Jill Kinmont Boothe dies; ski champ was left paralyzed at 18
Jill Kinmont Boothe, the former ski champion and Olympic hopeful who was left paralyzed after a skiing accident in Utah in 1955 and whose inspirational life story was the subject of two Hollywood films, died Thursday in a Carson City hospital. She was 75.
Ruth Rhines, senior deputy coroner of Carson City, confirmed that Boothe died Thursday at Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center. A cause of death has not been reported and Rhines could not confirm reports that Boothe died of complications related to surgery.
A Los Angeles native, Kinmont Boothe was the U.S. women’s slalom champion in January 1955 when she crashed during a race at Alta, Utah, and suffered a broken neck and severe spinal cord damage.
The accident, which left her a quadriplegic at age 18, occurred three days before an issue of Sports Illustrated featuring her on the cover hit newsstands.
Boothe went on to overcome the life-changing tragedy by earning a teaching credential at the University of Washington and having a successful career as a teacher.
Her story was told in the 1975 film “The Other Side of the Mountain” and the 1978 sequel “The Other Side of the Mountain Part 2.”
An elementary school in Bishop, where she lived with her husband John, bears her name.
A complete obituary will follow in the obituaries section of latimes.com.
Thanks for posting this OP. I always wondered what happened to her.
Some people have much harder lives than others. Most of us need to be reminded about that.
Pretty much all I know about her is from that first movie. But she still has a name I recognize, and would click on any link about her I happened to come across.
I remember the commercials. "My name is Jill Kinmont! and I ski!" Then they flash to her taking a horrible upside-down tumble off the side of an ice covered cliff.
For those who have seen the film, that potato chip scene made me cry. I was seven when I saw it.
I had no idea the accident occurred in the mid-1950s, the films were so grounded in 1970's style. God bless her, I had no idea quadriplegics could live so long.
I worked at a ski resort in Alta in the 80s and crashed in the same spot she did--locals at the time called it the 'compression'. I broke my leg and I remember thinking of her as I was in the toboggan being brought down the mountain.
Will Olivia be singing at her funeral? Here's the 1970s wrapped up in a two minute video.
I was eating some potato chips a few weeks ago and thought of her.
Wow, I'm pretty sad to hear this. I was kind of obsessed with her story when I was a kid. But by all accounts she lived a long, happy and full life.
They made us watch that stupid Other Side of the Mountain movie during a snow day in junior high. The idiot principal thought it would be inspiring or something. Christ we were bored.
Get a blog, r7. It's not about you.
What about me? My career's been dead for years, and no one cares!
[RE 14] I live in WeHo , a few blocks south of The Abbey, and I see her walking her dog all the time. I talked to her once, and she was very nice.
Thats when I realized it was her. Has silvery hair now, but pretty face. I think her career stalled when she was shooting some movie, or commercial, and got into a car accident. Was severely injured ( ironic, after the part she played), and took a long time to recover. Career lost momentum. Was married to the film's director, at one point.
I still remember the TV ads -- "I'm Jill Kinmont...and I SKI!"