The original Princess Aurora from Sleeping Beauty has been dutifully answering fan mail for 57 years. But with her 86th birthday on April 5, Mary Costa wrote a lovely open letter to her continually adoring fans, regretfully informing them that she can no longer answer their autograph requests by mail.
Here's a full version of the letter:
Costa addresses her fans with all the grace of a true Disney princess, even though it's been more than 50 years since she brought her classic character to life. Unsurprisingly, with so many new princesses discovering Aurora year after year, Costa states:
"Attempt[ing] to answer the volume of autograph requests I regularly receive has become more than any one 'Princess' can possibly handle."
We understand — although we're also kicking ourselves for not having thought to send an autograph request to Costa any time during the last 20 years. At least she assures us she'll still be available for in-person signings, so that's something!
Costa describes in the letter her time working with Disney with such affection:
One of the most significant achievements in my career was working with Walt Disney as the voice of Princess Aurora for his animated masterpiece Sleeping Beauty, As a young performer in my first major role, Mr. Disney often encouraged me by saying: Mary, just remember the three D's...Dedication, Determination, and Discipline, and you'll achieve your Dreams!
Costa was only 22 when she won the part of Princess Aurora. What was it like for such a young artist to become such a timeless icon? Here she is talking about the classic Disney role:
So what will Princess Aurora be up to now that she doesn't have to worry about sorting through stacks of fan mail every day? She'll be making the world a more beautiful place, of course:
"I will now be concentrating my efforts on working with young children on a more personal level, sharing with new generations of dreamers the moral values and creative vision of my forever friend and mentor, Walt Disney."
Wish Mary Costa a happy birthday in the comments below.