Trump says today's stars aren't what they used to be

EXCLUSIVE: Trump tells how he misses ‘glamorous’ Hollywood of the past – and says stars today have ‘little talent and a lot of notoriety’ – as he shares Kirk Douglas thank you letter in new book

  • ‘In years past, Hollywood was much more glamorous,’ said Donald Trump
  • His new book includes letters from giants of silver screen such as Kirk Douglas
  • ‘A true legend,’ is how the former president described the Spartacus star 

Former President Donald Trump launched a book of letters he received from global stars on Tuesday evening with a lament for the golden age of stage and screen.

‘Letters to Trump,’ includes messages from presidents, politicians and Hollywood superstars such as Kirk Douglas, golfing legend Arnold Palmer, music star Michael Jackson as well as Princess Diana and Oprah Winfrey.

In an age when anyone with a social media account can become an online influencer or when an appearance on a reality show is a ticket to stardom, it makes for a nostalgic look at a time when celebrity meant much more.  

‘In years past, Hollywood was much more glamorous,’ Trump told 

‘It meant something to be a star. Today, some are elevated to stardom with little talent, and a lot of notoriety. 

‘It’s just not the same, but a star is still a star!’

Donald Trump with movie star Kirk Douglas. Trump says Hollywood used to be a much more glamorous place, where ‘it meant something to be a star’

His new book was published on Tuesday and includes a thank-you note from the Spartacus star

By way of illustration, he pays tribute to Spartacus star Douglas in his book. 

‘Kirk was a true Hollywood movie star and a good friend,’ he writes, alongside a thank-you letter.

‘He loved his family very much, including Michael, whom he respected greatly as an actor and loved as a son.

‘He had a rugged and distinguishing look — there were few male stars like him. A true legend.’

Douglas died in 2020. In his 1988 note, he comes across as a proud father, talking up his son’s success, and thanking the Trumps for their hospitality. 

‘By the way, my son Michael won the Golden Globe Award for Best Performance in “Wall Street.”

‘He is now on his way to Tokyo. Maybe one of these days soon we’ll all get together for an evening.’

It was a far cry from the open letter written by the lifelong Democrat to Trump in 2016, when he compared some of the Republican’s rhetoric about immigrants with the rise of Hitler almost a century earlier.

Trump said Douglas (pictured here in one of his best known roles as Spartacus in the 1960 Oscar winning movie) was a ‘true legend of Hollywood

Douglas in Stanley Kubrick’s 1958 movie Paths of Glory

Other superstars in the book include pop artist Michael Jackson

‘I’ve also lived through the horrors of a Great Depression and two World Wars, the second of which was started by a man who promised that he would restore his country it to its former greatness,’ he wrote.

‘I was 16 when that man came to power in 1933. For almost a decade before his rise he was laughed at ― not taken seriously. He was seen as a buffoon who couldn’t possibly deceive an educated, civilised population with his nationalistic, hateful rhetoric.

The book was released by Winning Team Publishing, founded by Donald Trump Jr and Sergio Gor, on Tuesday.  

‘From President Richard Nixon, to Princess Diana, and from Hillary Clinton, to Chairman Kim Jong Un, no book offers a glimpse into history quite like “Letters to Trump,”‘ says the book’s website.

It is priced $99, although fans can get a signed copy for $399.

In 2002 Hillary Clinton sent a warm letter to Donald Trump thanking him for his ‘friendship and support.’ There was little sign of that in their ugly 2016 contest for the White House

Donald Trump poses for a photograph with Hillary Clinton in happier times. Trump was with his sons Don Jr. (far left) and Eric during a visit to the White House in 1996

The two were arch enemies by the time they each secured their party’s nomination for president in 2016, setting up a bitter contest complete with heated TV debate clashes

As well as letters from before Trump’s time in office, the book also contains correspondence during his stint in the White House. It includes letters from leaders such as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, as well as Kim Jong Un, the supreme leader of North Korea. 

Other letters featured in the book come from Trump’s 2016 Democratic rival Hillary Clinton; former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo; television host Jay Leno; and President Richard Nixon.

The 2002 letter from Clinton is a reminder of the way the two 2016 candidates once moved in the same New York circles before becoming bitter opponents.

In it, she thanks the then-New York property mogul for his ‘friendship and support’ and a ‘generous contribution’ to her Senate campaign.

‘What can I say about Hillary Clinton? I had a great relationship with both Bill and Hillary for a long period of time,’ writes Trump in a commentary alongside the letter, obtained exclusively by

‘Who would have known it would turn out the way it did? I don’t think we’ve heard the last from Hillary. After the election, she was the angriest woman anywhere in the world.’

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