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Spa’s turn to be pampered

Special to The Times

“I have been in the spa business for 53 years, and every few years I remodel my place to give a new atmosphere for the clients,” said Paris-born Aida Thibiant at the cocktail party celebrating the most recent face-lift of her eponymous Beverly Hills Day Spa, an event she dedicated with a donation to the Deane F. Johnson Alzheimer’s Foundation. This venerable palace of pampering, along with her line of cleansers, serums, masks and moisturizers, has been restoring the faces, massaging the muscles and sculpting the cuticles of the rich and famous here in the U.S. for nearly 30 of those years. For all the new trappings -- gold walls with abstract stenciling, steel and glass pedicure stations, bigger locker rooms, and a bank of electro-massage chairs in the expanded waiting area -- the Jan. 28 soiree recalled the heyday of the prime-time soap, particularly since a trifecta of its stars showed up.

“I started coming here when I first came out to L.A. more years ago than I’d like to admit,” said the Versace-clad Morgan Fairchild (“Falcon Crest”), still a fine advertisement for Madame Thibiant’s rejuvenative prowess. Linda Gray, who just finished a theatrical tour as Mrs. Robinson in “The Graduate,” recalled visiting the Canon Drive spa most frequently back when she played Sue Ellen Shepard Ewing on “Dallas.” “When you’re doing a series, you need to be dipped,” she said. “They should have a vat with all of those things that take the stress away.” “Knots Landing’s” Joan Van Ark hadn’t been a client, but noted that “I used to work with Victoria Principal a lot, and she used to come here 24/7.”

The Reality TV era also had a few representatives. Although this was her first visit, Gigi Berry wasn’t scouting fashion victims for her Fox show, “Ambush Makeover.” “My mom comes here,” she explained. “But anything having to do with facials, I love.”

Rarer than Generations X and Y were chromosomes XY. A notable exception being Michael York, the British-born actor and star of Armageddon action-thrillers.

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“I was curious to see how it changed,” he said, his toned and ruddy complexion a testament to his faith in the spa’s Energizing Salt Glow. “But it’s like it is at any opening, you have to come back to see what it really looks like.”


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