YOUR MAMAS NOTES: In early 2010 versatile veteran boob-toob actress Katey Sagal and her writer-producer huzband Kurt Sutter (The Sons of Anarchy, The Shield) hoisted their 7,202 square foot Los Angeles home in the Hollywood Hills on the market with an asking price of $4,750,000.
Several price drops and one failed sale brought the price tag of the Sutter–Sagal’s house in the hills down to $3,995,00. Just before the Christmas holidays (2010) the property was finally sold for $3,770,000. Records show the property was purchased by Rickey Minor, Emmy-nominated former musical director of American Idol and current bandleader for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Other notable residents of their star-stuffed neighborhood include Taylor Swift’s heart breaker Jake Gyllenhaal, über artist David Hockney, Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland), Oscar-winning filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, tatted-up beau-hunk Brian Austin Green (Desperate Housewives) and D-list diva Kathy Griffin who lives in a contemporary B-lister worthy residence.
A quick study of property records informs Your Mama that the Sutter–Sagals acquired their former 6 bedroom and 8 pooper pad in July of 2005 for $3,710,000. A second look at the sales figures and a few flicks of the well-worn beads on Your Mama’s bejeweled abacus reveals that after the Tinseltown couple paid the fat real estate fees they probably lost a bit of money on the sale of their house.
Thanks to an informant we’ll call Anita Tellsomebody we’ve learned that just before the turn of the New Year the Sutter–Sagals closed on their new crib, a secluded mid-century modern house located near but not in the Moraga Estates, a 24-hour guard-gated community in Bel Air (90077) that is so far west it’s got a Brentwood zip code (90049). Their new nest in Bel Air with a Brentwood zip code, significantly smaller then the huge home they just sold, cost the Sutter–Sagals $3,695,000. The seller was a big-shit literary agent who had a hand in representing television writer Marc Cherry when he sold the pilot script for the money-minting mega-hit show Desperate Housewives.
Miz Sagal, whose daddy was the prolific Emmy-nominated tee-vee movie directer Boris Sagal (Masada, Rich Man, Poor Man, A Case of Rape), has been toiling in Tinseltown since the early 1970s. Her big break came in 1987 when she signed on to be the big-haired, buxom and wickedly indolent housewife Peggy Bundy on the long running hit sitcom Married With Children. Since that program wrapped up in 1997 Miz Sagal has been a bizzy beaver and racked up an exhaustively long list of television credits that include Recess, 8 Simple Rules, Eli Stone and Lost. Along the way she’s lent her voice to a number of animated projects including Higglytown Heroes and the long-running Futurama. Currently Miz Sagal stars on the critically acclaimed drama Sons of Anarchy, a program created, written, produced and directed by her current and third huzband Kurt Sutter who sometimes acts in the series and, it should be noted, sometimes looks an awful lot like cheese ball romance novel model Fabio.
Listing information for the Sutter–Sagal’s new 1.5 acre spread indicates that a long gated drive clims through a densely wooded hillside to a sunny clearing where the privately-sited and vaguely-Asian wood, concrete and glass dwelling cleaves alluringly to the landscape. The house was built in 1962 and the architect–whomever he or she was–clearly channeled the distinct style and motifs of the exhalted architect Frank Lloyd Wright who expertly married angular and bossy geometric forms with earthy and dramatically subtle materials.
The foyer gives way to the dining room where an imposing and space defining triangular shaped two-sided fireplace separates it from the living room. It can sometimes be awkward and ill-advised to create a floor plan where one must traverse the dining room to get to the living room but in this case the dining room is sufficiently wide enough for unobstructed passage through the room. The impressive 19 x 28 foot living room, situated four or five steps lower than the dining room has sliding glass doors that open one side of the room to a living room-sized terrace perched in the tree tops and the other side of the room to a flat and grassy pad where the slim swimming pool and attached spa sit snugly between the house and the hillside.
While the house looks and feels superbly grounded, the main rooms soar theatrically due to the exceedingly high-peaked A-frame ceiling where the exposed beams and trusses create a triangular shape that repeats itself in a seemingly endless pattern. Your Mama might call the main living spaces fanciful and even indulgent if the architecture weren’t so unapologetically rigorous, algebraic and–let’s be honest, chickens–far more than a little ecclesiastical.
The service areas of the quirky crib include a built-in breakfast banquette and a clean-lined, nicely-equipped contemporary kitchen with concrete counter tops and all the high grade appliance bells and whistles one can and should expect in a $3+ million home. An adjacent staff room with private pooper and separate entrance is definitely on the wee sides but not punishingly so. Even still, it’s a tight enough space that a live-in domestic would be hard-pressed to live comfortably full-time. For sure our space-demanding housegurl Svetlana would to have a hissy fit to end all hissy fits iffin she was made to live up in that squeezy room. Ol’ Sveta insists on an apartment of her own and goes plum berserk if her bedroom is small enough that she can touch her grandmother’s faux-vintage Rococo commode while lying on the Vi-Spring mattress she insists be set directly on the floor lest she have to worry passionately about some awful intruder or demon who might hide under her bed. So, certainly, she would take verbal and possibly physical umbrage to the size of this room. Anyhoo, a set of sliders opens from the kitchen to a tree-shaded collection of entertaining and dining terraces tucked into the steep hillside.
A discreet staircase winds up from the foyer to the deliciously sequestered guest suite that monopolizes the entire second floor and includes a sitting area, walk-in closet and private pooper. Three additional bedrooms occupy a wing of their own off the foyer on the main floor. The two very modestly-sized family bedrooms–one is barely bigger than the damn maid’s room–share a full bath and a powder pooper and both open to a balcony that overlooks the swimming pool. The master bedroom at the end of the long bedroom corridor has a nicely sized but far from over-sized pooper with separate soaking tub and shower, an entire wall of closets plus a walk-in closet, a vaulted ceiling and two banks of windows that come together in a corner of the room and open out to a balcony that cantilevers over the motor court at the front of the house and allows for distant views of the Pacific Ocean.
The lowest level consists of two unconnected volumes carved into the hillside that can not be accessed from the interior of the house. That’s right, there are potentially vital parts of this house that can only be accessed by a trip through the outdoors. This is fine, in theory, because although Albert Hammond famously declared in song that It Never Rains in California, in reality it rains (and mists) more than most people think, sometimes even for days at a time. A volume at the front of the house holds a garage and extraordinarily large laundry facility. Listing information rather disturbingly called the second space on this level, a wood-paneled, almost cave-like space at the rear end of the house, a “gentleman’s lair.” This, ahem, “gentleman’s lair” consists of a small entrance hall, walk-in wine cellar and a 400+ square foot room lined with storage on one wall and windows on the opposite wall. A blessed window-free three-quarter bathroom was wisely installed so that sports fanatics can evacuate and emit their Superbowl Sunday beer and salami farts without disturbing or asphyxiating any of the other people in the house who might be pretending they don’t know what the Superbowl is.
Your Mama can’t be sure why the Sutter–Sagals would want and choose to pack up and decamp a beautifully sited 7,200+ square foot house in the Hollywood Hills for a much smaller–although far more architecturally stimulating–residence in a posh part of Los Angeles that is neither Bel Air nor Brentwood. But decamp they did–or soon will–and since we genuinely think Miz Sagal is the got-damn bees knees Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter wish them and theirs a happy new home. Mazel tov.
listing photos: Deasy Penner & Partners