Prodigiously compensated primetime television juggernaut Jim Parsons, central star of the wildly popular ensemble sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” and narrator of its spin-off “Young Sheldon,” listed his architecturally significant and sumptuously appointed Hollywood pedigreed residence on a famously celeb-packed street in L.A.’s Los Feliz area at $8.95 million.
Designed by El Capitan Theater architect Stiles O. Clements in the early 1920s and known in certain architecture circles as Seyler House after its original owner, an insurance executive, the 1.45-acre hillside spread has long been owned by a succession of showbiz movers and shakers including Tim Curry, Noah Wylie, Oscar-winning cinematographer Robert Richardson and director Robert Luketic. In 2011 the property was acquired for $6.275 million by “Twilight” heartthrob Robert Pattinson who, after listing it at $6.75 million, sold it to Parsons in early 2014 for $6.375 million. There are three bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms in 4,062 square feet according to current digital marketing materials that, curiously, make use of a number of the same photographs used when Pattinson had the property available on the open market in late 2013.
Invisible from the street behind a high wall and a row of mature olive trees and positioned high on a hillside behind motorized gates set into a tile-accented Moorish arch, the carefully preserved and thoughtfully updated residence opens to an invitingly proportioned and intricately detailed foyer that features an elegantly classic black and white checkerboard marble floor. With a carved stone fireplace and a handsomely high and muscular hand-stenciled exposed beam ceiling, the baronial living room does double duty as a screening room with a discreet projection screen that drops out of the ceiling at the touch of a button. Like most rooms on the main floor, the living room opens through three arched French doors to an expansive terrace at the bottom of a pristinely maintained high-maintenance garden that makes a picturesque climb up the steep hillside behind the house. The formal dining room has a pair of deer antler chandeliers hung from a stenciled and barrel-vaulted ceiling and the well-stocked kitchen opens to an al fresco dining terrace with built-in barbecue. Additional main floor living and entertaining spaces include a cozy card room and a den/library painted a deep navy blue that’s offset by a mustard velvet sofa.
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There’s an en suite guest bedroom on the main floor while a second, more amply proportioned and also en suite guest bedroom shares the upper floor with the grand master suite with hand-painted barrel-vaulted ceiling and three sets of French doors that open one side of the room to a slim, wrought iron railed balcony and another trio of French doors that open the opposite side to a roomier loggia with a premium view of the jaw-dropping, world-class gardens. A multi-colored stained glass window and gutsy, turquoise wall-to-wall carpeting make bold statements in a dressing room lined in floor-to-ceiling wardrobes and the perfectly period appropriate bathroom, decadently finished with a chocolate-brown marble floor, includes an extra-long double-sink vanity, a freestanding copper bathtub and a brass-fixtured steam shower.
Embraced on three sides by the back of the house with a koi pond and outdoor fireplace, a large terra-cotta paved courtyard gives way to spectacular hillside gardens that encompass a variety of extravagant water features, secluded stone terraces amid both tropical plantings and cactus gardens, a small amphitheater and, all the way at the top of the up-sloped paradise where it benefits from an over-the treetops city lights view, a spacious stone terrace and lagoon-style swimming pool.
Some of Parson’s nearest neighbors include Jenji Kohan, Kirstie Alley, who keeps more than a dozen ring-tailed lemurs as pets, “Modern Family” star Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who lives in his own star-pedigreed house previously owned by Gwen Stefani and, later, Mark Brazill, and powerhouse producer Megan Ellison who earlier this year laid out $7.75 million for an historic estate once owned by Red Hot Chili Pepper bassist Michael “Flea” Balzary.
One of the highest paid actors on television who hauls in around $1 million per episode for “The Big Bang Theory,” Parsons and his art director husband Todd Spiewak, couple more than 15 years and married just over a year ago, spend a great deal of their time in New York City where they preside over a four-unit combination duplex penthouse in a prestigious and ornately detailed white terra-cotta faced apartment house opposite Gramercy Park. The couple acquired the first of the four units in mid-2011 for $1.822 million, picked up a neighboring apartment in July 2012 for $2,825,643 and in late 2014 snatched up two small side-by-side penthouses upstairs in a pair of separate but contiguous transactions that totaled $3,708,899. Parsons and Spiewak all together spent $8,356,542 on the four units, an amount that does not include what were surely considerable renovation and combination costs, and tax records suggest the multi-unit duplex penthouse measures in at somewhere over 3,100-square-feet.
Listing photos: Pacific Union