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Celebrating Hidden Kindness

Tell me, what do Tom Hiddleston, Emma Thompson, Kelly Clarkson, Tessa Thompson, and James Earl Jones have in common? Sure, they’re all hugely successful celebrities, but what else?

Kelly Clarkson Article by Charles Marshall

Kelly Clarkson

What would they have in common with Philippe Petit (the French high-wire artist who became famous for his high-wire walk between the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center) or with Christopher Priest (the author of The Prestige which became a blockbuster Christopher Nolan movie)?

And what would any of them have to do with my daughter, Faith? Several years ago, Faith began writing to celebrities whose work she admired.

She wrote to hundreds of actors, writers, singers, soldiers, comedians, and athletes, and told them what their work means to her. She talked to them about her own aspirations and passions. She also briefly mentioned that she struggles with epilepsy but doesn’t let it define who she is or what she is capable of.

Tessa Thomson Article by Charles Marshall

Tessa Thompson

So who did she write? Since I raised her on a healthy diet of Gilligan’s Island, she reached out to Tina Louise (Ginger) and Dawn Wells (Mary Ann). Faith also loves old movies so she wrote to Sophia Loren and Rita Moreno. She loves super hero movies, so she wrote to several Avengers-series actors as well.

And you know what? All of those people I just mentioned responded to my daughter’s letters. Many more responded by sending autographed pictures. Some people answered with personal notes and even sent memorabilia.

A few of the more notable responses she received are:

  • Andy Buckley (who plays Michael Scott’s boss, David Wallace, on The Office) wrote on Dunder Mifflin letterhead and invited Faith to apply for a job at Dunder Mifflin when she graduates.

  • Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter movies) wrote a page-long letter answering Faith’s questions and encouraged her in her artistic pursuits.

  • Anthony Andrews (who played Sir Percy Blakeney in The Scarlet Pimpernel movie) wrote a letter giving some behind-the-scenes information about one of Faith’s favorite movies.

  • Philippe Petit wrote a letter discussing his art of high-wire walking and encouraging Faith to continue to pursue her love of art.

  • Greg Wise (the dashing Willoughby in Sense and Sensibility) wrote a letter thanking my daughter for writing and praising her for her knowledge of the film.

  • The son of one well-known Golden Age of Hollywood actor (I wasn’t able to get permission from my daughter to share his name, so you’re just going to have to guess who it is. Hint: He dances. There. I’ve said too much!) sent a letter along with one of his father’s favorite ties!

How big of a deal do you think it is to me that all those famous people took time out of their busy day to connect with and encourage my daughter? I try to tell her all the time that she can overcome challenges and conquer the world, but to have hugely famous people contribute to that effort… well, that just raises my opinion of them more than any of their other contributions ever could.

The media often paints a dark world which consists of chaos and conflict. You hear about celebrities acting up, spouting off, and letting everyone down. But you almost never hear about the times some of these people try to encourage people like my daughter.

In this age of constant bad news and negativity, I find it encouraging to know that some of the people in the limelight are kind. I like to think that there are still people who use the good that they’ve been given to lift others up and make their lives brighter. And knowing that encourages me to do the same.

© 2021 Charles Marshall. Charles Marshall is a nationally known humorous motivational speaker and author. Visit his Web site or contact him via e-mail at

Faith loves business and loves to help people, but she is a full-time college student and unfortunately does not have time to either sell autographs or procure them for other people. Thank you for understanding!





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