Fan Mail: Thorny Issue for Celebrities

By Diane Werts 1996, Newsday | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), January 17, 1996 | Go to article overview

Fan Mail: Thorny Issue for Celebrities


Diane Werts 1996, Newsday, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


YOU LIKE a star, you love a show.

You send a card to tell them so.

But will they see the note you wrote?

Maybe yes, maybe no.

It can break your heart to write a letter to a celebrity you adore - and not get a response. Did you touch them in some way? Did they appreciate the information you passed on? Did they ignore the sentiments you slaved over in your note?

Or did they even see it?

Ah, the 32-cent question.

Fan mail is a thorny issue for stars. And how to deal with this consequence of fame varies widely, depending on the recipient. We broached precisely that subject during the fall-season TV press tour, when stars from all the networks gathered to promote their shows with entertainment writers from around the country.

Stars know fan letters are personal efforts from people who feel strongly enough to take the time to sit down and carefully compose expressions to famous people they feel they know very well, thanks to their show-biz appearances.

Yet, while celebrities may be thrilled to see tangible proof they're touching the lives of so many viewers, it's also true they don't know us the way we know them. Fan mail comes from strangers - perhaps potentially threatening strangers, at that. Even the flattering sentiments expressed inthese letters often can be tediously repetitive ("I love you so much! You can visit me anytime. Can I have your autograph?"). And the sheer volume of mail - hundreds or even thousands of letters a week - precludes truly personal responses. If stars sat down and answered every piece of fan mail themselves, they wouldn't have time left to do whatever made them stars in the first place.

"You do the best you can when you get 8,000 to 10,000 letters a week," says "Beverly Hills 90210's" Jason Priestley. "There aren't enough hours in the day."

"I get so much fan mail that I physically can't answer all of it personally now," says Jane Seymour of CBS' family-friendly "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" series.

Like Priestley and many other stars, Seymour forwards all her mail to a Hollywood fan-mail service, which ensures that each letter gets some sort of reply, usually a mass-produced photo with a printed "autograph." While this may not be the handwritten response fans are seeking, at least it shows the letter hasn't been ignored. "And I do get to see them all," Seymour says. "They send me every single piece (of mail)."

Stars sometimes recruit their secretaries, relatives and fan-club members to give replies more of an individual touch than the large mail services can offer. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Fan Mail: Thorny Issue for Celebrities
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.