Earlier today Your Mama prattled aimlessly on about the compound-like Holmby Hills estate of actress/singer/skin care entrepreneur Connie Stevens that popped up on the open market last week to much fanfare, hoo-ha and ballyhoo with an almost eighteen million dollar asking price.
As was noted and partially parsed in late November by the National Enquirer, Miz Stevens has long maintained a rather prodigious portfolio of properties for both personal use and investment purposes on the east and the west coasts of the U.S., in between and south of the border.
In September 1988, according to transaction history on the archived Redfin listing, Miz Stevens paid $485,000 for a 3,085 square foot house on just over half an acre in the upper Coldwater Canyon area of the of Beverly Hills Post Office area, aka BHPO.* Miz Stevens listed the two stucture mini-compound in July 2012 with a $1,499,000. Just over three weeks later the price tag dropped dramatically and decisively to $899,000 and just about a month after that, in late September, the listing status was changed to “Pending,” an indication a sale is imminent.
At least one property record data base we consulted shows at least two Notices of Default were recorded on the property, one in 2010 and the other in 2011. It appears, however, that Miz Stevens was able to stave off a lender seizure and auction of the walled, gated and—let’s just be frank for a second—ass ugly fixer upper.
She may have averted foreclosure in the BHPO but Miz Stevens wasn’t so lucky with a her 100 (or so) acre ranch in the Indian Springs enclave near Jackson Hole, WY that she reportedly picked up in 1993 for close to $10 million. She eventually custom built a large log cabin style mansion that, alas, was sold at auction in 2011 after she was unable—or unwilling—to maintain the hefty mortgage payments on the approximately $2.8 million in loans secured against the property.
The year before that, in March 2010, Miz Steven sold a quaint but frumpily “refreshed” 1925 bungalow (above) in Pasadena (CA) for $560,000. It appears, less expenses, she doubled her money on this one since several online resources indicate she bought the five bedroom and two bathroom house (with guest house) in early 1993 for $280,000.
The next month, June 2010, Miz Stevens dumped a dowdily decorated 2,479 square foot condo on the 54th floor of the full service Millenium Tower building on the Upper West Side of Manhattan (above) for a decidedly un-dowdy seven million bucks. Drab as the ho-hum day-core looks in listing photos the three bedroom and 3.5 bathroom apartment—on the same floor as the top floor of Howard Stern’s multi-unit duplex aerie—does have three spine tingling exposures with lordly views over Central Park to the east and the Hudson River to the west.
A few months later Miz Stevens officially further lightened her real estate load when she offloaded a clearly renovated and nicely maintained two bedroom and three bathroom board and batten contemporary tucked into the tail end of a hook-shaped cul-de-sac in the Beverly Glen area of Beverly Hills Post Office (above). Property records and online listings show Miz Stevens paid $1,470,000 for the property in November 2005, first listed it in April 2009 and finally sold it in September 2010 for $1,060,000, a stomach churning $400,000-plus loss not counting the considerable carrying costs, upkeep expenses and real estate fees. Although there was a bit of thwarted foreclosure activity on the property in early 2011, records show Miz Stevens also and still owns the 4,182 square foot house immediately next door. There is some evidence online that Miz Stevens unsuccessfully attempted to sell larger BHPO residence way back in 2006 with an asking price of $2,349,000.
A little more peeking and poking around in various property record databases reveals to Your Mama that Miz Stevens continues to possess a couple of condos within gated developments in hot as Hades Palm Desert (CA) in California’s Coachella Valley: one with 3,562 square feet situation at the Indian Ridge Country Club and the another a more middle-brow situation with 1,421 square feet at the nearby Silver Sands Racquet Club.
Miz Stevens also still owns a 5,170 square foot prototypically suburban macmansion in Las Vegas (NV) on .46 acres just inside the guarded gates of the upscale Ten Oaks development, about seven miles due east of The Strip. A little digging turned up evidence of some foreclosure activity on this property, but that icky issue seems to have been resolved in September 2011.
Your Mama has no idea if she still owns it or not, but a 1993 article in the Los Angeles Times reported that Miz Stevens had then just recently completed a decorative do over of a five bedroom beachfront getaway in Puerta Vallarta. That’s Mexico, hunnies.
By our count Miz Stevens owned as many as 10 residences at one time. No doubt some were leased out for income and others maintained for personal use but imagine the financial burden of half a dozen or more homes, some of them rather high maintenance. Not wonder the septuagenarian Tinseltown icon and (former) cosmetic queen is still hoofing it: Miz Stevens made her directorial debut this year with the also self conceived, co-wrote and produced feature film Saving Grace B. Jones.
Some of Miz Stevens previous Showbiz gigs and accomplishments include a multi-year run on Hawaiian Eye in the late ’50s and early 60s, the starring role on the short lived sitcom Wendy and Me and numerous theater and nightclub appearances not to mention a headline act in Las Vegas. Those in Your Mama’s—ahem—advanced generation may (or may not) best remember Miz Stevens for her frothy haired appearances on least eight episodes of The Love Boat and/or for her several spins through the even more campy Fantasy Island.
It wasn’t Showbiz, however, that earned Miz Steven all her once quite substantial—at least one online resource unscientifically pegged it as high as $50 million—and apparently somewhat diminished fortune. That lump of dough came in the 1990s after she developed and successfully mass marketed the Forever Spring skin care line on the Home Shopping Network. After sales plummeted from a high of $30 million to a low of $6 million, the home shopping juggernaut dropped Forever Spring. Such is the unforgiving and capricious way of capitalism, right? Anyhoo, we’re not sure where the hair and skin care products are currently retailed but the full line—which includes a variety of scented lotions, potions, cosmetics and candles, at least one snow globe and for the men, fragranced shaving cream—is still available online.
It may or may not come as a relief to some of the children that an unidentified “close friend” told the National Enquirer in late November that although Miz Stevens feels the financial squeeze like so many other people in this still sluggish economy she’s “certainly not broke.” Well! Ahem. Harrumph! we should hope not. It’s one thing for a rich person to get caught in a temporary cash crunch. These things happen. But, children, there’s just no financial excuse for someone who earns tens of millions of dollars in a lifetime and to not have the good damn sense to bury five or ten million in a coffee can in the backyard just in case the economy tanks and/or they get stupid and blow through the bulk of their fortune.
*Properties in the Beverly Hills Post Office area maintain coveted 90210 zip codes but the less coveted public services (sanitation, education, police and fire protection etc) of the City of Los Angeles.
listing photos (BHPO, top): Westside Estate Agency
listing photo (Pasadena): Dwellings International Realty
listing photos and floor plan (New York City): Douglas Elliman
listing photos (BHPO, bottom): Beverly Glen Realty