I applaud Hilary de Vries for her insightful interview with Rosie O'Donnell ("Rosie Gets Real," May 17). In this age of "trash TV," when entertainment is increasingly defined by its shock value, it's refreshing to be reminded of one of the truly nice people left in show business.
O'Donnell's success comes from her down-to-earth humor and talent, but her selfless devotion to others is what brings her the greatest fulfillment. Maybe we all could learn from her example.
R-O-S-I-E: Reestablishment of Sensible Intelligent Entertainment. You have to respect this woman.
Michael A. Glueck
I don't think I can stomach one more elitist celebrity claiming that "real" people can be found only in New York. Many wealthy show-business types like O'Donnell profess to be champions of working-class causes, yet insult us by not acknowledging the culturally rich, diverse face of Southern California outside of the tiny, insulated world west of La Cienega Boulevard.
Oh, no, not you, too, Rosie! Must we add your name to the mantra espoused by all the New York actors who come to L.A. and say there aren't any "real" people out here, and that every parking valet has a script going?
Note that our 8 million people are not all scriptwriters or waiters trying to crash the biz. They're too tied up working "real" jobs, while utilizing our universities, museums, theaters and ethnic diversity.
On the other hand, I wouldn't want to live in New York. After all, the Big Apple only offers mugging in every elevator or on every street corner, the cab drivers take advantage, the attitude is stifling; and besides, the people all talk funny.
Conrad J. Doerr
I've been a Big Sister for 2 1/2 years, and I consider O'Donnell a marvelous role model. I know of no other stars who use their celebrity status so consistently for such benevolent causes, without fanfare or the need for public acknowledgement. She deserves all the accolades she gets.
Why has O'Donnell's show come to L.A. twice in two years? It's simple. The show business pool is very limited in New York, so it comes here to boost its ratings.
I applaud O'Donnell's being an advocate for Broadway, but we all know that, excepting outdated musicals, Broadway's been dead for more than 25 years.
John M. Catlin
"I couldn't live [in L.A.] because it's a distorted reality. There aren't many real people out here." Well, just add O'Donnell to the list of the Stardom Gone to the Heads of B-Players With Little or No Talent Brigade. She's just another New Yorker bad-mouthing L.A.