×

Dale Launer Lists Celeb-Pedigreed Samuel-Novarro House in Los Angeles

SELLER: Dale Launer
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $4,295,000
SIZE: 2,690 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms

YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: The iconic Art Deco meets Mayanesque extravaganza known as the Samuel Novarro House in The Oaks neighborhood of L.A.’s Los Feliz area has returned to the market at $4.295 million not quite two years after “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” and “My Cousin Vinny” screenwriter and producer Dale Launer bought it for $3.8 million. Though it packs an elephantine architectural punch with an arresting street presence, the three-plus-story house measures in at a relatively modest 2,690-square-feet, according to listing details, with three bedrooms and three bathrooms.

Current listing details show the restored and updated residence, accented with dollar bill green oxidized copper accents on the exterior, listed as Historic-Cultural Monument #130 by the city of Los Angeles, and sparely but expensively furnished with an enviable collection of pedigreed furniture, “exemplifies the Southern California lifestyle” with “perfect indoor-outdoor flow.” The central living room with polished concrete floor and fireplace steps down at one end to a dining room with casement style windows and doors that open to a trellis-shaded dining terrace and at its opposite end to a lounge with more casement style windows and doors that lead out to a swimming pool set in to a high-walled courtyard that ensures complete privacy and, hence, encourages both late night and broad daylight skinny dipping. The kitchen, not particularly big and decidedly high-end if not particularly adventuress in its materials and finishes, is completely updated and modernized with white, hardware-free Shaker style cabinetry, fantastically thick slab marble counter tops, and the usual array of high-end designer appliances one expects to find in a house of this caliber. The master bedroom has a starkly minimalist all-concrete bathroom that features a decorative screen made of three-dimensional, arrowhead-shaped concrete blocks. One of the guest bedrooms, over-sized with sitting area, is privately located on the lower floor where it opens to a sizable terrace with arrowhead-shaped pavers while a long, slender office is cleverly and efficiently lined with custom built-ins that incorporate desk space, a dresser, open shelves, enclosed storage and a bed.

Tucked in to a hair pin curve on a finger shaped lot and quite fairly described in marketing materials as “a true masterpiece of art and architecture,” the hillside house was designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright Jr., known as Lloyd Wright, son of Frank Lloyd Wright, and built in 1928 for silent screen star Ramón Novarro’s personal secretary and companion Louis Samuel. Mister Samuel forfeited the house to Novarro shortly after it was completed when he got caught embezzling from his actor boss. The house was renovated and enlarged by Wright for Mister Novarro and later owned and/or occupied by a number of entertainment industry heavy hitters including Leonard Berstein, Jerome Robbins, Diane Keaton and, briefly from mid-2005 when she bought it for $2.979 million until mid-2006 when she sold it at a loss for $2,827,500, Christina Ricci.

A quick spin through various property record databases indicates Mister Launer continues to own a 3,902-square-foot 1920s Mediterranean residence on a bluff that overlooks Santa Monica Canyon that last changed hands in 1994 for $1.3 million.

Listing photos: Douglas Elliman Real Estate

Popular on Variety

More Dirt

  • James Valentine House

    Maroon 5 Guitarist James Valentine Buys From Super-Producer Dana Brunetti

    Powerhouse film and television producer Dana Brunetti sold his showbiz pedigreed home in L.A.’s exclusive Toluca Lake community for $6.4 million, notably above its $6.25 million price tag, and the new owner is Maroon 5 guitarist James Valentine. Brunetti, whose many credits include “House of Cards,” “Captain Phillips” and the racy “Fifty Shades” franchise, turned [...]

  • Cheryl Tiegs House

    Cheryl Tiegs Lists Balinese Bel Air Estate

    For at least a third time in six years, Cheryl Tiegs has set her longtime home in a mega-posh pocket of L.A.’s hyper-tony Bel Air area out for sale on the open market, this time at $18.5 million. In 2013 she gave it an unsuccessful go at $12 million and then again in 2015 at [...]

  • Topher Grace House

    Topher Grace Snags La Cañada Flintridge Cape Cod

    Though they’ve yet to sell their mid-century home in Studio City’s celeb-approved Fryman Canyon area, Topher Grace and Ashley have nonetheless plunked down nearly $3 million for a dormer-roofed 1940s Cape Cod-style home in the leafy, little lauded suburban community of La Cañada Flintridge, about 15 miles north of downtown Los Angeles. Set on almost [...]

  • Saoirse Ronan House

    ‘Lady Bird’ Star Saoirse Ronan Lists Coastal Nest Near Dublin

    A kind lad from across the pond was thoughtful enough to pass along word that Bronx-born and Ireland-raised “Lady Bird” star Saoirse Ronan has put her Edwardian retreat about 20 miles outside of Dublin, Ireland, in the coastal resort community of Greystones, up for sale on the open market at €1.5 million, an amount that [...]

  • Whitney Cummings House

    Whitney Cummings Quickly Lands Buyer for Former Studio City Home

    Within two weeks of stand-up comedian, TV writer and veteran roaster Whitney Cummings hanging a $2 million price tag on her former home in Studio City, Calif., the extensively updated and privately situated 1960s California ranch has been lickety-split put into escrow to be sold for an unknown amount to an unknown buyer. Cummings paid [...]

  • Kanye West House

    Kanye West’s Former East Coast Outpost Back for Sale

    The longtime former New York City bachelor pad pied-à-terre of rapper turned fashion designer and pop culture provocateur Kanye West has popped up for sale with an asking price of $4.7 million. West acquired the two fourth floor units that comprise the house-sized Soho condo more than a dozen years ago in two transactions that [...]

  • Anastasia Soare House Beverly Hills

    Cosmetics Billionaire Buys $19.5 Million Beverly Park Mansion

    Beverly Park, the star-studded gated community of megamansions tucked high into the mountains above Beverly Hills, has a new billionaire resident: Anastasia Soare, the Romanian-born beauty guru who immigrated to the U.S. as an adult, founded her own Beverly Hills salon in the 1990s, and grew the little business into what is now Anastasia Beverly [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content