SELLER: Estate of Jackie Collins
LOCATION: Beverly Hills, CA
PRICE: $30 million
SIZE: 21,784 square feet, 8 bedrooms, 10 full and 5 half bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: Famously and deliciously ribald best-selling British author and Tinseltown icon Jackie Collins unexpectedly went to meet the great editor-in-chief last September and, hence, the glamour-puss pulp novelist’s longtime Beverly Hills mansion has, not entirely unexpectedly, come up for sale at $30 million. Miz Collins, whose 32 titillating and easily digested books have together sold more than 500 million copies, died at 77 after a six-year bout with breast cancer that she kept almost entirely to herself. She reportedly kept even her also-famous older sister Joan Collins in the dark about her illness until a couple of weeks before she died. But we digress.
Property records we perused are a mite muddled and/or incomplete, but as best as we can figure, the prolific scribe and her late second husband, Oscar Lerman, acquired the property in 1988 for about $2 million. Some time in the early 1990s, the spacious but undistinguished residence that stood on the property was unceremoniously razed — Miz Collins has said she “’pulled the house to the ground in the middle of the night…’” — to make way for a brand new, decidedly modern and vaguely Art Deco, “Miami Vice”-style mansion inspired, she said, by the iconic David Hockney painting “A Bigger Splash.” The multi-winged manse sprawls across a pancake flat, 0.91-acre mid-block parcel on a picturesquely palm tree-lined street and spreads out over 21,784 square feet, per current listing details, with a total of eight bedrooms and enough bathrooms — ten full and five half — that Miz Collins probably needed a full-time domestic worker whose only duty was to scrub toilets and wipe the water spots off shower doors.
A double-gated semi-circular drive arches up to a motor court flanked by a pair of three-car garages that, in turn, flank the front door that opens grandly, without even a whisper of architectural modesty, into a vast, double-height and sky-lit foyer with numerous columns, acres of beige striated marble floors that continue through much of the house, and a sweeping curved staircase. Large-scale entertainment rooms include an immense lounge with multiple seating areas and an imposing, ziggurat-like fireplace. Glass sliders lead out to the swimming pool and, though she often claimed she didn’t entertain very often, a fully stocked wet bar has five stools for booze-imbibing guests when she did have them around. More intimately scaled yet still decidedly commodious family quarters include a billiards room and a library/den lined with rhythmic rows of bookshelves that extend all the way to the ceiling and hold leather-bound original manuscripts of Miz Collins’ nearly three dozen novels, each of which was written out by hand before it was passed off to an assistant for typing because Miz Collins didn’t care to fool with modern-day technologies like typewriters, word processors or laptop computers. The all but entirely white kitchen, with not just one or two but three work islands, is unquestionably commodious, equipped with some snazzy, name-brand appliances, and clearly carefully maintained if very much of its early 1990s vintage with grey speckled countertops of unknown material and sensuously curved yet still austere, hardware-less snow-white cabinetry, also of unknown material. The adjoining breakfast area has glass sliders to a lattice-shielded patio and a pill-shaped breakfast table surrounded by eight white chairs with — natch — zebra print cushions.
Miz Collin’s master suite, more of a private owner’s complex than a run-of-the-mill master bedroom, occupies a prime perch on the second floor where a broad bank of floor-to-ceiling windows and glass sliders open to a private balcony with a wide view over the swimming pool to the mansion-dotted mountains that rise above Beverly Hills and the Sunset Strip. The suite also includes a private study with a semi-circular desk sprinkled with a plethora of Miz Collins’ prized figurines and bibelots along with a couple of walk-in closets and two bathrooms, one super-sized, sky-lit and slathered in striated beige marble and the other considerably smaller with white marble countertops and a quintessentially ’90s glass-block enclosed circular shower stall. A built-in shampoo station meant Miz Collins never needed to suffer the indignity of having her hair washed in a public salon.
A 100-foot gallery hung with Miz Collins’ extensive art collection links the main part of the mansion to a secondary wing at the rear of the estate that incorporates a self-contained guest apartment, household offices, a fully equipped gym, and a seriously classy screening room with plush seating for at least a dozen moviegoers. The house wraps almost entirely around a massive courtyard that visually centers on Miz Collins’ own personal version of a Hockney-esque swimming pool and spa.
Property records and the Bizzy Boys at Celebrity Address Aerial show that in addition to her BevHills mansion, Miz Collins’ residential property portfolio contained at least three other multimillion-dollar homes in the 90210 zip code: the six bedroom and five bathroom residence right next door to the manse that’s just come up for sale; a rather bland, 7,537-square-foot residence on a corner lot only about half a dozen blocks away; and an approximately 4,300-square-foot ranch-style residence tucked deep in the rustic-luxe Stone Canyon area that was purchased way back in August 1980 for $700,000 and offered for lease last year at $18,000 per month.
Listing photos: Hilton & Hyland