‘Hot Lips’ Kissing Mansion Goodby

<i> Times Staff Writer</i>

LORETTA SWIT, probably best known for her television role as nurse “Hot Lips” Houlihan in MASH, and her husband, actor Dennis Holahan, have put their Bel-Air house on the market.

“They’re selling to get something smaller or more manageable,” said Joe Coons of Merrill Lynch/Rodeo Realty, who shares the $2,495,000 listing with Merrill Lynch’s Beverlywood office.

The Santa Fe-style house has three bedrooms and maids’ quarters. The 2.2-acre property has a lot of privacy, Coons said, with its 300-foot-long driveway and eucalyptus and pine trees. It also has a pool.

The recently remodeled house is about 25 years old, and Swit and Holahan have owned it for two. Coons described the Bel-Air home as “a showplace, like a gentleman’s ranch house with an early-California flair.”


The SULTAN OF BRUNEI has purchased two new houses next to his Beverly Hills Hotel, sources say. No wonder both houses were painted pink, like the hotel.

The houses are really like one home, because there are steps between them, both are Mediterranean in style and they are behind gates. The compound--with a total of eight bedrooms and 18,000 square feet on almost 2 acres--sold for more than $10 million.

A real estate agent who asked for anonymity said the sultan bought the houses, just behind the hotel, “so he can get service from the hotel without taking up hotel rooms.”

When the sultan bought the hotel, he had plans to close it in increments for remodeling, but no rooms have been closed “because the hotel is running at a high occupancy, anyway,” another source said. The sultan bought the hotel in October, 1987, for about $186 million.


James Northcutt is decorating the sultan’s compound, which was a project of Columbia Residential Development.

The race is on at Hollywood Park for WALDO FERNANDEZ, who has designed homes for Merv Griffin and other celebrities as well as the ballroom of Griffin’s Beverly Hilton, to complete new interiors for the Turf Club and Directors Wing by Wednesday, opening day of thoroughbred racing.

Marge Everett, chairman and chief executive officer of Hollywood Park, chose Fernandez to redo the rooms. The decor of the 1938 landmark hadn’t been touched since the early 1950s.

The 30,000-square-foot Turf Club is being transformed into an English hunting club setting, with dark wood paneling, red booths and brown carpet with polished brass trim. The 15,000-square-foot Directors Wing, above the Turf Club, is being redecorated in blue and white with a powder-blue patterned carpet and light blue, white and gray wall coverings.

Among the regulars at the Turf Club, are Marvin Davis, Richard Pryor, Carole and Burt Bacharach, Walter Matthau, Jackie Collins, Tim Conway, John Forsythe, Jill St. John, Jack Klugman--and Merv.

Good news for preservationists, and timely--since the California Preservation Foundation is winding up its conference today at the Biltmore Hotel:

Sale of a 60-year-old, 5-acre villa in Silver Lake to a developer who might have razed it, has fallen through, and the property, designated a city landmark last October as a means of saving it for another six months, is for sale again.

Christie McAvoy, preservation officer for the Los Angeles Conservancy, said, “We’re real interested that it’s back on the market, and we’ll be looking to see if we can interest some people in preserving the buildings.”


The villa, at 1923 Micheltorena St., was built by silent-movie star Antonio Moreno. It is owned by the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, who operated a home there for wayward and homeless girls from the 1950s until the October, 1987 earthquake left cracks in the main building.

CITY COUNCILMAN MICHAEL WOO has said that the estate “probably has more potential for a sensitive, adaptive reuse than any property within a 5-mile radius of downtown.” It also has been termed ideal for an AIDS hospice.

Margaret Verguzco at Valley View Realty Inc. in San Fernando has the listing at $6.5 million but said, “There is an urgent need to sell, and the sisters are open to offers because they need to build a preschool in Sylmar for the poor living in the northeastern part of the San Fernando Valley.”