish she would write her autobiography. Forget the next life, Cher—there is still so much to share with us in this one!
Gena Wilder, Sherman Oaks, Calif.
Cher is a national treasure, not a joke. She is a strong, independent woman who has led an amazing life. Not many 52-year-olds look like her or own an Oscar and have had numerous Top 10 records, all while raising two children on her own. She should look back on her life and hold her head high, not apologize. With or without a man, she is a role model for women of all ages.
So, Cher hates being in her 50s? Better over the hill than under it. I'm sure Sonny would agree.
A. Castle, New Milford, Conn.
Your interview with Cher made me sad. Where is the Cher we once knew and loved (despite the times when her life skipped a beat or two)? Come on, Cher, snap out of it! Getting older, whether it's in Malibu or Timbuktu, is a fact of life. Your legacy is still as hot and colorful as ever, so catch up with it before the next PEOPLE interview finds you as despondent and listless as a throw rug. You and Sonny were right. The beat does go on...so be there.
Lillian Howerton, Evansville, Ind.
Cher and I are the same age. She's a talented woman, but I can see I have spent way too much of my life envying her stomach without stretch marks. My friends and I think our 50s are great. We have our families and are finally at the point where we don't feel competitive with anyone else. There's no compulsion to look and act like an adolescent. Cher needs to get a real life instead of obsessing so much about herself.
P. Harris, via e-mail
I have been a fan of Cher's for 25 years. Ten years ago, my father passed away. Cher wrote me to pass along condolences and to encourage me through a tough period. I will never forget that. I hope she is doing well, and my prayers are with her.
Nick Pallotta, Liverpool, N.Y.
Please explain to me how Cher can say that in the early '90s her career went right into the toilet, she couldn't even work full-time, and she took bad jobs just to make ends meet, yet is now designing a 14,000-square-foot house in Malibu. Evidently her idea of "having no money" and mine are a little bit different! If that's what misguided infomercials pay, I'll be ready to start Monday!
L. VanBaale, via e-mail
What an incredible woman! I would give anything to spend one day with her. She is so candid in her comments about life and age. I know it's a bitch growing old, but from what I know of Cher, she'll make the best of any situation and find her peace.
Carol Okray, Riverside, Calif.
Potential cure for cancer—page 119. Cher—the cover. Hello?
Sandra Thornell, Austin, Texas
Is Cher cashing in on Sonny's death or what? Eulogies, TV specials, books and the cover of PEOPLE.
Marian Santoro, Denver
What a class act, as opposed to that other comedy about nothing. I laughed, I cried, and more than once I wished I had been a more faithful viewer and maybe Murphy would not be leaving us. She left, however, with the same style exhibited all the years she was with us. Bonne chance, Murphy!
Alice M. Decker, Reistertown, Md.
Rita Bright and Ann Oliva
My closet is filled with prom and bridesmaids dresses that, sadly, no longer fit. I was holding on to them in hopes that someday I would be back to my prepregnancy size 6, but your article about Rita Bright and Ann Oliva made me realize there are kids out there who would miss their own proms for lack of pretty dresses. Where can I send mine?
Erin Parisi, Salem, N.H.
Bright and Oliva are grateful to those who would like to send dresses to them, but encourage people to start similar programs in their own communities by contacting local high schools. "There are," Bright points out, "proms all over America!" Dresses, however, may be sent to Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness, 801 Pennsylvania Avenue S.E., Suite 360, Washington, D.C. 20003—ED.
So, Antonio Banderas is Andrew Lloyd Webber's choice as the phantom in the film version of Phantom of the Opera. Wise up, Sir Andrew! Just as there was only one King of Siam, Yul Brynner, there is only one phantom—Michael Crawford!
Cheryl Powell, Coudersport, Pa.
What an inspiration the article on 78-year-old flight attendant Norma Webb was! As a 45-year-old flight attendant, I sometimes get discouraged and tell myself, "I'm getting too old for this." Well, no more! I'm going to have the article laminated and carry it in my flight bag for those days when I need a boost.
Tamara DellaPenna, West Bloomfield, Mich.
As a boomer a mere decade younger than Cher, I felt ready to ship myself to the glue factory after reading her view of life as a woman after 50. Then I turned to the inspiring stories of Norma Webb and the Palm Springs Follies and remembered that living a worthwhile life is all about attitude and not about looks.
L. Durrant, Vancouver
I was very disappointed that the death of Alice Faye only warranted a small paragraph. Perhaps you feel that younger people are unaware of who she was, but as a young person myself I find it terrible that one of the great stars of the '30s and '40s barely received recognition.
I can relate to your section "The Name's the Same." My name is Courtney Love, and no, I wasn't named after the other one. I am bombarded daily with comments, jokes and doubts that I'm telling the truth. I am forced to show my ID just to keep them quiet and am often rejected when I mail résumés and applications. Among the few good things about my name: It's recognizable, a good ice-breaker, and people never forget who I am.
Courtney Love, Abbotsford, B.C.
Picks & Pans
To my horror I read Leah Rozen's review of the movie The Horse Whisperer, in which she stated that this bastardized version of Nicholas Evans's novel was "far superior to the gooey novel upon which it was based." Obviously, Rozen has never read the book. Or, if she did, she didn't comprehend its message because there were no pictures!
Susan Bortell, Michigan City, Ind.
I have read The Horse Whisperer and The Bridges of Madison County. I have also seen both movies. I find nothing "sappy" or "gooey" about either of them. If being a "city girl" causes you to appreciate smog, concrete and violence over beautiful scenery, majestic creatures and romance, please stay east of the Mississippi. You wouldn't know a wonderful story if it jumped up and bit you in your big-city butt.
Barrie S. Perrottino, Clifton, Va.