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Own a Piece of Old Hollywood

Storied Hollywood Homes


Hollywood is America’s dream factory, churning out fantasies of glamour in its movies and stars. It was back in the old Hollywood studio system – from the silent era through the 1950s – when Hollywood truly operated like a factory, producing hundreds of movies a year and creating its most gilded image of itself in the process.

With thousands of people under contract and well-compensated stars living in the lap of luxury, the lives of “movie people” were indeed the stuff of legend. And who doesn’t like to own a piece of a legend? Here are some of the most glamorous old Hollywood homes on the market today.

Photo Credit:  gavinj1984

The Beverly House


Set on nearly 3.7 acres just three blocks from Sunset Boulevard is the Beverly House – the final residence of renowned 20th century publishing magnate (and inspiration for the film Citizen Kane) William Randolph Hearst. Built of terra cotta stucco, it boasts 29 bedrooms, three swimming pools and one of the longest private drives in the city. It is on the market for $95 million.

Photo Credit: Hilton & Hyland

The Beverly House


The home was built by banking executive Milton Getz, designed by architect Gordon B. Kaufmann and bought for Hearst in 1946 by his mistress, actress Marion Davies. Among many of the home’s features are a 50-foot entrance hall and a living room with 22-foot ceilings. The two-story library is noted for its hand-carved woodwork and staircase and its wraparound balcony and bookshelves. If these walls could talk ...

Listing agent Jeff Hyland is also the author of the book The Legendary Estates of Beverly Hills, in which he writes about Beverly House. He reveals that when Hearst died in the home, Davies took a sedative; while she slept, Hearst’s family removed his body and canceled her newspaper subscriptions.

Photo Credit: Hilton & Hyland

The Beverly House


A garden level contains an art-deco nightclub, wine cellar and one of two projection rooms in the residence. Another level contains spa facilities with a gym and massage room. Also notable is the original landscaping by Paul Thiene, classical statuary and cascading waterfalls that flow into one of the pools flanked by Venetian columns.

Photo Credit: Hilton & Hyland

The Beverly House


The billiard room contains herringbone parquet floors and a massive carved stone fireplace mantle from Hearst’s never-completed mansion, San Simeon. The celebrity provenance of the home extends beyond Hearst, too.

In addition to hosting John and Jacqueline Kennedy during their honeymoon (they apparently watched their first film together as a married couple in the mansion's theater), Beverly House also played a character in The Godfather (the scene with the severed horse’s head) and is the setting for The Bodyguard.

For information, contact Jeff Hyland (310-278-3311) or visit the website.

Photo Credit: Hilton & Hyland

Pickfair


The Pickfair mansion in the San Ysidro Canyon in Beverly Hills was named by and for its original residents, the silent film stars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, and the history of the home conjures all the glamour of old Hollywood.

The couple hired famed architect Wallace Neff to transform the original home they bought into a 22-room mansion believed to be the first private property in Los Angeles to have its own swimming pool. Unfortunately the current home bears little resemblance to the original. The only things remaining of the original Pickfair mansion are the entry gates with their prominent “P” motif.

The house is on the market for $60 million.

Photo Credit: Hilton & Hyland

Pickfair


Fairbanks and Pickford were the most famous couple of the silent film era and together they made Beverly Hills fashionable. Parties at Pickfair were renowned and welcomed everyone from Albert Einstein to the Duke and of Duchess of Windsor – not to mention such Hollywood stars as Charlie Chaplin (who lived next door and was Fairbanks’ and Pickford’s partner in the movie company they founded with D.W. Griffith – United Artists).

Photo Credit: Hilton & Hyland

Pickfair


Pickford, who divorced Fairbanks in 1936, lived in the mansion until her death in 1979. The home was left vacant for several years until it was bought by L.A. Lakers owner Jerry Buss and later by actress Pia Zadora and her millionaire husband. The couple scandalized Hollywood preservationists by demolishing the original structure and building a larger mansion in its place (they cited a termite problem as necessitating the rebuild).

Photo Credit: Hilton & Hyland

Pickfair


The current home has 17 bedrooms and 30 bathrooms. It includes guest units, staff quarters, a security house, large terraces, an oversized swimming pool, elevators, a glass-dome spa, gym, massage room, beauty salon, movie theater, discotheque, full-size bar, billiards room and parking for 30 cars.

For information, contact Felix Pena (310-278-3311, ext. 431) or visit the website.

Photo Credit: Hilton & Hyland

The Crosby Estate


Listed for $5.6 million, the property at 10500 Camarillo Street in Toluca Lake, Calif., is the former estate of celebrated singer and Academy Award-winning actor Bing Crosby. The more than 7,000-square-foot home has six bedrooms and five bathrooms and sits on a 2-acre private gated compound.

Photo Credit: Ginger Glass

The Crosby Estate


The southern colonial style mansion was built around 1936 for Crosby, who not only enjoyed a career as an entertainer but was also a visionary entrepreneur. He was instrumental in (and profited significantly from) the development of tape-based audio recording. His former home features five fireplaces, including this one in the billiards room.

Photo Credit: Ginger Glass

The Crosby Estate


The master suite has a deluxe marble bath with a steam shower and spa tub.

