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Katharine Thalberg, 70; Movie Mogul's Daughter Led Aspen 'Fur Fight'

January 11, 2006|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Katharine Thalberg, 70, who led a campaign to ban the sale of fur in Aspen, Colo., died Friday of cancer at Aspen Valley Hospital.

In 1989, Thalberg and her third husband and then-mayor of Aspen, Bill Stirling, attracted international publicity when they fought to pass the country's first city ordinance banning the sale of wild animal fur. The battle between Thalberg's Aspen Society for Animal Rights and fur sellers and wearers was quickly dubbed the "fur fight." Voters resoundingly defeated the proposed ordinance in early 1990.

Born in Santa Monica, Thalberg was the daughter of MGM mogul Irving Thalberg and actress Norma Shearer. She learned to ski at age 3 and honed her interest while attending schools in France and Switzerland. After attending Vassar College and Stanford University, she earned a bachelor's degree in English literature at UCLA.

Thalberg moved to Aspen in 1973 and two years later opened Explore Booksellers in an old building she restored. She turned the attic into the Bistro, Aspen's first vegan restaurant.

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