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Doherty's 'Passion'

November 19, 1994

Although your reviewer was somewhat kind to Shannen Doherty's performance as Margaret Mitchell in NBC's "A Burning Passion," this viewer was appalled (" 'Burning Passion' Brings Mitchell's Tara to Real Life," Nov. 7).

Doherty may make it as a Beverly Hills brat, but as Mitchell she did not have the vaguest concept of what being a flirtatious Atlanta belle is all about. Most of the time she was simply dour, morose and downright unpleasant.

In a television interview, Doherty stated that, as part of the research for the role, she did not bother to read "Gone With the Wind"! And Mitchell only wrote one novel. God forbid if Doherty were asked to portray the prolific Joyce Carol Oates!

Why can't Americans bring off what the English could do in their sleep? Our two most famous Southern belles, Scarlett O'Hara and Blanche DuBois, were essayed by Vivien Leigh. Now Joanne Whalley-Kilmer and Timothy Dalton have portrayed Scarlett and Rhett on television.

Is there something that can be done? Can we send the cast of "Beverly Hills, 90210" to England for 10 years so that they can come back with a little more skill and polish and perhaps the ability to get through reading "Gone With the Wind"?

TERENCE KINGSLEY-SMITH

Los Angeles

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