SELLER: Gavin Polone
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 4,750 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Yesterday, while Your Mama and our long-bodied bitches, Linda and Beverly, waited out a particularly scorching afternoon in the comfort of a blissfully air conditioned house, we combed through some of the newer real estate listings in Tinseltown’s posh and pricey Platinum Triangle and turned up a multi-acre mini-compound perched privately on a curved ridge line high above Beverly Hills, CA this is now available on the open market with a plump, $15,900,000 price tag.
A quick scan of the public property records reveals the owner of the gated estate is the sassy, brassy, smart and savvy television and film producer Gavin Polone. Mister Polone may not be a household name in Pensacola or Kalamazoo but, children, he’s absolutely a well-known entertainment industry veteran who’s bumped around Hollywood since the late 1990s.
In addition to his (no-doubt lucrative) executive producer credits on a couple of successful boob-toob programs like the quirky comedy sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm and the single mother prime time soap story Gilmore Girls, Mister Polone also executive produced a handful or two of much less successful programs (Jane By Design, My Boys, The Showbiz Show with David Spade, Hack) as well as a scary slew of schlocky, made-for-TV movies (Life at Five Feet, The Angriest Man in Suburbia, and Backyards and Bullets). Along the way Mister Polone also executive produced a few pictures for the big screen that include Zombieland, Panic Room with Jodie Foster and the star-studded mockumentary flop Drop Dead Gorgeous.
In 2011 Mister Polone received the 7th of his eight Emmy nominations for the made-for-TV movie Cinema Verite, a fictionalized drama about the production of the ground-breaking,1973 television mini-series An American Family.* His seven other Emmy nods—none of which resulted in wins—were all for Curb Your Enthusiasm. Alas, Mister Polone has always been an Emmy bridesmaid and never a bride.
A recent profile and interview of Mister Polone by Patrick Goldstein in the L.A. Times—or maybe it only appeared on the L.A. Times blog, we’re not actually sure—described him as “prickly, whip-smart, wickedly funny, fiercely libertarian and never shy about sharing his contrarian views about the entertainment business.” The article goes on to say that the unflinchingly Mister Polone will—and does—fearlessly “bite the hand that feeds, taking on many of the sacred cows of showbiz” in his must-read weekly column for New York magazine’s sprawling arts and culture website Vulture.
Property records are a wee bit perplexing—or maybe we’re just too pie-eyed to parse them—and indicate that Mister Polone picked up the three parcels that comprise the 2.32 acre compound in more than one transaction sometime in 1998, 1999 and/or maybe early 2000 for a not-quite-clear amount of money. Whatever he paid, a dozen or more pre-bubble years ago, for the trio of contiguous properties—tucked privately behind gates at the tail end of a quiet cul-de-sac at the tippy top of the trendy and terrifically expensive Trousdale Estates—Your Mama thinks it’s probably pretty safe to say it was a mere fraction of its nearly 16-millon smacker asking price.
The low-slung, single-story main house sits on the largest of the three parcels and, according to property records and current listing information, was originally built in 1960 and looks to Your Mama like a contemporized, classic California ranch that measures 4,750 square feet with four bedrooms and four—or maybe 4.5—bathrooms.
A discreet front door leads to an expansive, open-plan main space with polished concrete floors, a fireplace and a wide bank of sliding glass doors. Low book shelves divide the sunken living room from the dining room where a deep niche is fitted with a low, floating cabinet and two rows of floating picture/art display shelves.
The sizable, if unusually-shaped kitchen has custom cabinetry that may or may not be walnut or mahogany—some with frosted glass doors—and the expected collection of top-grade, commercial-style appliances typically found in multi-million dollar residences. An adjoining breakfast room has two walls of divided windows with lush garden view.
The polished concrete floors continue into the den/family room but appear in listing photos to switch to some sort of neutral-colored carpet tile in the bedrooms. The spacious but hardly huge master suite includes a corner fireplace, direct access to the outside through sliding glass doors and a sky-lit walk-in closet with built-in cabinets and hanging racks. The attached master bathroom with double sinks, sunken soaking tub and separate shower is divided—we’re sorry to say—by a full-height wall of glass brick. There are, of course, absolutely excellent uses for glass brick in certain styles of residential architecture—like, say, Streamline Moderne. But, hunnies, with all due respect to Mister Polone—who we do respect—this isn’t, in Your Mama’s humble and utterly meaningless opinion, one of the better uses of glass brick we’ve come across.
Anyhoo, the main house opens to various, terraces, broad decks that lean out over the canyon and a flat lawn are just about big and private enough for a compact game of strip croquet. A wide set of stone steps ascends from the lawn and through a cut in a mid-height hedge aligned with the slender, dark-bottom swimming pool and slightly elevated spa simply set into a flat patch of thick, green grass. At the far end of the swimming pool a striking and pleasantly symmetrical, canyon view contemporary pool-/guesthouse pavilion with clerestory windows and alternating exterior panels of wood and glass. Inside, the airy, concrete-floor space has a bathroom, kitchenette, fireplace and built-in Murphy bed. A second, gated parking area is located behind the pool-/guesthouse.
We’re not privy to any intel about whatever Mister Polone’s future real estate plans may be once he sells his Bev Hills compound but should the firebrand desire a significant downsize, property records show he also owns a fairly ordinary, 1,946 square foot residence—purchased in April 2009 for $1,125,000—set on a hillside above one the rugged canyons that shoot north into the Santa Monica Mountains out of the proto-suburban, convenient-to-Tinseltown community of Sherman Oaks.
*Note the the children: If you’ve never seen An American Family, you really should. Its nearly impossible to find a copy of the 12-episode series that first aired on PBS, but it’s definitely worth the effort.
listing photos: Rodeo Realty