You were a brilliant light for me in a sometimes dark childhood
Cher writes to her idol
Living legend and “Goddess of Pop” Cher turns 76 today, which gives me the perfect excuse, were one needed, to send you an impossibly charming letter she once wrote to her favourite movie star, Audrey Hepburn. The year was 1991—three years they first met, fleetingly, at the Oscars—and Cher was due to appear at a televised tribute to her idol. However, at the last minute, due to ill-health, and much to Cher’s frustration, she had to pull out and instead wrote this sweet letter.
This is a very hard letter for me to write, because what I had dreamt of doing all my life was to be able to tell you all of this in person—or at least in front of hundreds of people Monday night! I bought a new dress (something I thought you would love) and was completely ready to tell my innermost feelings about you because of the profound effect you have had on my life.
On the night I won the Oscar you touched my hand and said you were glad I’d won… you can never imagine what that meant to me. Since I was a little girl you have been my idea of a “star” and it was partly because of you that I became an actress.
You were a brilliant light for me in a sometimes dark childhood. I so wanted to be like you in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” that I put my hair in 2 ponytails, bought huge sunglasses, and wore the closest thing to “you” I could put together. I got suspended from school for the sunglasses but never mind—I was on my way to being just like you. But as I started to grow up I realized I couldn’t be you because there is only one you.
(There is no better argument for being an individual than you, being you, living your life as you do on screen. I could never presume to know the private you by your image alone).
Someone once said to me that I was like a “3rd world Audrey Hepburn”—I’m not sure how they meant it, but it’s one of my favourite comments regarding me. Your work is so beautiful that it has inspired me again and again.
I love you and respect you and you will never know how sad I am to miss this golden opportunity to say it in person. I send you my love,
Elsewhere: the Lists of Note newsletter is growing up fast, and the feedback has been entirely positive, so thank you. The tenth issue lands on Sunday and you can have a look at the previous nine here. If you haven’t done so already, you can sign up here!