SELLERS: Robert Wagner and Jill St. John
LOCATION: Old Oak Road, Brentwood, CA
PRICE: approx. $15,000,000
SIZE: 4,556 square feet, 6 bedrooms 5 bathrooms (main house); 2,448 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms (guest house)
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: That Ruth Ryon at the LA Times is getting awfully clever discussing properties in her Hot Properties column that were never on the open market. Obviously that just chaps Your Mama because it makes it so much more difficult for us to chase down information for the children. One such recent property sale is the Brentwood ranchette owned by aging actor Robert Wagner and his wifey, Jill St. John, which Miz Ryon reports has been sold for “close to $15,000,000.”
Your Mama is undeterred. We endeavor to scratch and claw until we get the answers we want from our vast web of sources, informants and tipsters. Although in this case, we must confess, it is proving to be a little more difficult that we had anticipated, and there is just so much Your Mama still does not know about this property.
Mister Wagner of course is probably best known for his role as the super rich Jonathan Hart in the cheesy 1980s crime drama Hart to Hart which co-starred the legendary and awesome Stephanie Powers. On a more personal level Mister Wagner is undoubtedly remembered as the twice married to huzband of Natalie Wood, who fell off the couple’s yacht Splendour and mysteriously and tragically drown while sailing off the coast of Catalina with that wonderfully disarming and kooky actor Christopher Walkin. Ironically and sadly, Splendour was the very same boat on which the couple wed for the second time in 1972.
Since the Wagner property, which spans two parcels comprising 1.6 acres, was never on the open market, Your Mama is sorry to report we do not have a single photo of the 5 bedroom and 6 bathroom house that was designed by Cliff May, the undisputed king of the classic California ranch house who pioneered the notion of indoor/outdoor living.
According to Miz Ryon, the one story house was designed and built by the amazing Mister May for himself and his family in 1940 and later remodeled several years later. In 1953, according to Miz Ryon, the May family vacated the premises for another, much more lavish home in horsey Sullivan Canyon which lies between Brentwood and Pacific Palisades. May’s estate, called “Mandalay,” has been torn down, although there are still a fair number of Cliff May ranchos tucked up into Sullivan Canyon.
Interestingly, Miz Ryon, who did note that the sale included two adjacent parcels, did not mention that the second parcel includes a 2,448 square foot guest house with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Thanks to our Fairy Godmother in Brentwood, Your Mama was able to get our grubby hands on a few photos of the guest house (below).
Property records indicate that in April of 1983 Mister Wagner paid just $220,000 for the property with the main house. It’s unclear to Your Mama whether the purchase of the second parcel with the guest house occurred at the same time or at a later date. Anyone? What is also unclear to Your Mama is whether the guest house was also designed and built by Cliff May. Records indicate the guest house was built in 1946 and the interior photos with the saltillo tile floors and vaulted and beamed ceilings do lead us to believe this is also a Cliff May structure, but again, we don’t know.
As of Monday morning, we also don’t have any answers about who paid such a huge some of money for a property that backs up to bizzy and loud Sunset Boulevard. Which means we really know frustratingly little more than what Miz Ryon reported. So all you Brentwood people, please, give Your Mama a shout on the email and fill in some of the gaps. After all, the children want to know, and Your Mama just hates looking like an ignorant fool with egg on our face because we aren’t able to come up with proper information.