SELLER: Rachel Sweet and Tom Palmer
LOCATION: N. Cockerham Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 6,205 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Los Pavoreales, 1926 by Wallace Neff. Spectacular Celebrity compound with star-studded provenance. Long private drive leading to an enormous motor court and grand entry. The public rooms are renowned for their grand scale as is the truly impressive master bedroom with period bathroom, 2 junior bedroom suites, and family room. The grounds feature rolling lawns, play house, and and ascending garden with spectacular city views. The detached guest house has two bedrooms, 2 baths and a kitchen.
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Dotted around the hills, flats and rugged canyons of Los Angeles are a a number of primo and pricey properties that are often (and usually) passed from one celebrity to another. Once such property is Los Pavoreales, the Los Feliz compound currently owned by singer turned actress turned boob toob producer Rachel Sweet and her man-mate Tom Palmer who recently hoisted their hacienda style home on the market with an asking price of $9,995,000.
Your Mama realizes that few of the children will know a damn thing about Miss Sweet so we’re going to provide y’all with a brief (and incomplete) synopsis of her life in the entertainment bizness. Miss Sweet got her celebrity wings in the mid-1970s as a not particularly successful 12-year old country music crooner but quickly switched to pop music in the late 1970s. The Ohio born gal wasn’t much of a mainstream hit in the music world but she did earn some attention for her teenage tart image which was far more shocking back in 1980 than it is today when 13- and 15-year old wannabe starlets are regularly seen teetering around town in towering heels and frightfully low cut dresses that barely hide their mosquite bite boobies.
Anyhoo, in the late 1980s young Miss Sweet had a very short lived (but cult hit) program called The Sweet Life. She also wrote and sang the title song for 1988s Hairspray, John Water’s high-larious entree into mainstream movie making. (That would be the first and better Hairspray, the one with the dee–voon Divine, not the more sanitized remake with heterosexual actor John Travolta working his drag as Edna Turnblad.) In the 1990s, Miss Sweet wrote a number of songs for Mister Waters’ Cry Baby and scored a bunch of itty-bitty roles on boob-toob programs like Seinfeld until the late 1990s when she switched to writing and producing successful sitcoms. Her credits include producing Sports Night, writing and executive producing Dharma & Greg, and writing and executive producing George Lopez, a program we think is about as funny as a cardiac arrest but makes Your Mama’s big daddy laugh and laugh and laugh.
Now then, let’s get back to the real estate. Property records reveal that Miss Sweet’s Spanish style manse on N. Cockerham Avenue (which records also show as having a N. Vermont Avenue address) was designed by eminent architect Wallace Neff in 1926. Your Mama is not sure who inhabited the house after it was built but we do know that in August of 1996 Kaballah Kween Madonna Ciccone purchased the property for $2,690,000. The Kaballah Kween owned the property until November of 2000 when she sold to known Scientologists Bodhi and Jenna Elfman (Dharma & Greg) for an even-steven $4,000,000. In 2003, the peeps at People revealed that when K.K. sold the house to the Elmans there was no central air-conditioning system (which must have been murder on her hair) nor was there a sprinkler system. Apparently, rather than install sprinklers, K.K. just hired someone to hand water the damn lawns. Your Mama can only hope both of those issues have since been corrected because come August it is hot in Los Feliz and for ten million clams we do not want to spend the afternoon sweating like a sow in the sun.
As far as Your Mama can tell from our research on the interweb, Mister and Missus Elfman owned the house until April of 2004 when they sold it for $4,700,000 to the spectacular actress Katey Sagal (Married With Children, Furturama, 8 Simple Rules) and her doll fearing writer/producer huzband Kurt Sutter. The Sagal/Sutters only owned the house until August of 2005 when they reportedly sold it for $5,510,000 to our Miss Sweet and her man-mate Tom Palmer.
Somewhere along the way, perhaps even by Mister Neff himself, the wonderfully private 1.81-acre property was given the name Los Pavoreales, which as best as Your Mama’s barely bilingual brain can figure translates to The Peacocks. Property records show the Sweet casa measures 6,205 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 6 poopers. However, listing information indicates there are 5 bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms. We’re not sure why the discrepancy but it may or may not have something to do with the detached 2 bedroom and 2 terlit guest house.
The imposing but not pretty front gate opens to a long curving drive that gently rises to a massive motor court with the guest house on the left and the entrance to the main house on the right. For the record, Your Mama thinks the motor court could use a fresh paving, but that’s none of our beeswax and we digress. Slim brick paths pass under some pretty shade trees and lead to a brick courtyard big enough to host a hoe-down and the formidable front door. The public rooms include a leviathan living room with a fireplace and wood floors and a tile floored and banquet hall sized dining room both with very high and intricately beamed ceilings. Beyond the living room is an all red room with a fireplace and peaked wood ceiling which listing information refers to as the library/study. All three of the rooms show a remarkable restraint in the day-core which has created a sort of maximal minimalism.
The kitchen has retained its original honey-comb shaped saltillo tile floor but has been kitted out with new fangled stainless steel cabinetry and counter tops that would make our housegurl Svetlana’s hair stand on end. The work island, lit by two pineapple shape fixtures, includes a convenient vegetable sink and a dark and dee–lishus wood counter top (perhaps it’s teak?) which along with the floor manages to keep this surgical suite-ish kitchen from feeling like, well, a surgical suite or the back room of a butcher shop. An adjacent family room features a third fireplace (there are three according to listing information) with a flat screen tee-vee mounted above the minimal fireplace surround, a couple of vintage looking iron chandeliers and a pair of arched doorways filled with spectacular iron and glass doors that pivot open to the yard.
The grounds includes a commodious covered patio with a complicated paint scheme on the beams, long stretches of lawn that roll and slope down the hill towards the front of the property and at the back, up the not particularly well cared for terraces that climb up the hillside, a simply shaped shingled play house sits on a cantilevered platform. What the property does not include is a swimming pool or a tennis court and while we may in the minority here, Your Mama wants both of these things in a ten million dollar house.
Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter wait patiently to see who buys this piece of celebrity real estate history and we wish Miss Sweet and her huzband happy trails.