The celebrity bean counters at Forbes recently named Scarlett Johansson as the “world’s highest-paid actress” with an estimated pre-tax haul of more than $40 million between June 2017 and June 2018. And, as sniffed out by the property gossips at The New York Post, the “Avengers” superhero franchise star is throwing some of those earnings around with the $4 million purchase of an historic spread picturesquely nipped away in the insular, sleepy and celebrity-attracting Snedens Landing enclave just over the George Washington Bridge about an hours drive outside of Midtown Manhattan in New York State’s Rockland County.
Obscured by trees and perfectly positioned on the highest point of a .79-acre corner parcel with tree-framed views that extend clear across the wide, glimmering expanse of the Hudson River, the 1953 Colonial was designed by artist, architect and Snedens Landing resident Eric Gugler, best known for his work on an expansion of the West Wing of the White House during the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Festooned with theatrical wrought iron filigree reminiscent of New Orleans, almost entirely encrusted in ivy and, hence, unsurprisingly known as Ivy House, two-story residence has four bedrooms and four bathrooms in about 4,000-square-feet.
The living room features a bay window that provides a panoramic view over the river along with a fireplace and French doors to an all glass greenhouse that opens to the swimming pool. There are two dining spaces, one with a floor-to-ceiling bowed window, plus a small den with fireplace and a renovated if somewhat dated kitchen arranged around a curved island snack bar and fitted with fairly pedestrian, cherry-toned raised panel cabinetry and unremarkable beige ceramic tile countertops and back splashes. Two of the upstairs bedrooms, including the master suite, which is enhanced by an antique fireplace, open to a shared balcony with filigree arches and elevated river views.
Slightly and pleasantly scruffy grounds incorporate lush sweeps of rolling, tree-shaded lawns bordered by mature specimen plantings, serene courtyard gardens and meandering red brick terraces. There’s a tennis court on the front side of the property and, on a grassy, river-view plateau, a swimming pool and cabana. In addition to a detached two-car garage near the house, there’s a four-car carriage house near the foot of the driveway.
Snedens Landing, also known as Palisades, is famous for attracting high-profile individuals who appreciate its rustic seclusion and convenient proximity to Manhattan. According to marketing materials, Johansson’s new hideaway, likely to undergo extensive renovations and, presumably, professional decoration, was once occupied by actress Brenda Forbes who entertained her Snedens Landing neighbors Noel Coward, Laurence Olivier and Katherine Hepburn. Angelina Jolie spent part of her childhood here, as did Hayden Panatierre, and a short list of past residents includes Icelandic pop chanteuse Björk, ballet dancer Mikail Baryshnikov, newsman Mike Wallace and Oscar winners William Hurt, Al Pacino and Jessica Lange. Earlier this year Phish front man Try Anastasio lost a small fortune on the sale of an historic home he bought from Lorraine Bracco who bought the cliff-side house back in 1989 with then husband Harvey Keitel from Oscar winner Ellen Burstyn.
Officially divorced last year and now romantically wrapped up with “Saturday Night Live” co-head writer Colin Jost, Johansson maintains a robust residential property portfolio that extends from coast to coast. More than ten years ago the “Avengers” franchise star paid $2.1 million for a terraced two-bedroom penthouse atop a distinguished, white-glove building in Midtown Manhattan’s posh if not particularly fashionable Sutton Place neighborhood and over the summer of 2013, shortly before she married her now second ex-husband, French advertising executive Romain Dauriac, she paid $3.5 million for a not quite 1.5-acre spread at the eastern border of the boho-chic Hamptons hamlet of Amagansett, New York. In late 2014, she put down some multimillion dollar real estate roots in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles with the close to $3.9 million purchase of a smartly renovated 1940s traditional secured behind gates at the tail end of an obscure cul-de-sac in the foothills between Bronson Canyon and Griffith Park.
Listing photos: Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty