SELLER: Faith Ford and Campion Murphy
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 3,467 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4.25 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Although invited to a boozy bash at Cuzzin Aunt Poo’s crib to view the Superbowl—ugh!—and marvel at Madonna’s continued ability to lip sync and turn cartwheels in high heels—more ugh!—we forewent the festivities and instead spent some time napping, working the New York Times crossword puzzle on our iPhone, and absentmindedly combing through a few of the newer listings around Los Angeles. It wasn’t long into our property perusing we came across an architecturally eclectic but essentially traditional board-and-batten residence in the bucolic and upscale Brentwood area of Los Angeles listed at $4,950,000 and owned, as per property records, by sitcom actress Faith Ford and her (second) husband Campion Murphy.
It may be that many of the younger children will not have any idea who Miz Ford is but she’s been floating successfully around Tinseltown since the early 1980s when, like many actresses, she started up her ladder of fame and fortune with brief stints on day time soap stories, first on One Life to Life and later on Another World. A five-episode arc on the almost cult-like, yuppie-lauding evening-time drama thirtysomething in 1987-8 led to a career-defining 9 year stint as the impossibly perky and frustratingly naive Corky Sherwood on Murphy Brown where—always a bridemaid never a bride—Miz Ford earned five Emmy nominations in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series category.
Since her professional salad days on Murphy Brown Miz Ford has worked her funny stuff on a couple seasons the now-defunct Norm and co-starred with Kelly Ripa on the sitcom Hope & Faith which was canceled in 2006 after just three seasons. In 2011 she appeared on the silver screen in Escapee, a little heard of horror/thriller written and directed by Miz Ford’s hubby of almost 15 years who in addition to his not particularly successful Showbidness endeavors is (or was) a personal trainer and a former junior reporter at the Hollywood Reporter.
Property records show Mister Campion and Miz Ford scooped up their long-time Mandeville Canyon-area mini-compound om November 2005 for an undisclosed amount of money—or at least an amount we weren’t able to easily tease out of the interweb. Listing information shows the Ford-Murphy property encompasses just over half an acre of thickly-treed and mostly hillside land and includes a two-story, 3,467 square foot main house with 4 bedrooms and 4.25 bathrooms plus a fully detached structure with two-car garage and especially spacious two-story guest house.
Listing information states that oak and walnut wood floors “grace” both the main and guest houses that combined five fireplaces and describes the property as “extremely private & emotional.” We j’adore an extremely private property, of course, but Your Mama always feels squeamish and on edge when we come across a home characterized as emotional. Call us crazy—and we’ve been called far worse—we just get wicked nervous a so-called emotional house will burst in to tears or want to process it’s feelings of inadequacy and unresolved pangs of envy and we just could not have such a shenanigan.
The house, set behind a tall fence and high hedge, sits hard up on the street with but a slender brick terrace and gravel courtyard (with fountain) for a front yard. A shallow porch and towering windowed turret both humbly and dramatically signifies entrance to the house.
A carved and curving wood staircase divides the foyer from the formal living room with shallow vaulted wood ceiling and direct access to the dining and lounging terrace(s) that runs along the canyon side of the house. The adjoining tee-vee den skews cozy with a stacked stone wood-burning fireplace, flat-screen tee-vee mounted above the rough-hewn wood mantelpiece and uncomfortably close to the ceiling, walls entirely covered in steely blue-toned wood paneling we’re not entirely comfortable with, and the first of several artworks that depict the American flag.
The kitchen, all snow white Shaker-style cabinetry, winter white counter-tops and top-grade commercial-style stainless steel appliances, opens to a adjacent breakfast area with custom-fitted built-in banquette outfitted with the exact sort of very easily stained white-white-white cushions and pillows that would unquestionably drive our persnickety and sometimes tempestuous house gurl Svetlana into convulsing conniptions of frustration. Beyond the breakfast banquette, the intimately-scaled family room features another stacked stone fireplace with flat-screen tee-vee mounted on the breast.
The airy master suite has lustrous, espresso-colored wood floors, a vaulted and beamed ceiling, awkwardly off-center fireplace, a wide bank of French doors to open to a private deck with canyon view, bedroom-sized bathroom with two sinks and soaking tub for two. Dual closets are, as per listing information, “a fashionista’s dream.”
The multi-level backyard areas include a plunge-sized swimming pool and pie-shaped elevated spa, a koi pond, fruit and vegetable gardens, a natural rock waterfall, meandering pathways, a tree house-like gazebo and a shaded brick terrace that spills out to a deck with built-in bench seating and long views over the treetops across Mandeville Canyon.
The detached guest house offers an unknown amount of bedrooms and bathrooms but does have an unexpectedly cavernous double-height living space with bleached knotty-pine floors, bleached wood paneled walls, a few bits of rustic wood and manly leather furniture pieces, a complete kitchen (with stainless steel appliances, natch), and another framed artwork that depicts a vintage American flag, or maybe it is an actual vintage American flag. Mister Murphy and Miz Ford appear to be very patriotic people.
Listing information states the current price of $4,950,000 includes the furniture. We’re not sure why someone would sell their house with all the furniture or, even more puzzling, who would buy a five million dollar house furnished with someone else’s things? It would seem to Your Mama’s pea brain that anyone who can afford four or five million dollar digs can probably afford another hundred grand to properly furnish the house with sofas, side tables and commodes of their own choosing. But then again, we’re never really surprised by the needs, wants and inexplicable real estate activities of the rich and/or famous.
listing photos: Nourmand & Associates