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Oprah Buys Jeff Bridges’ Historic Montecito Ranch

Jeff & Susan Bridges
Montecito, Calif.
$6.85 million
Four acres with five separate structures

The Dude no longer abides, at least not at this Montecito, Calif. address. Prolific Oscar-winning actor Jeff Bridges and his longtime wife Susan Geston have sold their bucolic Santa Barbara-area retreat, a lovingly preserved Spanish Revival-style compound that dates to 1919 and was originally designed by esteemed local architect James Osborne Craig.

And perhaps unsurprisingly, records reveal the buyer is Bridges’ multibillionaire next-door neighbor, property-hoovering media titan Oprah Winfrey.

Way back in 2001, when Winfrey bought the so-called Promised Land — her longtime residential home base — for a reported $50 million, the palatial Montecito compound sprawled across 42.6 manicured acres and included a 23,000 sq. ft. megamansion neo-Georgian main house, a substantial guesthouse and various other accessory buildings.

But as many billionaires do, Winfrey has acquired some additional elbow room by buying out her neighbors. In late 2015, she shelled out about $29 million for a Promised Land-adjacent property known as Seamair Farm — that place spans 23.3 acres and includes four small houses, a large barn and a multi-stall stable for equestrian purposes.

Directly next door to Seamair Farm is the Bridges property, which first went on sale back in April for $8 million. In a seemingly shrewd move, however, Winfrey waited nearly six months to buy the ranch; by then, the pricetag had been slashed to $7.5 million, and records reveal the bargain-hunting “A Wrinkle in Time” starrer paid even less — $6.85 million, the exact same price that Bridges originally paid five years ago.

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The four-acre complex sports five distinctly separate structures: a stucco-clad main house, guesthouse, pool house, carriage house and gated equestrian facility with stables and a tack room.

The main house provides a deft blend of original details and contemporary furnishings. There are hardwood floors, leaded windows and high ceilings flaunting exposed, unvarnished beams and five charming semicircular fireplaces, all of them original to the property. The master suite features a window, French doors and an all-new bathroom with glass-enclosed shower and a soaking tub.

A red brick terrace surrounds the pool/spa area, which is overlooked and shaded by centuries-old oak trees. The adjacent pool house has a convenient bathroom and changing facilities plus a family room, office and sauna. The carriage house sports an attached workshop/garage, and the equestrian barn sports its own well, an extremely valuable boon in oft-drought-plagued Montecito.

According to records, Winfrey’s newly-expanded Promised Land monster ranch now includes 70 contiguous acres of usable land, at least 13 separate buildings, two pools, one tennis court, ocean views and — more than likely — innumerable other amenities.

It’s not publicly known if the Dude plans to abide in another Santa Barbara-area home, though records do reveal that he continues to own property in Montana. As for Winfrey, the chat show tycoon-turned-two-time Oscar nominee owns a bumper crop of other extraordinarily high-priced residences that include a 43-acre estate on scenic Orcas Island, a $13 million ski chalet in Telluride, Colo., and a vast ranch of nearly 1,000 acres on the Hawaiian island of Maui.

Sally Hanseth of Coldwell Banker held the listing and also repped Winfrey.

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