BUYER: Angelina Jolie
SELLERS: Richard Grossman and Lisa Lyons
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: total of (approx.) 11,000 square feet with 6 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: The longtime Los Angeles estate of pioneering filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille, the jewel in the crown of the historic, celeb-saturated Laughlin Park enclave in the prosperous Los Feliz area, sold for a record shattering $24.5 million and trusted celebrity real estate snitches Harvey Wallbanger and Patty Cake both swear new owner is indeed, as has been widely rumored, Angelina Jolie.
The sky-high sale price is more than double the previous record for highest amount ever paid for a single family home in the Los Feliz area, which was the Spanish Colonial Revival-style mansion comedian Chris Hardwick and media heiress Lydia Hearst snatched up about 1.5 years ago for $11 million.
The sellers of the Demille compound, novelist Richard Grossman and art consultant Lisa Lyons, acquired the 2.1-acre multi-structure hill-topping spread in the late 1990s and, after several unsuccessful attempts to unload the property at a variety of prices between $18.95 million and $26.25 million, set it out for sale on the open market in March of this year (2016) with a $24.95 million price tag. There are a total of six bedrooms and 10 bathrooms in about 11,000-square-feet of interior space divided between the approximately 7,500-square-foot main house, pool house and self-contained guesthouse/studio.
The main residence, a stately Italianate Revival villa, was built in 1913 and acquired a few years later for a bit less than $28,000 by Mister DeMille who lived there with his family until his passing in 1959. The legendary auteur later picked up a smaller house next door, which he connected to the main house with a lengthy breezeway and used as a screening room and production office. The smaller second house, once occupied by silent film star Charlie Chaplin, was also acquired by the Grossman-Lyons in the late 1990s who several years later sold it to Emmy winning television producer John Wells who, in turn, sold it in 2007 for a tetch less than six million dollars to former studio executive and film producer Mary Parent.
The DeMille estate’s main house was extensively refreshed and updated for the Grossman-Lyons in the early 2000s by the Tichenor and Thorp architecture firm and features original details along with up-to-date creature comforts. Elegantly proportioned public entertaining spaces include a center hall entry with curved staircase, a step-down living room with fireplace set between arched French doors, and a mahogany paneled formal dining room, also with a marble-faced fireplace. Less formal family spaces include a spacious and high-ceilinged library lined with floor-to-ceiling bookcases, a family room and adjoining office/study, and an up-to-date kitchen with informal dining area set against a row of tall and slender arched casement windows. The walled, gated and extensively landscaped estate’s grounds offer a gated motor court and detached garage, vast expanses of rolling lawns dotted with mature specimen trees and a swimming pool set into a sunny clearing overlooked by a charming tea house.
Laughlin Park has always drawn its fair share of entertainment industry heavy hitters and current homeowners in the low-key but high-cost gated enclave include Natalie Portman, David Fincher, Kristen Stewart, Ellen Pompeo, will.i.am, Lauren Graham and Casey Affleck.
Listing photos: Hilton & Hyland