It doesn't take much scratching beneath the surface to find a celebrity name in a home's title history or the public record in L.A. County.
Among recent listings with celebrity pedigrees are:
-- An Italian-style villa in La Canada Flintridge built in 1989 by actor Kevin Costner with his then-wife, Cindy. The walled compound has 6,754 square feet of living space in the main house, 2,400 square feet of loggias and a detached 840-square-foot structure with a 1,000-bottle wine cellar, tasting room, office and bathroom. The property last sold in 1999 for $2.69 million. Dena Eubanks and Sally Shim of Hilton & Hyland have the $4.95-million listing.
-- A Midcentury Modern in the Hollywood Hills that was once owned by talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres. Actor Heath Ledger owned the two-bedroom, two-bathroom Tree House at the time of his death in 2008. It's listed this time at $2.595 million, having last changed hands in 2008 for $2.5 million. The listing agents are John Galich and Kristin Morely of Rodeo Realty.
-- A Cape Cod-inspired traditional in the Beverly Crest neighborhood once owned by actress Patty Duke. Even the real estate agents with the $5.395-million listing didn't know about this one until a title search confirmed the connection. Duke and husband Harry Falk owned the house in the late 1960s. Today it has five bedrooms, 6,000 square feet of living space and a swimming pool. Of note: It is also for lease at $30,000 a month, which includes a full-time housekeeper. Joyce Rey and Debra Lynn Smalley of Coldwell Banker's Beverly Hills South office have the listing.