Photo Credit: Ginger Glass

The Crosby Estate


Crosby was also a dedicated sportsman, a fan of thoroughbred racing (he owned racehorses and stables), and from 1946 until the end of his life was part-owner of baseball's Pittsburgh Pirates. The grounds of the estate include a tennis court with a gazebo and grandstands.

Photo Credit: Ginger Glass

The Crosby Estate


An Olympic-size swimming pool with a separate in-ground spa has the added luxury of an outdoor marble fireplace, and the pool cabana has two full bathrooms and one half bathroom. At age 74 Crosby, an avid golfer, played an 18-hole round of golf in Spain in 1977 (and won against a couple of Spanish pros) before dying suddenly of a massive heart attack on the way back to the clubhouse.

For information, contact Ginger Glass/Coldwell Banker – Beverly Hills North (310-927-9307) or visit the website.

Photo Credit: Ginger Glass

Chez Elvis


You can take the tour of his famed Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tenn., for $31, but for $25,000 per month, you can live in Elvis Presley’s former Beverly Hills home at 1174 Hillcrest Road.

Built in 1958 in the celebrity-friendly Trousdale Estates (where Jennifer Aniston lived and is listing her own home for $42 million), Elvis bought his Trousdale home in 1967 for $400,000. It was the same year he married Priscilla and a before Lisa Marie was born.

The property is occupied, but as a rental it will be back on the market from time to time.

Photo Credit: Jade Mills

Chez Elvis


The home is in the French Regency style and set on 1.18 acres with panoramic city and ocean views and an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

Photo Credit: Jade Mills

Chez Elvis


While the home was recently remodeled, the gate is still covered in fans’ messages to the king, who used to come to the gate to and talk with the fans waiting for him there.

Photo Credit: Jade Mills

Chez Elvis


Other features of the home include a formal living room with fireplace, a dining room, family room, office and media room. The three-bedroom home also has a guest cottage (which reportedly accommodated many celebrity guests). The Presleys separated in 1972; Elvis stayed in the home while Priscilla moved out with Lisa Marie.

For information, contact Jade Mills (310-285-7508) or visit the website.

Photo Credit: Jade Mills

La Esperanza


The famously private starlet, Greta Garbo, commissioned this Mediterranean Villa as a beach retreat and dubbed it “La Esperanza,” which means “hope” in Spanish. The 1930s landmark was completely restored in 2000.

The home features five bedrooms, five-plus bathrooms and an adjacent lot that offers a combined 200 feet of beachfront land. It is listed for $12.6 million.

Photo Credit: Action Now Realty

La Esperanza


The home has a huge deck, billiards room, commercially equipped kitchen and huge picture windows in all the public rooms. Additionally, there is a romantic Cape Cod-inspired beach cottage set back with a large, distinctive patio.

For information, contact Action Now Realty (310-456-3833) or visit the website.

Photo Credit: Action Now Realty

Selznick Estate


David O. Selznick, who won Best Picture Oscars for producing Gone With the Wind (1939) and Rebecca (1940), lived in this Roland Coate-designed Beverly Hills mansion now selling for $15 million. The 12,600-square-foot home has seven bedrooms and features a grand entryway, formal living room, numerous fireplaces, landscaped grounds, an oversize pool and multiple guest suites.

Among other things, Selznick is credited with bringing the British director Alfred Hitchcock to America and launching his Hollywood career.

For information, contact Jeff Hyland (310-278-3311) or visit the website.

Photo Credit: Hilton & Hyland

Glenn Ford Home


Once home to the actor Glenn Ford is the 8,552-square-foot midcentury modern classic just one block from the famed Beverly Hills Hotel. Ford’s acting career spanned seven decades with film credits including Gilda (1946) and the original 3:10 to Yuma (1957). He won a Golden Globe for Best Actor for his performance in Frank Capra's Pocketful of Miracles (1961). Ford died in his Beverly Hills home in 2006 at age 90 and his son Peter has been living there with his own family since. The home is on offer for $7 million.

For information, contact Jeff Hyland (310-278-3311) or visit the website.

Photo Credit: Hilton & Hyland

Carole Lombard Estate


This Hollywood star of such classics as the Hitchcock-directed Mr. And Mrs. Smith (1941) and the depression-era farce My Man Godfrey (1936) was equally well known for being one of Hollywood’s great hostesses. She was renowned for the theme parties (“Hospital Party,” “Roman Banquet”) that she threw in her fabulous Hollywood Boulevard home designed by William Haines, which sold in February for $3.2 million, a good deal over the $2.7 million asking price.

Photo Credit: David Solomon/Prudential California Realty

Carole Lombard Estate


In 1934, Lombard moved into this single-level Spanish-style four-bedroom, three-bathroom home that is described as the perfect house for entertaining. Located in the “flats” of Beverly Hills, its U-shape creates a private enclosed garden. It has wood floors throughout and a master bedroom with its own fireplace and a spiral staircase to a private loft. A brass door-knocker on the front door is inscribed with the name “Carole Lombard,” and a plaque on the back door bears the inscription, “Kiss my ass!” (Lombard was known to be spunky).

Photo Credit: David Solomon/Prudential California Realty

Carole Lombard Estate


The home also features a giant master presidential suite with dual bathrooms and huge closets, which the actress shared with husband Clark Gable. Lombard’s life was cut short in 1942 when she died in a plane crash near Las Vegas. She was 33.

Photo Credit: David Solomon/Prudential California Realty

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