For 30 years, Hot Property has given readers the ultimate sneak peek into the lives and luxury homes of Hollywood's rich and famous.
The arched footbridge crossing over a stone-lined moat at Jennifer Lopez's $10-million French-style villa in Bel-Air. The bowling alley, hair salon and flower-cutting room at Candy Spelling's 56,500-square-foot Holmby Hills mansion. Elton John's snakeskin-covered bed frames in West Hollywood.
No detail is too obscure, says Kurt Rappaport, real estate agent to the stars: "People want to know — the world wants to know — what they are doing."
When Johnny Carson sold his oceanfront home on Carbon Beach in 1985 to John McEnroe, "The Tonight Show" host negotiated an unusual request into the contract: six private tennis lessons from the former world No.1 pro.
The two consummated that part of the deal later that year at Pepperdine University, as neither had a tennis court at his home.
after paying nearly $14 million for a 4.5-acre estate
Square footage of actor Vince Vaughn's sub-$100,000 one-bedroom condo in Hancock Park, the lowest-priced property ever to appear in the Hot Property column.
In the South Bay, Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach have been some of the most popular spots to live, particularly among the reigning Stanley Cup champions.
"There is a high congregation of hockey players in the South Bay, Manhattan Beach in particular," said Kofi Natei Nartey, director of the sports and entertainment division at the Agency. "But you also see a lot of out-of-state players who want to live here and train in more favorable conditions."
Age of pop star Justin Bieber when he bought his first house, spending $6.5 million on a 10,000-square-foot mansion in Calabasas.
Some mansions have nearly as many commodes as entire blocks in less regal neighborhoods.
Pickfair, the Beverly Hills estate of Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, was outfitted with 30 bathrooms in a later overhaul.
But the record locally may be the 41 bathrooms boasted by an 18,400-square-foot Mediterranean-style home in Bel-Air that was recently on the market for $40 million, real estate agents say.
Monthly lease on a Malibu Colony home along a stretch of coastline known as Billionaire's Beach.
The best-kept secret hideaway for Hollywood stars is La Cañada Flintridge, a community with the charm and grace of a long-ago era.
Residents living in the 'Mayberry' of Los Angeles include actress Angela Bassett and comic actor Vince Vaughn.
Hollywood Hills has been attracting stars since comedian W.C. Fields, comic actor Groucho Marx, above, and 1930s sex symbol Jean Harlow were in their heyday.
Later generations of celebrity homeowners have included actors Ben Affleck, Ben Stiller and Renee Zellweger.
The Bird streets section of Hollywood Hills remains the favored home-buying locale of hip Hollywood.
The location is central to major studios, trendy restaurants and nightlife, yet perched in the hills it feels removed from the city.
"It still holds the title as most desirable place to live for younger celebrities," said Chad Rogers, a real estate agent with Hilton & Hyland.
There's a different level of star power in Holmby Hills and Bel-Air, with both old- and new-money multimillionaires and billionaires.
"The A-plus listers," Hilton & Hyland real estate agent Chad Rogers calls them. "It's a place where price really is no object."
Actors Tony Curtis and Gregory Peck and singers Sonny and Cher have owned homes in Holmby Hills, and singer superstars Jay-Z and Beyonce leased a newly built house listed at $45 million this summer.
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Stars didn't necessarily communicate through a talent agent or a real estate broker back when Hot Property first started. On one occasion, columnist Ruth Ryon got a call about an aerial photograph that had run in the paper. She recounted the exchange in a column:
" 'Hello,' the caller said, 'this is Rock Hudson.' 'Sure,' I thought, 'and I'm Doris Day.' Turned out it was Hudson, interested in securing a copy of the photo, which showed his property before his home was built."
Talk-show host and game-show creator Merv Griffin once fielded Hot Property columnist Ruth Ryon's questions at a breakfast in his honor in Beverly Hills between bites of scrambled eggs and bacon.
Actress and home restorer Diane Keaton met Ryon for an interview over Shirley Temples in the Polo Lounge of the Beverly Hills Hotel.
And another time the columnist got a personal tour of Phyllis Diller's Brentwood home. They stopped in the wig room, where the comedienne had Ryon try on a pink 'do. From then on, the two exchanged Christmas cards.
A decade ago, Shaquille O'Neal wanted to be traded after the Lakers' loss in the NBA Finals. Rather than announce his intended move to Miami, the 32-year-old center let real estate agent Jordan Cohen of Re/Max Olson give Hot Property columnist Ruth Ryon the information that Shaq was putting his Beverly Hills area home on the market at $7.5 million.
