Eddie Murphy Purchasing Cher’s Retreat

Times Staff Writer

Eddie Murphy is buying Cher’s Egyptian-style retreat for an undisclosed sum, but you can bet it’s plenty!

The asking price was $6.4 million.

Cher had the big (12,000- to 15,000-square-foot), contemporary house with Egyptian decor built in the Beverly Hills area about 10 years ago.

Situated on slightly more than 4 acres, it has massive gates, a curved, stone driveway; six bedrooms, six baths; a gym, and an atrium with an electronically movable skylight. Just push a button, and the glass opens.


Murphy is buying the mansion partially furnished.

Where the Oscar-winning actress will relocate hasn’t been determined. Murphy has a home in New Jersey, but the popular actor was wisely looking this fall for a place to buy here, after renting places in Trousdale and Bel-Air the past couple of years for as much as $32,000 a month!

Escrow papers were partly signed by press time, with closing expected within two weeks.

Barbara Robinson, wife of Baltimore Orioles manager Frank Robinson, is representing Murphy. She’s with Alvarez, Hyland & Young. John Aaroe, with Jon Douglas Co., is representing Cher.

California cross-country skiers might be interested to know that the 2,000-acre C Lazy U Guest Ranch--near Granby and Winter Park, Colo.--changed owners last week.

George and Virginia Mullin of Denver sold the retreat, popular with Southern Californians, to Inland Industries Inc., based in Lenexa, Kan., for an undisclosed sum, but the most recent asking price was $7 million.

(Inland, a family-owned holding company headed by Clark Murray, mainly owns newspapers in Missouri, Kansas and Iowa, but also has a subsidiary, Inland Newspaper Machinery Corp., which is a dealer of newspaper presses.) The ranch is one of a dozen or so hotels nationwide that has the top rating of both the Mobile Travel Guide and American Automobile Assn.

Burt Reynolds has moved to Florida with his wife, actress Loni Anderson, and their baby, so now the actor’s Holmby Hills house, built in 1959, can be shown to prospective buyers, says Elaine Young, who has the $6-million listing at Alvarez, Hyland & Young.

Reynolds has owned the one-acre, gated property with tennis court for about nine years. He bought it from the late comedian Dan Rowan, who purchased it from singer George Harrison.

Actor Ray Milland owned a home on nearly an acre with 420 feet of frontage on the Bel-Air Country Club golf course, which has been sold, as a tear-down, for $3.5 million.

The buyers are a group of investors called Bellagio Properties and an architect named Richardson Robertson III, who designed houses for the oil-rich Basses and Hunts in Texas.

This is their second project here, and they plan to raze the old split-level Mediterranean and build a Robertson-designed chateau, like one of those in the Loire Valley, said Bruce Nelson of Asher Dann & Associates. (Nelson handled the Milland sale and has the $6.4-million listing on the group’s first Beverly Hills-area project.)

The Milland site is about six blocks from a mansion that sold earlier this year for what Nelson describes as “the highest sales price ever in Bel-Air"--$15 million, including furnishings. A new house designed by Budd Holden, it was owned by developer Alexander Haagen and his wife. (Nelson represented the Haagens, and Bob Ryan of Jon Douglas Co. represented the buyers, who are from Hong Kong.)

The Milland house has been sold three times since the actor died in 1986. “That capsulizes what’s been happening at the top end of the market,” Nelson said.

Japanese billionaire Genshiro Kawamoto, who made waves earlier this year in Hawaii when he bought $173 million worth of residential property, is now spending $60 million in cash on subdivisions in Sacramento, where he has said there are still “reasonable home prices.” He considers L.A. “over-priced.”

Talk about inflation! Zsa Zsa Gabor has upped the price on her Bel-Air home to $15 million! That makes two huge increases since June, when the glamorous (and ambitious!) actress first put her residence on the market at $6.95 million. Mike Silverman of Beverly Hills has the listing.