Designer Randolph Duke has dressed so many Hollywood starlets that he actually alphabetizes them on his website, presumably to avoid showing favoritism. And while we have no way of knowing whether his designs are lucky charms come awards season, the fact is that Angelina Jolie, Hilary Swank and Marcia Gay Harden all rose to the podium in Duke's designs.
Now Duke is turning his attention to selling his award-winning house. Listed at $7.85 million, his Hollywood Hills home won the AIA award for best residential design in 2007 and was recently featured in Architectural Digest. It is also for lease at $24,500 a month.
The modern home, designed by XTEN Architecture, is set on a promontory and seems to float above the city. The 4,800-square-foot house has three bedrooms and 3 1/2 bathrooms. There are an additional 6,500 square feet of usable outdoor terraces, decks and gardens and hundreds of feet of electric glass walls that open to them: Push a button, the walls retract and the room is open to the outdoors. Sure beats the bother of opening a window.
Nobody penny-pinched on the materials: chiseled granite countertops, seamless quartz floors, rift oak and plaster walls, stainless-steel appliances and mirrored finishes.
And you can tell there is a designer in the house. The outdoor dining area, built into the hillside, has tables and loungers constructed of natural driftwood, and an ornate chandelier hangs from a tree. The pool is made of mirrored-glass tiles, and there is a meditation-yoga garden.
Duke gained international fame in 1996 as creative director and designer at Halston. Besides dressing Hollywood, he brought his designs to the mass audience, selling his "The Look" line on the Home Shopping Network. He has appeared as a fashion commentator on numerous TV shows, including "Oprah," "Good Morning America" and "E!"
Brett Lawyer of Sotheby's International Realty, Sunset Strip, has the listing.
A Hawaii pad that's virus-free
There may be just one man whose name flashes across your computer screen more than President Obama's, and that's John McAfee's -- whose anti-virus software lets you surf the Net without fear.
McAfee just lowered the price on his Molokai, Hawaii, home to $3.7 million from $4.9 million. The four-bedroom, five-bathroom newly constructed 5,796-square-foot house sits on 5.3 ocean-front acres. The 1,262-square-foot master suite includes a floor-to-ceiling Molokai rock fireplace and entertainment center. The master bathroom has a large Jacuzzi tub with ocean views, a glass block shower, his and her sinks and a hickory-lined linen closet; there's also a 528-square-foot covered deck off the master suite.
The ocean-view great room has sliding glass doors that open onto a covered deck. The gourmet kitchen has top-of-the-line stainless steel appliances and custom granite countertops. The floors are cumaru Brazilian teak, Italian porcelain tile and bamboo.
The property, in the Popuhaku area, is entered through a 20-foot-tall Japanese gate house, "guarded" by Afghan teak horses. The perimeter fence includes Molokai rock columns and tight cedar panels. A large circular driveway winds through Kiawe forest into the 1,600-square-foot porte-cochere.
British-born McAfee was the first to distribute anti-virus software using the shareware model. He also is considered a pioneer of instant messaging. His company, McAfee Software Inc., went public in 1992, and he is the author of books on computer viruses and yoga.
He is based in Rodeo, N.M., where he built a villa in the midst of his private airstrips from which he pursues the sport of aerotrekking (flying ultra-light planes).
The property is represented by Andrea Pilot of Coldwell Banker Brentwood West and Bob Hansen of Coldwell Banker Wailea.
Where the wild one once roamed
I've been waiting an entire journalism career to write this sentence: Marlon Brando slept here.
Arguably the greatest actor of all time once owned and lived in this Sherman Oaks home that is now listed at $2.8 million. The current owner of the property is Maria Cristina Ruiz, Brando's former housekeeper and mother of his three youngest children.
The single-level custom home, which sits on more than a half-acre, has five bedrooms and four bathrooms. Built in 1939, it has 3,027 square feet. There is a detached guesthouse, a north-south tennis court, a free-standing sauna and a pool with a one-of-a-kind diving board that Brando himself built for his children. That's got to be worth a few hundred grand.
The actor's breakthrough role on stage came in 1947 as Stanley Kowalski in "A Streetcar Named Desire"; he later adapted the role to the movie screen.
Brando, who in his later years lived in self-imposed exile from Hollywood, won his first of two acting Oscars for "On the Waterfront" (1954). His oft-quoted lines -- "I coulda had class. I coulda been a contenda. I coulda been somebody" -- are from that film.
In 1972, Francis Ford Coppola cast him as Mafia don Vito Corleone in " The Godfather," a role for which he won another Academy Award. Coppola also tapped him to play Col. Kurtz in "Apocalypse Now" in 1979.
Brando died in 2004 at age 80 of lung failure. When he died, his estate was estimated at $21.6 million, which included $18.6 million in real estate.
Elena Safronova of First Team Real Estate is the listing agent.
A diamond in the not-so-rough
A downright gem of a house was just listed at $13.5 million in Beverly Hills. The owner is Michael Beaudry, the jeweler to the stars.
Beaudry's jewels have adorned Beyonce, Katherine Heigl and " Gossip Girl's" queen of bling Michelle Trachtenberg.
The 7,500-square-foot villa, with six bedrooms and nine bathrooms, sits on a private knoll with panoramic ocean and city lights views. There is a cobblestone motor court and covered parking for 10 cars.
The resort-like grounds include a pool, commercial bar and grill, lanai and putting green. There is a media room, decked-out kitchen, formal living and dining rooms, and a master suite with his-and-her bathrooms, two terraces and a study.
Beaudry, a second-generation master diamond cutter, personally designs his collection of hand-crafted jewelry. Each piece in his Beaudry Couture collection is uni- que. All are signed and numbered; premiere pieces are laser-inscribed. Pieces in the collection start at around $30,000.
Gary Gold of Hilton & Hyland in Beverly Hills has the listing.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times