YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Lo-werd have mercy, children, we’ve had to look at some serious real estate hot messes the last few days and weeks so even though we’re a little late to this particular celebrity real estate rodeo, we need a hard core decorative palliative to speed us into these trying holiday times. The fine folks at Curbed LA covered today’s morsel of architectural eye candy a week or two ago but we’re going to have our own look-see at the stunning Santa Monica, CA domicile Tinseltown producer Joe Roth recently heaved on the market with a hefty asking price of $12,450,000.
Mister Roth may not be a household name outside of Hollywood, but he’s wildly successful and we suspect that most households have viewed at least one of the many movies he’s produced over the course of his career. In the early 1990s Mister Roth was the chairman of 20th Century Fox and in the late 1990s he was the chairman of the Walt Disney Studios. In 2000 he founded Revolution Studios through which he’s produced a slew of movies with a-list actors that include Daddy Day Care (Eddie Murphy), Mona Lisa Smile (Julia Roberts), The Forgotten (Julianne Moore) and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (Johnny Depp). He’s currently at work on a couple of high-profile(ish) projects that include Ten with a bit too long in the tooth to be an action star Bruce Willis and Snow White and the Huntsman, which may or may not star Johnny Depp and/or Charlize Theron. In 2007 it was announced that Mister Roth–along with quirky billionaire Paul Allen–is the majority owner the Seattle Sounders, a professional soccer franchise, but of course we don’t know nuthin‘ about that sports nonsense.
Mister Roth’s devoon Art Déco dwelling, tucked up into a quiet cul–de-sac in the magnificent Rustic Canyon area of Santa Monica, was designed and completed in 1930 with the assistance of architect Douglas Honnold by legendary, influential and flamboyant film production designer Cedric Gibbons for his gorgeous superstar silent film actress wife Dolores Del Rio. Over a 35+ year period Mister Gibbons did up the art direction for dozens of iconic films that include cinematic treasures like The Wizard of Oz, Singin‘ in the Rain, An American in Paris, National Velvet, Quo Vadis, Little Women, The Picture of Dorian Grey, Annie Get Your Gun and on and on and on. Mister Gibbons is widely credited as the designer of the Oscar statuette, of which he won 11 and was nominated for 28 more over the course of his long long long career.
Property records show Mister Roth purchased the Mister Gibbons’s old house in June of 2004 for $9,000,000. He hired insanely successful nice, gay decorator Michael Smith to do over the interiors of the sophisticated and sculptural residence. Michael Smith, the children will recall is the very same decorator hired by President and Missus Obama to work over the oval office into a dull fantasia of earth tones.
The Los Angeles County tax man shows the main house measures 4,744 square feet and current listing information indicates the house includes three bedrooms and 5 poopers plus a 4-room staff suite above the garage that, we presume, has at least one additional terliting and bathing facility for the domestic help. In addition to the main house and staff quarters, the property includes a poolside cabana and tennis court pavilion.
A too-slick stainless steel gate opens from the street into a slim front yard where an asymmetrical and inverted ziggurat design that gets repeated in various and many ways throughout the house marks the entrance to the unusually configured residence. The small foyer all leads to a large reception room on the main floor with gleaming ebony hardwood floors, fireplace with ziggurat detailing, built in banquette seating–original to the house–and a dramatic terrazzo and stainless steel staircase reminiscent of an Art Moderne ocean liner that ascends dramatically to the vast second floor living room.
In addition to the reception room, the lower floor includes a formal dining room with stepped ceiling and built in boo-fay, a very contemporary kitchen with huge butler’s pantry, brushed stainless steel cabinetry and huge and marble counter tops, and an office with built in desk and banquette seating.
Mister Smith wisely divided the massive main living room on the second floor into several functional space that include seating areas with built in banquettes and bookshelves, a fireplace and stepped ceiling both with even more ziggurat detailing, and a cozy corner with cushy upholstered pieces perfect for tucking into to a long night of reality tee-vee programs that in Your Mama’s house often includes the program Hoarders. Have y’all seen that show? It’s like driving by a car accident. We know we shouldn’t be looking for or at the crashed car carnage, but we can’t help it we just look and look and look anyways as we glide by in the comfort of our big BMW.
The second floor master bedroom overlooks the swimming pool and soccer pitch sized lawn in the back yard and retains Miz Del Rio’s original Lucite and mirrored dressing room where the light switches and floor to ceiling wall to wall mirrors are adorned with, natch, itty-bitty stars. According to a 2008 article in the glossy shelter rag Architectural Digest, Miz Del Rio allegedly slept in the upstairs bedroom while Mister Gibbons slept in the downstairs bedroom and would get back on forth via a ladder accessed through trapdoor in the ceiling of his closet that opened into the Miz Del Rio’s closet/dressing room upstairs. Seems like a lot of damn effort just to get up in your wife’s bed, but who are we to judge?
The gated and high-hedged house sits on a .65 acre lot three times as wide as the surrounding
parcels. Terraces, balconies and patios transition the glam interiors to the manicured but casual exterior spaces that include a vast swathe of lawn, a sunken, walled and lighted tennis court with viewing pavilion, a huge almost exactly square swimming pool and spa with adjacent pool house that houses the fitness and massage facilities.
Why Mister Roth would opt to sell his stunner of a house so soon after completing a renovation and where he might be going is a mystery to Your Mama but it better be someplace really damn special if it warrants leaving this house behind.