After nearly two full years on and off the market, the former Malibu mega-estate of talk show icon Johnny Carson has quietly sold for exactly $40 million. The TV legend acquired the four parcel Point Dume complex in the mid-1980s for upwards of $10 million, and primarily resided there until his 2005 death. It was his widow, Alexis, who — in early 2007 — sold the entire spread for $36.5 million to billionaire apparel-mogul-turned-film-producer Sidney Kimmel and his wife Caroline.
Though the sale price is very easily the biggest Malibu residential real estate deal recorded so far this year — it’s almost double the $21.8 million paid for a nearby home back in March — it’s also a rather shocking 51% discount off Kimmel’s eye-watering original ask of $81.5 million.
The new owner’s name is not yet publicly known and remains carefully shielded behind several layers of corporate entities, but property records confirm that all four parcels were transferred to a mysterious individual who carries a Palo Alto, Calif. mailing address.
In any case, the lucky buyer now lays claim to a rather epic estate totaling 4.16 acres of clifftop Malibu land and sporting views to the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Catalina Island and beyond. Unusually, however, the compound is oddly bifurcated, with half of the estate lying directly across a public road from the other half.
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Two of the estate’s four parcels, which together measure 2.05 acres, are situated atop a nearly sheer cliff directly overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Both are gated and mostly covered by a forest-like canopy of trees that privately shroud a long driveway. At the very end of the drive, thrillingly cantilevered over the cliff, sits a triangular-shaped home designed by venerated architect Ed Niles and featuring two beds and four baths in more than 7,000 square feet of living space.
Kimmel, reportedly a longtime fan of the Johnny Carson show, made few alterations to the house during his 12 years of ownership. There’s still an enormous gallery planted with indoor trees and a double-height living room with soaring walls of glass overlooking the sea. Other spaces include a so-called “Asian lounge” with a commodious wet bar and a media room.
The home’s second floor is entirely and lavishly devoted to a sprawling master suite that includes a bedroom with floor-to-ceiling walls of glass, his-and-hers closets/dressing rooms, his-and-hers offices, and his-and-hers onyx bathrooms.
As aforementioned, the compound’s other half sits directly across the road from the main residence, on an island completely ringed by the cul-de-sac street. The island’s two park-like parcels feature lush landscaping and a full-size tennis court with a 2,751 sq. ft. pavilion. Somewhere, there’s a lounge, a kitchen, and a gym plus a locker room and two guest bedroom suites. Elsewhere are a one-bed guest cottage, separate staff quarters, an estate manager’s office, parking for dozens of cars, and a “security room” for the owner’s private bodyguards to monitor the premises.
The Kimmels have already decamped their Malibu estate for Beverly Hills, where back in 2017 they paid nearly $25 million for a contemporary mansion tucked away just behind the legendary Beverly Hills Hotel. While significantly smaller than their former Malibu estate, their new in-town pad is significantly closer to central L.A. and still a reasonably easy commute to the Santa Monica offices of SK Global, Kimmel’s entertainment outfit that has birthed dozens of films including “The Kite Runner” (2007), “Lars and the Real Girl” (2007), “Moneyball” (2011), “United 93” (2012) and “Hell or High Water” (2016).