YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Canadian born actor/director/producer/race car driver Jason Priestley burst on to the Tinseltown scene in 1990 as the whip smart and fresh-faced high school cutie Brandon Walsh on Beverly Hills, 90210. We’re talking, hunnies, the original 90210, the one that launched the showbiz careers (and “careers”) of folks like Tori Spelling, Shannen Doherty, Ian Ziering, Brian Austin Green, Luke Perry, Jennie Garth, and Tiffani (Amber) Thiessen.
Although he will always be Peach Pit denizen Brandon Walsh to the gajillions of 30-, 40- and 50-something year old fans who gathered in giddy groups for Beverly Hills, 90210 viewing parties, since that shows demise in 2000 Mister Priestley has gone on to appear in a long list of quirky films (Love and Death on Long Island, Die Mommie, Die!) and lesser successful television programs (Tru Calling, Love Monkey, Call Me Fitz). Mister Priestley also has substantial experience behind the cameras as a director and producer (Beverly Hills 90210, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, The Lake, Call Me Fitz).
In May 2005 Mister Priestley married for the second time to make-up artist Naomi Lowde whose credits include such television treats as Dance Your Ass Off, Your Mama Don’t Dance and various awards programs. Together they have two small children.
A little celebrity real estate birdie came chirp-chirp-chirpin‘ along the other day and told Your Mama that Mister and Missus Priestley have had their mock-Med in the affluent family friendly Toluca Lake area of Los Angeles quietly on the market for a little while and that this week they hoisted the house on to the open market with an asking price of $2,100,000.
Property records reveal that Mister and Missus Priestley purchased the gated Mediterranean-style mini-mansion in May 2007 for $2,140,000. It does not take a genius or much clicking and clacking of the well-worn beads on Your Mama’s bejeweled abacus to see that even with a full price sale the Priestleys are looking at a $40,000 loss plus carry costs and real estate fees. Considering they purchased the house just before all hell broke loose in the mortgage and real estate industries causing home prices to plummet, a forty thousand dollar loss would be pretty damn good.
Listing information shows the Priestley’s pad, built in 1990 on a puny not-quite-one-sixth-acre lot and extensively remodeled in 2005, contains a total of 3 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms in 3,266 square feet. Now puppies, have some sense here and recognize that Your Mama does not know a butcher knife from a bowl of grapes so we really haven’t any idea what motivated Mister and Missus Priestley’s decision to sell up their house in Toluca Lake but, since each of the home’s three bedrooms are now occupied and there’s no room left for a live-in nanny, another child or visiting grandparents, we’re guessing they want something a little bigger and with a bit more back yard space for the ruggers.
The house, somewhat shielded from view by a row of trees and protected by a concrete and metal wall, sits hard up on the street with but a sliver of front yard space. An electronic gate slides open to a short driveway that holds two cars and attached two car garage with convenient direct entry. A short stone walkway crosses the courtyard style front yard and connects the driveway to the double front doors that swing open into a cavernous double height entrance hall meant to impresses guests with Parquet de Versailles style wood floor and a soaring peaked ceiling with exposed wood beams. Not so impressive to Your Mama–although probably dear to Mister and/or Missus Priestley–is the over-sized painting of a French bull dog smoking a cigar that hangs prominently in the space.
Also hanging prominently in the entrance hall above a set of French doors that lead into the not particularly formal “formal” living room is a gigantic, nearly life-sized wood carving of Jesus hanging on the cross. Make of that what you will, puppies, because Your Mama’s not touching that one with a ten foot pole.
The Priestley’s curious collection of artworks continues into the not very “formal” living room where there’s more Parquet de Versailles flooring, a stone-faced fireplace, rugged exposed wood beam ceiling, and a disturbing version of Grant Wood’s American Gothic in which the hardscrabble farm wife is–you got it–smoking on a big fat cigar.
The home’s other public entertainment areas include a formal dining room that Your Mama thinks is done up with a sort of day-core that is–quite frankly–far too faux-glam for a house with multiple paintings of people and animals smoking cigars, a family room with massive built-in entertainment center, and a sizable center-island eat-in kitchen with Mexican paver tile floor, custom cabinetry topped by boring black granite counter tops, high-grade appliances and a walk-in pantry. The kitchen, dining and family rooms all open through a long row of French doors to the deep veranda that runs along the back of the house.
A voluminous loft/den/playroom at the top of the stairs receives abundant natural light through a pair of arched windows and an over-sized oculus. The fully carpeted space divides the second floor into two wings On one side two generously proportioned family bedrooms each offer occupants private bathing and terliting facilities. On the other side the discrete master bedroom provides homeowners with an exposed wood vaulted ceiling, a row of arched windows, stone-faced fireplace (with flat screen tee-vee hung on the chimney breast), sizable walk-in closet and a swank, Parisian-style bathroom with built-in linen and toiletry cabinets, twin sinks, soaking tub for two, and a glassed in steam shower with multiple shower heads.
Stone floors–the same as was used at the the front of the house–add an element of elegant rusticity and old-school Hollywood glamour to the arched colonnade that runs along the entire width of the back of the house on the ground floor. The deep veranda–which we l.o.v.e. even though it’s whimpering pitifully for larger and more aspirational light fixtures–is divided into various utilities that include a dining area furnished with a chunky outdoor dining table set for ten and a sitting space where the Priestley’s have an unusually tiny tee-vee mounted to the wall. Wide archways mimic the arched French doors and windows installed throughout house and frame views of the not particularly spacious backyard where thick foliage and mature trees surround a small patch of grass, built-in barbecue center, and a classic kidney shaped swimming pool with circular spa.
The Priestley residence occupies an undeniably tiny lot in an area of upscale Toluca Lake where some of the other high profile peeps who own property nearby include Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry, newly svelte uni-named actress/singer Raven-Symoné (The Cosby Show, Hangin‘ with Mr. Cooper, That’s So Raven), and the forever fab Emmy winner Swoosie Kurtz (Mike & Molly, Pushing Daisies, Huff, Sisters).
In July 2002 Mister Priestly paid $995,000 for a Mediterranean style house that roosts high above the street in the star-stocked Outpost Estates community located in the foothills above Hollywood. The dare devilish speed demon sold the house in May 2007 for $1,902,000 to Dallas Cowboys cheerleader turned actress Jill Marie Jones (Gillian in Georgia, Girlfriends). Within two years Miss Jones had the house back on the market with a $1,999,000 price tag. It only took Miss Jones about 7 months to sell the 3,550 square foot house but–for reasons entirely unknown to Your Mama–she sold the property in September (2009) as short sale for $1,493,000 to a couple who toil behind the movie and television cameras.
listing photos: Rodeo Realty