SELLERS: Barry and Diana Levinson
LOCATION: Redding, CT
SIZE: 10,000+ square feet, 7 bedrooms, 8 full and 2 half bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Listen children, our ongoing relocation has left us temporarily without immediate or reliable access to the interweb. That is unless we schlep our 47-pound laptop computer to some too-thronged cafe or, as we did today, a whisper-quiet and under-funded public library. We expect to be back solid in a day or two. If any of y’all feel the need to whine about it like a six year old having a temper tantrum, go on witcher bad selves. But before you exert any energy scolding Your Mama and calling us naughty names know it falls on deaf—not to mention dog-tired—ears.
Amid our scores of emails we came across a covert communique from a little east coast birdie we’ll call Bonnie Blueblood who thoughtfully and informatively chirped in our ear that Oscar-winning veteran screenwriter, director, producer and occasional actor Barry Levinson and his long-time (second) wife Diana have hoisted their expansive compound in affluent and semi-rurual Redding, CT on the market with an asking price of $12,900,000.
Baltimore-born and -bred Mister Levinson’s first Showbiz success came in 1974 when he won his first of two Emmy statuettes for his writing efforts on the outrageously funny The Carol Burnett Show. He picked up two more Emmys, the first in 1985 for producing American Playhouse: Displaced Person (#4.15) and the next one in 1993 for directing Homicide: Life on the Street. His two Emmys keep company with the Oscar Mister Levinson won in 1989 for his direction of Rain Man with Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise. He can also boast of five more Academy Award nominations for …And Justice for All, Diner, Avalon and Bugsy, the latter of which earned him a pair of nods (Best Picture and Best Director).
Some of Mister Levinson’s more recent work includes executive producing a variety of boob-toob programs (Oz, The Philanthropist, Copper), writing and/or directing a few screenplays for films, including the 2006 near-flop Man of the Year with Robin Williams and the upcoming biopic Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father with Al Pacino and John Travolta
The bulk of the Levinson’s 40+ acre estate was purchased in August 2000 for $10,500,000, according to the property records we peeped. The seller, if anyone cares, appears to have been Joe Montgomery one of the founders of the Cannondale Bicycle Corporation, based in nearby Bethel, CT. Our little birdie told us it was Mister Montgomery who custom built the 10,000+ square foot cedar-shingled main mansion in the mid- late-1990s. Property records also indicate Mister and Missus Levinson snatched up a second, 6.21 acre adjacent parcel a couple years later, in February 2002, for $725,000.
Current listing information shows the 17-room, tri-winged mansion has seven bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, half a dozen wood burning fireplaces and half a dozen garage bays that Your Mama would bet both our long-bodied bitches, Linda and Beverly, are heated and cooled for summer- and winter-time automobile convenience. Annual taxes are a mere $110,458.
An airy central stair leads to the various entertaining and family areas of the residence that include generous formal living and dining rooms, both with fireplaces, a year-round screened porch, also with fireplace and a colossal, eat-in country kitchen with two, Suburu-sized center islands, white Shaker-style cabinets, slab stone counter tops, yet another fireplace and—natch—top-grade commercial-style appliances.
Listing information goes on to state the main mansion also includes a library, screening room and a a film production suite on the lower level.
Upstairs, we gleaned from marketing materials, there’s a spacious master suite with dual walk-in closets and bathrooms plus a handicap-accessible suite with elevator.
In addition to the tremendously-scaled but somehow still cozy and kick-up-your-feet comfy main manse the sprawling, mostly flat compound includes, as per current listing information, a fully updated, 2,500 square foot antique guest cottage with three bedrooms (above, top left and right); separate bedroom suite with private terrace; separate in-law suite with living room and kitchen; and heated barn/artist’s studio with massive stone fireplace (above, bottom).
Additional recreation amenities include an outdoor kitchen for summertime grillin’ and chillin’; sizable swimming pool, semi-circular spa and vine-draped pool cabana (above, center); pristine, two-ish acre fish-stocked pond with dock and boathouse (above, bottom); tennis court set far enough away from the main house that a mildly lazy racket-swinger might consider getting to it by car or golf cart; equestrian facilities that include four horse stalls, three fence-girdled paddocks and more than a mile of private horse riding trails.
When the time comes that Mister and Missus Levinson sell their impressive spread in Connecticut—and no doubt there are plenty or Richie Riches ready, willing and able to drop a bundle on this bucolic beauty—they’ll hardly be homeless. Your Mama’s brief and unscientific research indicates Mister and Missus Levinsons’ property portfolio currently includes (but may not be limited to) a modest 1,887 square foot house in the Westwood area of Los Angeles purchased in June 2001 for $804,545 and a three-story, creek-front residence in Annapolis, MD purchased, according to one online database we consulted, in February 2002 for $2,262,500.
Once upon a time Mister and Missus Levinson owned a nearly two-acre estate in the affluent Northern California enclave of Ross that they bought in September 1993 for $2,300,000 and sold in May 2001. We’re not quite sure how much they sold the nearly 12,000 square foot house for but we did find some evidence on the interweb the property was on the market in mid-July 2000 for $18,000,000, a number that had plummeted to around $16,000,000 by the end of the year.
listing photos: Halstead Property