That bit of news couldn't be kept secret until the column appeared in Sunday's paper. The Sports section ran with the scoop in the daily paper, ahead of the column's publication, much to Ryon's ire.
Author of "Starstruck: The Business of Celebrity"
Former Dodgers third baseman Adrian Beltre outfitted his onetime mansion-estate in Bradbury with a 2,500-square-foot rec room outfitted as an indoor batting cage.
But that was just the start. The property offered a full range of athletic outlets: a tennis court, a basketball court, two tees and two putting greens with sand traps.
Re/Max Olson and Associates broker
British actress Jane Seymour, who starred in the series "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman," and her then-husband fixed up and sold several homes in Beverly Hills as investments.
"They once bought the house across the street from theirs because it was so ugly," their real estate agent Jana Jones-Duffy said, redoing it "so they could look at something they liked."
Phyllis Diller bought a 10,000-square-foot Country English-style house in the fall of 1965 and immediately fell in love.
"It was the house I always dreamed of," she said of the 1914 Brentwood residence, "and here it was, already built."
Actor Corbin Bernsen and his wife, actress Amanda Pays, appear regularly in Hot Property, having renovated about 20 houses in Hollywood Hills, Beverly Hills and the San Fernando Valley.
"For us it was always a way to make extra income and be creative at the same time," Pays said. "My thing is finding old houses with good bones and reworking them."
Square footage of the mansion purchased by commercial real estate investment manager Donald Abbey.
Bent on restoration, Oscar-winning actress Diane Keaton has favored homes by well-known architects and 1920s Spanish-style homes.
Keaton made her Hot Property debut in 1996 selling the Lloyd Wright-designed Samuel-Novarro home in Los Feliz for about $950,000 after, the column reported, she had put nearly $1 million into renovations.
The actress told The Times in 2003 that she grew up accompanying her father as he invested in tract houses. That fueled her interest in homes, and she became driven to save vintage Spanish Colonial-style houses from destruction. "I'd buy every one of them that comes up for sale if I could afford it."
Trick-or-treaters who visit Spadena House each year. The whimsical property in Beverly Hills conjures impressions of the Brothers Grimm thanks to its storybook-style design, complete with irregular wooden shutters, a gable roof and a moat.
The infamous egging. A confrontation with former NFL star Keyshawn Johnson over alleged reckless driving in the neighborhood. A raid carried out by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. No home drew more eyes in 2014 than Justin Bieber's Calabasas residence.
The saga ended in June with Bieber handing off the Spanish-style home to another celebrity capable of keeping the media circus going strong: Khloe Kardashian.
Never one to shy away from the unorthodox, the Material Girl caused a stir after she had her home in the Hollywood Hills painted in red and yellow stripes, a color scheme that many likened to a circus tent. The 1920s Mediterranean — once used as a gambling den by Bugsy Siegel in the 1930s — later sold in 1996 for about $5 million.
Acres in the Rancho Mirage estate bought by billionaire Oracle Corp. co-founder Larry Ellison.
Home life for Cassandra Peterson became more "Leave It to Beaver" than "The Addams Family" after she sold her Los Feliz house to Brad Pitt and moved next door.
"We went Elvira-crazy in our old home," she said, referring to her role as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.
Cost of the candy room in the 23,000-square-foot contemporary mansion of handbag magnate Bruce Makowsky.
"Star Trek" reminders, such as the last pair of pointy rubber ears he wore as the half-human, half-Vulcan Mr. Spock, are displayed in Leonard Nimoy's study. But he's quick to say, "There isn't much of that."
He keeps little memorabilia: Marker boards for some movies he directed, a photo of himself with "Star Trek" star William Shatner, a director's chair with his name on it.
A large movie poster in the family room advertises his first sci-fi movie, "Zombies of the Stratosphere." It was released by Republic Studios in 1952.
Number of bathrooms in the Holmby Hills estate built in 1988 for film and TV producer Aaron Spelling and his wife, Candy.
Diane Keaton likes to look at houses even when she is not in the market to buy.
The Oscar-winning actress grew up in Santa Ana during the housing boom of the '50s, going to open houses with her father, Jack Hall, a civil engineer who became a real estate broker.
"My father took me to see model homes, which I thought were palaces," Keaton said as she sipped a Shirley Temple in the Polo Lounge of the Beverly Hills Hotel.