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Jason Bateman Buys Ernest Borgnine’s Beverly Hills Mini-Compound

SELLER: Tova Traesnaes, fifth wife and widow of Ernest Borgnine

BUYER: Jason Bateman and Amanda Anka
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $3,000,000
SIZE: 6,148 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: We first heard it yesterday from our always scoopy pal Patty Propertyseller but the long-legged blond gal at Trulia Luxe Livingbeat us to the digital punch about Showbiz couple Jason Batemanand Amanda Anka dropping an even-steven $3,000,000 to snatch up the Beverly Hills (Post Office) residence of recently deceased film and television actor Ernest Borgnine.

The eminently likable and wryly funny Mister Bateman has been shaking his money maker around Tinseltown since the early 1980s when, as a wee child, he landed a regular gig on Little House on the Prairie. He quickly went on to sitcom child stardom on the silly and shallow Silver Spoons, then on the short-lived It’s Your Move and, in the mid- to late-80s, on Valerie, a network switching family comedy later known as The Hogan Family and Valerie’s Family. Mister Bateman as also been lucky enough to work steadily as an adult on both t.v.—sometimes plum roles such on the too little appreciated cult hit Arrested Development—and on the silver screen in movies that include Juno, Up In The Air and Horrible Bosses. His sister is, of course actress Justine Bateman who shot to her own child stardom in the early ’80s on the sitcom Family Ties. The low-key Miz Bateman currently has a pivotal role on the goofy, low budget short form web series Easy to Assemble and she previously had a recurring gig on the now-canceled Desperate Housewives.

Missus Batemen—that would be Amanda Anka—also hails from a show business family; Her father is iconic 1950s and ’60s crooner Paul Anka. Miz Anka-Bateman occasionally works as an actress and her resume features an anemic list of small television roles on a number of big shows like Beverly Hills, 90210—the original one—and ER as well as a few puny parts on the big screen such as in the very melancholy Sofia Coppola-written and -directed film Somewhere.

The Bateman-Anka’s new half-acre mini-compound had been owned and occupied or more than fifty years by the five-times married Oscar-winning Mister Borgnine (Marty) and, since the 1970s, with his much younger and surviving fifth wife, Tova Traesnaes, a Norwegian-born skincare, cosmetics and fragrance mogul who hawks her various wares on the QVC. 

Anyhoodles poodles, the property, described in listing details as a “Country English compound,” was reportedly first floated off-market by Miz Traesnaes as a so-called pocket listing with a $3.395 million asking price in late September 2012, just a couple short months after 95-year old Mister Borgnine went to meet his maker in early July. The property finally popped up on the open market in late October (2012) with a familiar $3.395 million dollar asking price. 
Listing information revealed the gated property sits on a private knoll just above Mulholland Drive with easy access to both Beverly Hills and Studio City and shows the spacious but hardly huge 6,148 square foot residence is fronted by a parking lot-sized motor court and includes a formal center hall entry with rustic wood floors, a glittering crystal chandelier and a sweeping circular stair case perfect for prom pictures and making a (melo)dramatic entrances at cocktail parties and family functions.
Listing information goes on to reveal the well-maintained but woefully dated residence includes a formal living room with fireplace and a double-height family room with built-in wet bar, at least one oval stained glass window and mortifying mint-green drapery swags stuck to the the towering arched windows that look like they’re desperately but unsuccessfully trying to class up the otherwise faux-rustic booze and boob-toob watching room. The somewhat snug formal dining room overlooks the front motor court and is dressed in an old fashioned and not-quite-scaled-correctly printed wall covering (or mural) that depicts a bunch of birds hanging out on the branches of nearly leafless trees.

There’s also a paneled library, a den and an eat-in kitchen with adjoining breakfast room, built-in glass-fronted china cabinets and white tile counter tops painted (or screen printed) with decoratively saccharine little bouquets of multi-colored flowers. We’re sure those tiles cost Mister and fifth-Missus Borgnine a fortune to buy and have installed but an even larger sum of money will surely be spent by the Bateman-Ankas to remove them and overhaul the existing, strangely formal-feeling kitchen.

Two guest/family bedrooms occupy their own upstairs wing and share a Jack-n-Jill bathroom. The other upstairs wing is devoted entirely to an expansive master suite that encompasses a bedroom, private sitting room, a roomy balcony and dual dressing rooms and bathrooms, one of which has horrendous mint-green wall to wall carpeting on floor and pearl-clutching mirror-backed lattice tacked to the walls and the angled ceiling. Once again we’re absolutely certain Mister and fifth-Missus Borgnine paid some nice-gay or lady decorator an arm and a leg to come up with that—ahem—design and it will surely cost Mister and Missus Bateman another arm and a leg to hire their own nice-gay or lady decorator to remove and replace all that over-latticed decorative wackiness.

Over nighting guests or live-in domestic staff can be comfortably and privately accommodated in a self-contained guest house that Your Mama thinks sits atop the detached two car garage and contains, according to listing information, a living room, kitchen, play area, one bedroom and a bathroom.

Red brick terracing laid in a tight basket weave pattern surrounds the backyard swimming pool where there’s some sort of blue statue sticking up out of the shallow end. Another part of the yard has a couple of built-in water features and a glass-enclosed wooden gazebo for—we don’t know—having tea in the rain or maybe meditating.

Given that the Bateman-Anka’s paid three million clams for this place and, as well maintained as it all appears to be, given all that it needs in updates and upgrades we imagine it’ll be some time and another couple million spent before they actually move their still-growing young family move in.

Your Mama really can’t say where Mister Bateman and Missus Anka-Bateman actually live but we do know that they’ve long owned a 2,617 square foot house with five bedrooms and three bathrooms in the Laurel Canyon area of Los Angeles that property records show they picked up in the fall of 2002 for $885,000.

listing photos: The Agency and Westside Estate Agency

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