Home & Garden

Rex Linn's new home has football party potential

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After a two-year house hunt, "CSI: Miami" star Rex Linn has bought a Sherman Oaks home for $1,415,000.

The actor had been renting a less than 1,000-square-foot John Lautner-designed house nearby for 20 years but decided he was ready to pull the trigger on a bigger place after he became engaged in June. The one-bedroom, one-bathroom midcentury rental is called the Foster House.

"It's the first house I lived in when I moved here from Oklahoma City," Linn said.

The landlord had "500 applicants to rent the house," Linn said, and was "really particular." The landlord and his wife said they didn't like the actors who lived in the neighborhood, Linn recalled.

"So I actually fibbed a bit," he said. "Told him I worked for a construction company."

The former Texan tried to buy the Lautner house for the last 10 years, but the landlord wouldn't sell.

"It will be pretty emotional for me to leave," Linn said.

The 3,355-square-foot home he will share with fiancée Renee DeRese has amenities Linn should enjoy: a solar-heated swimming pool, a backyard cabana bar and a fire pit. There are four bedrooms and five bathrooms. But the most important feature to Linn is the kitchen.

"I walked into this kitchen, and it was like walking into Disneyland for the first time," he said.

An enthusiastic cook who likes to smoke and barbecue meats, he has been operating out of an 8-foot-long kitchen with a stove and small refrigerator and has been hand-washing his dishes for two decades.

He recently walked a friend through the remodeled house and stopped to point at the dishwasher.

"Oh, my God, it's a Bosch," the friend said.

"Huh? No, it's a dishwasher," Linn replied.

The new house, like his old one, will be the regular site of parties every fall Saturday.

"I live for college football," he said.

In fact, it was one of his prime criteria in selecting a house. "I have got to make sure this house has college football party potential," he would frequently utter on his house-hunting expeditions.

The 1963 house he bought is in great shape, Linn said. "But I will add some Texas to it."

Linn, 53, has played Sgt. Frank Tripp on "CSI: Miami" since 2002. Much of the former banker's acting career has been in movies. He describes "Cliffhanger" (1993) as the most important film in his life. "I was absolutely dead broke … and I got the fourth lead."

His other film work includes "Appaloosa" (2008), "Rush Hour" (1998) and "Tin Cup" (1996).

Monika Charlesworth of Keller Williams' Encino-Sherman Oaks office represented Linn in his purchase. Michael Okun of Prudential California Realty had the listing.

From 'Show Boat' to showplace

The Santa Monica estate that was the home of late film star and singer Kathryn Grayson for 65 years been purchased by designer Elaine Culotti for $7.7 million. It came on the market at $8,995,000 and was in escrow within three weeks.

Culotti, of Porta Bella Design, plans to undertake a historical restoration to bring the Elmer Grey-designed English Tudor back to its original grandeur. She is the lead designer for this year's Esquire House.

Built in 1926, the mansion Culotti bought sits on more than an acre with views of the Riviera Country Club golf course. Throughout the house are rounded archways, hand-crafted leaded-glass windows and English oak paneling. The living room features stained-glass windows, a minstrels' gallery and a cathedral ceiling. The 5,381-square-foot residence also has a library, a formal dining room, a breakfast room, a walk-in butler's pantry, 71/2 bedrooms and four bathrooms.

Grayson was an operatic soprano who gained attention playing supporting roles in musicals. She went on to star in "Anchors Aweigh" (1945), "Show Boat" (1951) and "Kiss Me Kate" (1953). Grayson died in February at age 88.

Jeffrey Hyland and David Kramer of Hilton & Hyland, Beverly Hills, had the listing. Marco Van Erp and Jamie Nugent of Prudential California, Beverly Hills, represented the buyer.

Time to leave the Los Feliz air

The Los Feliz home of radio personality Danny Bonaduce has come on the market at $4.2 million.

The Spanish villa, built in 1926, has been restored and has a new courtyard pool and roof.

The house has four bedrooms and six bathrooms in more than 7,000 square feet of living space decorated with hand-painted ceilings. There are mountain, ocean and city views from more than a half-acre site that's gated at the street.

Bonaduce, 51, played the middle son on the 1970s sitcom "The Partridge Family." He started in radio in the 1980s and has hosted shows in Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

The three-story house had been listed in 2007 at $4.5 million. He and former wife Gretchen Hillmer paid $2.6 million for the property in 2005, according to public records.

Lynne Beavers of Lynne Beavers & Associates has the listing.

'Model' home sells in Studio City

The Studio City home of the late model agent Nina Blanchard has sold for $1.1 million.

Listed in March at $1,395,000, the single-story contemporary house was custom built in 1955 and has three bedrooms, four bathrooms and about 2,600 square feet of living space. The site, more than half an acre, includes a swimming pool with spa.

Blanchard, who died in February at 81, founded a Hollywood modeling agency in the early '60s bearing her name. Its roster came to include Cheryl Tiegs, Christie Brinkley, Shari Belafonte and other top models.

She purchased the house in 1995 for $650,000, according to public records.

Verna Cornelius of Keller Williams Realty's Sunset Boulevard office had the listing. Steven Durbahn of Coldwell Banker, Sunset Boulevard, represented the buyer.

lauren.beale@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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