J.K. Simmons lists home at $1,795,000

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TV and film actor J.K. Simmons,of the police drama "The Closer" and the "Spider-Man" movies, and his actress wife, Michelle Schumacher, have put their Hollywood Hills-area contemporary on the market at $1,795,000.

The two-story view home, built in 1999, sits on more than half an acre on a gated street. It has five bedrooms and 4 1/2 bathrooms in about 4,190 square feet, with vaulted ceilings, three fireplaces and a balcony off the master suite. One of the bedrooms was converted into a home office. Simmons customized the three-car garage to house their two family cars and his prized Corvette.

The couple, who have two children, oriented the home toward family life. The living room contains a pool table, a ping-pong table and, yes, a Spider-Man pinball machine.

The pair bought the property in 2003, when they moved from New York City. The home's privacy -- it is surrounded by trees and greenery -- and out-of-the-way location are what sold them on it, according to listing agent Mati Nabhan.

Simmons, 54, costars as assistant police chief Will Pope on "The Closer" (2005-present) and was police psychiatrist Dr. Emil Skoda on "Law & Order" (1997-2004). He played hard-boiled editor J. Jonah Jameson in the 2002, 2004 and 2007 "Spider-Man" movies.

Schumacher, 42, was in nine episodes of the HBO series "Oz" (2000-2003), on which Simmons was a regular.

Nabhan is with Sotheby's International Realty, Los Feliz.

'Clarissa' explains: change of scenery

Actress Melissa Joan Hart has sold her Sherman Oaks home for close to $2.5 million.

The one-story Spanish-style house has five bedrooms and five bathrooms in 4,911 square feet. There are fireplaces in the living room and master bedroom, and the latter opens to a deck with a view of the yard and swimming pool.

Hart, 33, had listed her residence for sale in October at $3.25 million but had since reduced it to $2.85 million.

This year she stars in the ABC Family film "My Fake Fiance" and the upcoming thriller "Nine Dead" from her company, Hartbreak Films. Hart played the title characters in the TV series "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" (1996-2003), episodes of which she also produced and directed, and "Clarissa Explains It All" (1991-94). She recently opened Sweet Harts, a shop selling candy, gelato and baked goods in Sherman Oaks.

The actress, who had owned the custom home since 2005, sold to get a change of scenery, according to her listing agent, Matt Epstein of Re/Max on the Boulevard, Sherman Oaks.

It was financed by a green ogre

David Lipman likes to call the Hollywood Hills residence he recently listed at $2,195,000 "the house Shrek built."

The producer first saw the home at night and said he "was immediately drawn to the view of downtown L.A. sparkling through the hills. Then I turned back, studied the house and saw the incredible lines and was blown away."

When he bought the classic midcentury house in 2000 for $678,000, it needed work. To counter years of neglect, he embarked on a complete overhaul of the home, which had been designed by architect Merle Roussellot and built in 1961.

"I re-engineered the house and removed many of the interior walls to focus on the view and the simplicity of the design," Lipman said. He opened it up to the outside by adding more windows and pocket doors.

The two-bedroom, two-bathroom home, with fireplaces in the living room and master bedroom, has a swimming pool and sits on a hillside cul-de-sac.

"It's very private up here," he said. "You can't see any of the immediate neighbors. I feel like I'm a million miles away from everything, yet I'm 15 minutes away from most of the studios."

A courtyard entrance with a koi pond leads to 1,875 square feet of flexible living space that Lipman has used for large parties and intimate dinners.

"I feel like I'm on vacation here all the time," Lipman said.

But all vacations eventually must end.

"I'm selling because I've been living and working in London the last 3 1/2 years and have decided to relocate there permanently," he said.

In addition to working as a producer on the "Shrek" movies (2001, 2003 and 2004), Lipman, 50, was supervising producer for "The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest" (1996-97).

The listing agent is Max Nelson of Deasy/Penner & Partners, Beverly Hills.

Where Curtis and Leigh relaxed

A Palm Springs home originally owned by actor Tony Curtis and his first wife, Janet Leigh, is for sale at $1,295,000.

Built by designer and developer Roy Fey in 1960, the gated 3,204-square-foot house sits on about a third of an acre in the Movie Colony, a neighborhood named for the stars and directors who owned property there. The post-and-beam single-story has five bedrooms, each with its own bathroom, tongue-and-groove ceilings, travertine floors and expansive windows revealing mountain views. There is a detached guesthouse.

A ficus tree border provides privacy in the backyard, which has a swimming pool with spa.

Once known as "Camp Curtis," the estate has been used in recent years as an income property. It most recently changed hands in 2003, selling for $1.16 million, according to public records.

Curtis, 84, whose charming looks and signature ducktail hairstyle helped make him a screen idol, has worked in film and television as a comedic and dramatic actor for six decades.

Among his memorable roles, he starred in "Some Like It Hot" (1959) with Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon. He appeared last year in the film "David & Fatima."

Leigh, who died in 2004, also worked in film and television and was featured in a number of MGM movies, starting with "The Romance of Rosy Ridge" (1947). She starred in the Alfred Hitchcock thriller "Psycho" in 1960.

They were divorced in 1962. Leigh sold the house in 1965 to producer Jerry Gershwin and his wife Jacqueline.

The listing agent is Marc Lange, Capitis Real Estate, Palm Springs.

lauren.beale@latimes.com

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