WHO: Melanie Griffith
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $30,000 per month (last asking)
SIZE: 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: We hear through the celebrity real estate gossip grapevine that newly single Hollywood royal Melanie Griffith has downsized out of the Hancock Park mansion she and her brand new ex-husband Antonio Banderas sold last month for $15.947 million and in to a significantly smaller but, natch, still luxe rental in the historic and celeb-favored Outpost Estates neighborhood. According to our research the property in question was last listed for lease at $30,000 per month. According to the always informative Movieland Directory website, singer/actor Russ Columbo occupied the premises in the 1930s, at least until he was accidentally shot in the house by a close friend with an antique pistol. The property was soon acquired by prolific actor Alan Hale, Sr., who passed on in 1950 but whose heirs held on to the property until 2002 when it was sold for $1.7 million. The house traded again in May 2005 for $4 million and then again the following April when it was purchased for $5.1 million by Carla Christofferson, an attorney and former co-owner of the L.A. Sparks who sold it just this last March (2015) for $4.5 million — a bank account brutalizing $600,000 loss, not counting upkeep, improvement costs, and real estate fees.
Digital listings from the time of its most recent sale show the “impressively refined” and “majestically authentic Mediterranean villa” was originally built in the late 1920s on an irregularly shaped .28-acre hillside parcel. The multi-level residence, set behind wrought iron gates, a high wall and an even higher hedge that obscures the camera-secured residence from any drive-by looky loos, comes it at 4,725-sqaure feet — less than a third of the size of Miz Griffith’s former home in Hancock Park — with four bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms. Original and restored architectural details include exposed wood beams, coffered ceilings, intricate ironwork, arched windows and a handful of fireplaces.
Public rooms include a show-stopping double-height rotunda entrance with tile-accented curved staircase, an ample step-down formal living room with barrel-vaulted ceiling, a formal dining room with floor-to-ceiling arched window, and a sunroom/office. The kitchen has a large center island with snack counter, top-grade appliances, a pressed tin ceiling treatment, and granite counter tops almost the exact color of money. A French door-lined breakfast nook adjoins the kitchen as does a cozy den with television surmounted fireplace and wrought iron-railed Juliet balcony. There’s also a state-of-the-art movie theater with campy leopard print carpeting and tiered seating for at least seven in bulky leather recliners. Guest/family bedrooms are generous and the upper level master suite offers another television surmounted fireplace and another wrought iron railed Juliet balcony with over- and through-the-treetops city lights view. The master bathroom features an over-sized steam shower that looks larger than a two-grand-a-month Manhattan studio apartment and the custom-fitted closet/dressing room has French doors that open to a wooden bridge that leads to a tucked away terrace. The lushly landscaped property offers a bevy of foliage enshrouded and terra cotta tiled terraces as well as a sport court, built-in grilling station, a courtyard with outdoor fireplace, and a bullet-shaped swimming pool with poolside cabana.
A few of the many former high-profile residents of the Outpost Estates neighborhood include Dolores Del Rio, Gore Vidal, Orlando Bloom, and Matthew Perry while some of the other showbiz bigwigs who currently own homes in the ‘hood include Charlize Theron, Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy, Kyle MacLachlan, Salma Hayek, and sitcom star Johnny Galecki who just paid Jason Statham $9.2 million for a photogenic abode he bought from actor/comedian/filmmaker Ben Stiller and that was owned in the 1990s by Lou Diamond Phillips. Miz Griffith and Mister Banderas have their semi-remote compound just outside of Aspen on the market with an asking price of $9.98 million and the erstwhile couple continue to own a sprawling New York City apartment in a decadently encrusted French Second Empire-style building that overlooks Central Park.
Listing photos: Keller Williams