SELLER: Craig Kilborn
BUYER: Jed Root
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 2,874 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Late last night, while we nursed our frayed and frazzled fireworks nerves with a extra-strong nerve pill and a super-sized gin & tonic, Your Mama perused some of the recently sold homes in some of the more expensive zip codes in Los Angeles, CA. Soon enough we ran across a walled and gated Spanish-style casa perched on a hillside near the West Hollywood mouth of Laurel Canyon sold in March (2012) by (former) talk show host Craig Kilborn.
But for a very brief and unsuccessful comeback in 2010 (The Kilborn File), Mister Kilborn has been—for all intents and purposes—a Showbiz non-entity since 2004 when he opted not to continue his five year run as the host of The Late Show, now hosted by Craig Ferguson. Prior to The Late Show Mister Kilborn hosted The Daily Show—now anchored by smirky comedian and political pundit Jon Stewart—and previous to that, way back in the mid-1990s, he late night anchored some sports-related program on the ESPN.
Property records show Mister Kilborn acquired his (nor former) West Hollywood home while still the (presumably well-compensated) host of The Late Show in May 2001. He paid $2,495,000 for the property and first put it on the open market in mid-September 2011 with an asking price of $3,495,000. The price plummeted to $3,095,000 before a buyer stepped up and coughed up, as per prop records, $2,900,000 the take the property off his hands.
The buyer, according to property records, is a New York-based fella named Jed Root. His won’t be a household name for most of the children not engaged in the back-biting business of glamour, but in the beauty and Showbiz industries Mister Root is a well-known mover and shaker who owns and runs an eponymous artist management agency that represents a slew of successful photographers, makeup artists and stylists of all types (clothing, hair, props, etc.).
He and a partner (Tracey Christian) recently opened a satellite office in Los Angeles—hence the west coast residential outpost—that also encompasses a full-service talent agency already signed on clients that include like Busta Rhymes, a couple of the (sometimes bizarrely volatile) women from Basketball Wives reality show franchise and Grammy-winning singer/songwriter turned realtity tee-vee star turned vibrator entrepreneur Khandi Burress.
Anyhoo, listing information from the time of the sale does not indicate square footage—the L.A. County Tax Man pegs it at 2,874—but does show the two-story hillside house was built in 1927 (or maybe 1929), sits on .3 landscaped acres, and contains 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms slathered in vibrant, vintage (or vintage-looking) Malibu tiles.
Stair risers throughout the house are also lined with multi-colored (and drop dead dee-voon) Malibu tiles that pop off the dark chocolate hardwood floors that run throughout most of the lower level and include a step-down, barrel-vaulted living room with French doors and monumental carved stone fireplace; a step-up formal dining room with backyard access through a bank of French doors; and a swank, center-island eat in kitchen with Shaker-style cabinetry, grey-flecked granite counter tops, and high-grade stainless steel appliances that include two dishwashers and a cook-friendly six-burner range with two ovens and a griddle.
A funny butler’s pantry/sitting room off the kitchen has a massive, carved wood wet bar (with dual wine fridges and connects to a compact den/boob-toob lounge with putty-colored walls, wood-beamed ceiling, built-in book cases and entertainment center, and a couple of well-worn, bachelor-brown leather sofas. A curtained archway in the den leads back around to the living room allowing for, Feng Shui adherents will appreciate, a constant flow of chi.
The second floor master suite has a low-looking ceiling, an awkwardly located fireplace, and lots of multi-paned windows with sliver city views. The attached bathroom, slathered in vintage Malibu tiles, offers twin pedestal sinks, each set into its own tiled niche, a separate soaking tub and multi-head stall shower lined with sensational surgical gown green-colored tiles. Two additional up upstairs bedrooms—one with an adjoining sitting room in the turret—share an olive green and sea blue tiled bathroom.
The fully, carefully and meticulously maintained multi-level grounds include a detached, street-level garage for two cars; a double-gated stair that climbs up to the front door set into a charming covered porch; numerous, paver-tiled terraces around the house and up on the hillside; a fountain or two; and a petite swimming pool and spa nestled into the thickly planted up slope at the back of the property.
When Mister Kilborn first hoisted his house on the market the kids at Curbed did a bang up job with their celebrity real estate due diligence and figured out the house was owned in the late 1960s by actor Dennis Hopper who published a book of photographs (1712 North Crescent Heights) he snapped of his family and (often famous) friends during the time occupied the premises.
We’ll let the children get churlish and ugly about the whys and whatnots of the matter, but property records show Mister Kilborn has downsized considerably in Los Angeles. In March 2012 he spent $1,080,000, according to the property records we peeped, to snatch up a perfectly charming but far less impressive 2 bedroom and 2 bathroom single-story Spanish style residence conveniently—or at least centrally—located in the Fairfax District a couple blocks from the The Grove and The Farmer’s Market.
Listing information for the 1,590 square foot casa shows it was built in 1925 and includes a living room with barrel vaulted ceiling and Bachelder tile fireplace, formal dining room, and an eat-in kitchen with direct access to the sycamore-shaded backyard that has room for a swimming pool but did not, at the time of Mister Kilborn’s purchase, have a swimming pool.
In addition to his new west coast outpost, Mister Root also maintains a 5th floor loft residence in an area of SoHo jam-packed with swank shoppy-shops and chic boo-teeks as well as a secluded Catskills retreat situated a short bit north of hippy-dippy Woodstock, NY and just outside the itty-bitty, arty-farty and historic hamlet of Palenville, the fictional home of Rip van Winkle and 19th-century locus of Hudson River School artists such as Thomas Cole and Frederic Church.