SELLER: Jodie Foster
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 6,060 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 4 full and 2 half bathrooms bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Back in early December (2012) Your Mama let the cat out of the celebrity real estate bag about how smart, successful and semi-reclusive Tinseltown royal Jodie Foster very quietly shelled out $11,750,000 for a house set on a high ridge above the Coldwater and Franklin canyons in Beverly Hills, CA.
A few months later, in mid-April (2013), we passed along a bit of Sunset Strip real estate scuttlebutt about how Miz Foster was fixin’ to hoist her long-time residence in the Bird Streets ‘hood above L.A.’s Sunset Strip on to the open market with what Your Mama was then told would be a price tag of around five million clams. Well, it’s official, Chicken Littles. As anticipated by property gossips of all stripes and types, the two time Oscar winner has officially put her 1930s Spanish villa on the open market. However, hunties, the price isn’t five (or so) million clams but a substantially higher $6,399,000.
Your Mama doesn’t know how much Miz Foster actually paid for the house but it appears she picked it in the mid 1990s. Various online resources suggest supermodel Cheryl Tiegs previously owned the house with former husband Tony Peck—Gregory’s son—but it’s not entirely clear if it was Tiegs and Peck who sold the property to Foster. The tax man’s records show the house has four bedrooms and seven bathrooms in 5,357 square feet while current listing details show the 6,060 square feet residence spans three floors with four bedrooms and three full and two half bathrooms in the main house plus a separate guest/staff suite perched atop the garage that’s self-sufficiently equipped with a separate, secured entrance; an alcove bedroom; a full bathroom and walk-in closet; a compact kitchenette; and a roof terrace with an over the tree tops city view.
Given her fierce and fastidious commitment to personal privacy—Miz Foster is not one of those famous people who call the tabs every time she goes to the supermarket—it should really come as little or no surprise to anyone that all that can bee seen from the narrow street at the front of the Foster house is a thick and towering wall of visually impenetrable hedges and a locked (and probably camera monitored) gate hidden by a riotous tumble of stickery bougainvillea. There is not, let it be said, a single shred of off-street parking at the front of the house. There is, however, an equally discreet gated driveway around the rear of the residence that accesses an attached two car garage. Anyhoo…
Behind the high hedge and weather worn wood gate a lushly planted, multi-level red brick terrace climbs up to the an inviting front porch. The airy entry has what we can only describe as baby-poo colored tiles under foot and a doghouse skylight over head that ensure the center of the house is swimming in natural light at all times of the day. There’s also a half bathroom off the entry and a swoopy-swirly wrought iron banister that curls decadently down to the lower level.
The step-down living room to the left of the front hall has rustic wood floors, a carved stone (or poured concrete) fireplace, and a vaulted wood ceiling traversed by pleasingly muscular exposed wood trusses. A rhythmic row of French doors swing open to four Juliet balconies that overlook the entrance courtyard and two more sets of French doors at the end of the room access a slender semi-circular balcony. There appear to be even more French doors to the right of the fireplace that link to a secluded terrace on the side of the house.
The dining room, a couple steps up from the foyer, has a second fireplace, a built-in buffet with book shelves, and three more sets of French doors that open to a tree-shaded dining terrace. To the right side of the dining room fireplace there’s a partially paneled study/office area with more wood floors and a third fireplace* and, to the left, an over-sized butler’s pantry passes on through to an all beige, brown and white faux-farmhouse style kitchen.
The Shaker style cabinets in the kitchen have bead board accents, the counter tops and, we think, the floors are stone, there’s a two-stool snack bar at the center island, and the appliances of a quality that one expects to find in the multi-million dollar celebrity-owned home. Naturally, Your Mama—an avid and life long pot rack detester—advocates the next owner remove the industrial-grade pot rack that looms menacingly over the island.**
The circular stairway in the foyer winds elegantly down to the lower level. The floor plan included with online marketing materials indicates the lower level contains: a tiny, tucked away bedroom/office with adjoining bathroom; a separate powder room; and an unexpectedly cavernous screening/family room with a massive carved stone (or poured concrete) fireplace flanked by built-in bookcases and theatrical, curved wall of floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall windows. The walls in the screening/family room appear to be sheathed in suede (or some other similarly textured sound absorbing material) that’s almost the identical rose-tinted taupe color as the plush wall-to-wall carpeting.
Back upstairs a corridor off the dining room leads to the bedrooms. Two guest/family bedrooms share a spacious Jack ‘n’ Jill style bathroom and both have direct access to a shared terrace that offers what listing details alliteratively describe as “verdant views.” At the extreme rear of the residence the master suite features: a bedroom with fireplace and an adjoining, slightly elevated sitting room; a custom fitted walk-in closet/dressing room; a sauna; and a very brown and beige bathroom fitted and kitted in a—well, let’s just say what everyone is thinking—in a fairly masculine manner that would be right at home in a swanky private gentleman’s club.
The back of the Y-shaped residence horseshoes around a high-hedged red brick courtyard with tree-shaded dining terrace, a lap lane swimming pool. and a bit of room for sunbathing chaises and yoga mats. As mentioned earlier, the gated driveway at the back of the house provides access to an attached two car garage. There’s direct entry from the garage, which is nice, of course, but unfortunately the garage opens awkwardly into the master suite. That’s probably fine for when Miz Foster comes homes from the Academy Awards or whatever but Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter would hate to have to schlep guests from the garage through our inner most sanctum.
Not too long ago, the children may recall, Miz Foster sold another house in Beverly Hills that she scooped up in July 2005 for $8.1 and sold in September 2011 to Dallas-based budget eyewear tycoon Doug Barnes.
*Although listing photos show a fireplace in the study/office it is not indicated on the floor plan. We’re not sure—and it’s not really that important—but maybe its one of those portable, plug-in type fireplaces we’ve seen hawked via infomercials and the home shopping channels.
**If we’ve said it once we’ve said it 49,000 too many times: rule No. 7 of Your Mama’s Big Book of Decoratin’ Do’s and Don’ts vociferously declares—and we paraphrase—that pot racks are entirely undesirable kitchen accoutrement due to their gleeful dust collection, propensity to snag and grab teased up weaves, and their occasional malicious intent to drop a copper pot on an unsuspecting pooch’s tender cranium.
listing photos and floor plan: Hilton & Hyland