YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Young, rotund, bespectacled, often scruffy and Jew fro-ed comedy phenom Jonah Hill wasn’t exactly discovered making jokes and slinging sodas at Schwab’s drugstore on Sunset Boulevard. His father, a well known accountant for high net worth and high profile folks in the entertainment industry, did the books for Guns N’ Roses and like many in that Tinseltown milieu Mister Hill attended the chock full o’ celebrity off-spring Crossroards School in Santa Monica. Mister Hill’s brother manages bands like Maroon 5 and Collective Soul and a couple of his b.f.fs happen to be the children of 2-time Oscar winning actor Dustin Hoffman. So, you know, he was sort of born with his wagon hitched to the Hollywood scene.
It was through his connection to Dustin Hoffman that Mister Hill was able to get an audition for what became his film debut, I ♥ Huckabees. It wasn’t long before he hooked up with rising comedy movie maker Judd Apatow for The 40-Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Superbad, and Funny People. More recntly, Mister Hill had a hand in producing controversial comedian Sacha Baron Cohen’s faux-documentary Brüno and he starred in Get Him to the Greek with Mr. Katy Perry. He did a bunch of voice over work in 2010 and has several projects lined up for the next few years that he’s both starring in and producing. All that means is that regardless of how you feel about sophomoric, horny nerd terlit humor, young Mister Hill is busy busy busy…and rich rich rich. So newly weighed down with money that he recently went out and bought a fixer-upper mid-century modern house high in the hills above Hollywood.
According to the bizzy boys at Celebrity Address Aerial and confirmed with a somewhat circuitous route through public property records, 20-something year old Mister Hill–through a trust controlled by his father–splashed out a very grown up $1,865,000 to purchase a mini-compound designed by too little lauded architect Richard Dorman. The house, located in a sleepy enclave off Mulholland Drive, was built in 1959 for Los Angeles bidness man Fillmore Crank and his actress wife turned hotelier Beverly Garland (My Three Sons)
Listing information shows that in addition to the 3,066 square foot single story main house with its 3 bedrooms and 3.5 poopers, the nearly one-third acre property also has a workshop/storage room, a children’s playhouse and a fully detached and permitted guest house with three-quarter bathroom. That means there’s a shower but no tub, puppies. The house could clearly use some updating and upgrading, but children, take note of the simplicity of form, the hyper utilitarian board and batten exterior, and the magnificently deep deep deep eaves that help to keep the house cool during the high heat of the scorching Southern California summers.
A planted entry courtyard flanked by the two-car carport on one side and a bank of floor to ceiling glass sliders on the other leads deep into the modest if not exactly inexpensive compound where the front door opens into a massive foyer laid with Mexican paver tile floors. The living/dining room with fireplace, a room much longer than it is wide, has built-in book shelves and a variety of sliding glass doors that open the room to fenced and tree shaded courtyards that surround the house. The adjacent sky lit kitchen, a serious hot mess of an early 1980s remodel, needs a gut job to remove all the louvered cabinetry, peach colored tiles and that poor, sad little stained glass panel set into the door that opens to a lovely lounging and dining courtyard on the side of the house.
The master suite, which arguably occupies the home’s most desirable location at the back of the house over looking the swimming pool and backyard, has dark hardwood floors that look like they were installed recently, glass sliders that open the room wide to the exterior, and a small reading nook separated from the sunken tub in the way out-dated master pooper by a not particularly opaque decorative wood screen.
At the back of the property the main house, the fully detached guesthouse and small playhouse ring the petite but adequate salt water swimming pool and attached spa. Multi-level terraces and decks with oodles of potted plants and surround the pool and are large enough for a handful of sun loungers and a dining terrace.
Listen, kids, Your Mama knows that this house–despite it being designed by the very skilled architect Richard Dorman–isn’t exactly an architectural masterpiece. And we too have eyeballs and can clearly see there have been some severely botched alterations. All those multi-paned windows are, to be kind, architecturally criminal. But there are, as they say in the real estate bizness, some good bones to work with here so we do hope Mister Hill’s got the good sense to hire a smart architect, a talented landscaper and a nice, gay decorator to turn this lackluster kernel of sand into the architectural pearl it wants to be.
Until late summer 2009, young Mister Hill had been living in the same West Hollywood condo-loft building where HGTV designer Kenneth Brown once owned a condo and where records show Mister Hill–through the same trust that purchased the house in the Hollywood Hills–snatched up a 2 bedroom and 2 pooper pad in November of 2007 for $1,050,000 and sold in August of 2009 for $835,000. A few flicks of the well worn beads on Your Mama’s bejeweled abacus shows that’s a not inconsiderable $215,000 loss not counting the fat real estate fees and commissions. Imagine for a moment, butter beans, being in your mid-twenties and having the financial fortitude to weather a two-hundred thousand plus dollar loss.