BUYER: Connie Stevens
LOCATION: Studio City, CA
SIZE: 5,258 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: An anonymous little birdie left a note in our inbox over the long holiday weekend and property records do indeed confirm that singer, actress and skincare entrepreneur Connie Stevens downsized from the not-quite two-acre gated compound in the high-toned Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles — sold out of bankruptcy earlier this year for $17 million — to a not-quite one-acre gated compound in a leafy and affluent if otherwise nondescript pocket of the San Fernando Valley community of Studio City that she snatched up for $2.036 million.
Extravagantly praised in listing details as “A personal resort in splendid seclusion” and “an idyllic retreat of consummate privacy” even though it less than ideally butts up to the often traffic choked 101 Freeway, the .87-acre spread is anchored by a sprawling, multi-winged 1940s ranch-style residence set behind wrought iron gates at the head of a semi-circular motor court capable of parking up to 10 cars. The driveway wraps around the side of the house and continues to a detached, barn-like three-car garage topped by an over-sized storage area. The roomy if decidedly outdated single-story main house measures in at 5,258-square-feet, according to online marketing materials, and incorporates an interconnected series of generously proportioned open-plan living spaces that include a formal living room with round-breasted red brick corner fireplace, a den/family room with vaulted exposed wood ceiling and a second fireplace, and a dining room that opens through wood-trimmed glass sliders to the backyard. The kitchen is certainly ample in size and comfortably functional with a big bi-level center island, built-in desk, and window-lined breakfast area but it’s also — let’s be honest, butter beans — more than just a wee bit tired looking and could benefit from the steady, experienced hand of a deft decorator or savvy kitchen designer.
The main house’s five bedrooms and five bathrooms include a master suite with fireplace, fitted walk-in closet, and a boringly beige-tiled bathroom with jetted tub and over-sized shower space. There’s also a self-contained wing for guests or staff that includes a combination laundry room/kitchen and the property also offers what listing descriptions rather vaguely describe as a “glass walled two-room freestanding studio” along with a detached guesthouse casita where a humongous raised hearth red brick fireplace divides the living and sleeping areas. Landscaped grounds offer broad expanses of lawns bordered by mature foliage and towering specimen trees, pergola-shaded terraces for dining and lounging, a meditation garden with curved stone benches, and a swimming pool.
Now in her late 70s, Miz Stevens once maintained an impressive portfolio of private residences that over the last five or six years has been drastically thinned. In Los Angeles, besides the aforementioned Holmby Hills compound sold for $17 million, she once owned a modest house in the Coldwater Canyon area of Beverly Hills, sold in May 2013 for $750,000, as well as a secluded residence in the upper reaches of Bel Air now owned by her younger daughter, Tricia Fisher. In June 2010 she unloaded a 54th-floor pied-à-terre condo at the Park Millennium tower near Lincoln Center in New York City for $7 million and she long owned a 9,868-square-foot rustic-luxe log cabin-style mansion near Jackson Hole, WY, that was sold in April 2015 for $6.8 million.
Perhaps still best known by people of a certain age for her early 1960s role as Cricket in the “Hawaiian Eye” detective series, Miz Stevens also starred as the titular character in the mid-sixties series “Wendy and Me” and made numerous appearances in the ‘70s and ‘80s on “Fantasy Island” and “The Love Boat.” According to the Internet Movie Data Base, she’s scheduled to be seen on the silver screen opposite Crispin Glover and her older daughter, Joely Fisher, in a southern Gothic thriller entitled “By the Rivers of Babylon.”
Listing photos: Wish Sotheby’s International Realty