Mary Costa, who voiced Princess Aurora in Disney’s 1959 animated classic Sleeping Beauty, celebrated her 86th birthday on Tuesday, marking the occasion with an open letter to her many fans.
The letter thanked all those fans for their support over the years and recalled the advice Walt Disney gave her for what was her first major role at the age of 22 (“Mary, just remember the three D’s…Dedication, Determination, and Discipline, and you’ll achieve your Dreams!”), before asking them to understand she can no longer answer autograph requests by mail.
“Through the years, I have always personally read and signed as many of your requests as possible. After having been so deeply inspired by letters from you, I have come to regard you not as fans, but as my friends. I have recently realized, however, that continuing to attempt to answer the volume of autograph requests I regularly receive has become more than any one ‘Princess’ can possibly handle,” she wrote.
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Costa said she will still sign autographs and meet fans at future events and plans to focus her efforts on working with young children, “sharing with new generations of dreamers the moral values and creative vision” of Disney, her “forever friend and mentor.”
Read Costa’s full letter at Indiewire.