The Ski's the Limit for a Gaggle of Stars at Sun Valley's 50th Birthday Blast

updated 02/17/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/17/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

The sun never did appear during the three days of the Sun Valley Celebrity Ski Invitational, but the glare of television floods and paparazzi flashguns more than compensated. An avalanche of Hollywood royalty—and a dusting of European bluebloods—had descended (all expenses paid) to help celebrate America's 50th Ski Birthday at the Idaho playground. The glittering group that arrived to schuss the slopes and slalom through a round of parties included George Hamilton, Jamie Lee Curtis and her mother, Janet Leigh, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Brooke Shields, Olympic marathon gold medalist Joan Benoit (who started a running regimen to recuperate from a ski accident), Catherine Oxenberg and the Baroness Philippe de Rothschild. The major event was a benefit auction raising $155,000 for the Scott Newman Foundation, a drug prevention program founded by Paul Newman after his son's 1978 death by overdose. Teri Shields topped all bids for a one-hour sex therapy session with Dr. Ruth when she offered $12,000. Brooke, reading the crowd's mind, naughtily asked who the session was for.

Skiing novice Mary Lou Retton showed rare potential on the slopes during the celebrity races, winning her heat with a 20-foot slide. And après-ski hobnobbing with the stars appears to have persuaded the 18-year-old gymnast to vault from the Wheaties box to the silver screen. Mary Lou has reportedly begun scouting acting schools back in Houston, and in the afterglow from Sun Valley she announced, "I'm definitely going to go for it."

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