THE HOT TICKET IN HOLLYWOOD LAST WEEK WAS THE coolly elegant invitation—gray writing on simple white parchment—to the sixth annual Fire & Ice Ball. Founded in 1990 by Lilly Tartikoff (wife of New World Entertainment chairman Brandon), who appeared resplendent in an Isaac Mizrahi ballerina gown, and Revlon head Ronald Perelman, the bash, held this year at the Barneys clothing store in Beverly Hills, raised $1.6 million for the Revlon/UCLA Women's Cancer Research Program. "You try to make it to causes that are either important to you or important to your friends," said ER star and Tartikoff pal George Clooney
, dapper in a Hugo Boss tux. Other celebs among the 1,200 revelers included Sharon Stone, Jack Nicholson, Dustin Hoffman, Anthony Edwards and ubiquitous lovebirds Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith, who sported a new, curly, blond bob. Before guests dined on salmon and fruit cobbler from Spago, Olivia Newton-John recalled her own successful 1992 battle with breast cancer.
Two normally low-key couples were in evidence: Helen Hunt of Mad About You showed up with boyfriend Hank Azaria of The Simpsons, and Lori Petty (A League of Their Own) teamed up with comedian David Alan Grier. Schmoozing sometimes took precedence over good manners: Many in the crowd continued gabbing loudly as Lyle Lovett capped the festivities with a 30-minute performance, including a bittersweet rendition of "Nobody Knows Me." But it was a small flaw in a graceful evening. "To feel even for a second that you're a tiny part of something," said Hunt, "is a nice feeling."