Making More Room for Baby


ANN JILLIAN, who co-starred last month in the ABC movie “Mario and the Mob,” and her husband-manager, Andy Murcia, have just completed the second phase of a remodel that they started on their Sherman Oaks home seven years ago.

Jillian won Emmy nominations in 1988 for playing herself in “The Ann Jillian Story,” about her 1985 ordeal with breast cancer and a double mastectomy, in 1985 for her part in “Ellis Island” and in 1982 for her starring role in “Mae West.”

But Jillian has more on her mind these days than her career and her remodel.


“This is my biggest production,” Jillian, 41, said by phone a few days ago about her first child, Andrew Joseph Murcia, who was born in February. “I’m not going to do much (professionally) for awhile, because I want to be around the little guy.”

Much of the recent remodeling of their 50-year-old home was done in anticipation of the baby, born after the couple had been married 15 years. “Neither Andy nor I was expecting to be expecting, and when we did, it was such a surprise,” she said.

When they learned that she was pregnant, they already had turned the garage of their home into a rehearsal hall, where Jillian could practice her musical act, which she occasionally takes on the road.

The 5,200-square-foot home, which they’ve owned for 10 years, also has a guest house and is on a bit more than an acre.

“We decided we needed more room with the baby coming,” she said. “So, we pushed the (main) house out 32 feet and built some high ceilings with lots of windows. We added an intercom system with video monitors to watch his crib, and we built a custom closet for him. This child got so many gifts . . . everything from Texas boots to Arizona moccasins.”

They also refurbished a bath, installing what her husband, who weighs 270 pounds, described as “a sexy shower for a fat guy, with spigots all over, so it’s three times around and you’re finished.”


And they added a long hallway to serve as an art gallery to display Jillian’s drawings. “I like to do portrait work in pencil and pen,” she said. “I started drawing to keep myself occupied when he (Murcia) was a police sergeant (in Chicago).”

In all, they estimate that their remodeling has cost them $500,000. “If you can’t spend money on your home, which gives your heart a smile, you can’t spend it anywhere,” Jillian said.

The Beverly Hills home where actress MARLENE DIETRICH lived with her daughter for about a decade during World War II is back on the market at $3.2 million, says listing agent Karen Ogron of Gilleran Griffin Co.

The owner, described as a Florida businessman, acquired the property last month in a transaction involving a real estate trade, other sources said.

When Dietrich died May 6, fans left flowers and cards in her memory at the house, Ogron said. Actress Rita Hayward also lived in the home for awhile, and her ballet bar and dance studio are still there.

Built in 1928, the five-bedroom, 8,500-square-foot home has an 800-square-foot living room and 55-foot-long pool.

A newly built Beverly Hills house has been put on the market at $32 million.

The 25,000-square-foot-plus house has 25-foot-tall entry gates, a 40-foot-high rotunda, an elevator, 14 bedrooms, a projection room, gym, cantilevered tennis court, dove aviary, waterfalls, streams and more than 200 fruit trees, all on five acres.

The home was built by Tullie Deutch, the “D” of the former C-D Investments, which built the Beaudry Center and some other commercial buildings in Los Angeles.

Bruce Nelson of John Bruce Nelson Associates has the listing.

Producer LAURA ZISKIN (“Pretty Woman,” “What About Bob?”) and screenwriter Alvin Sargent (“Ordinary People,” “Julia,” “Paper Moon”), have purchased a vacation home in Montecito for about $1 million, sources say.

Built about 1978, the five-bedroom contemporary is on a secluded acre near the San Ysidro Ranch. The couple also has a home in the Pacific Palisades area.

They were represented in their purchase by Margo T. Kenney of Fred Sands’ Montecito office.

GENE KIRKWOOD, who was a producer of “The Idolmaker” (1980) and Oscar-winning “Rocky” (1976), has leased an estate in the Beverly Hills Post Office area for two years at close to the $9,000-a-month asking price, said Paul Czako, who handled both sides of the deal with Elaine Young, both of Alvarez, Hyland & Young.

Kirkwood, who leased a home for years that was owned by actress Yvette Mimieux, just returned from Cannes, where he was promoting his new film “Night and the City,” starring Jessica Lange and Robert De Niro, which is due to be released in the fall.

Kirkwood plans to put $30,000 into the home, adding new gates, a steam shower and a sauna, Czako said. The estate, which has a 3,000-square-foot main house and a 1,500-square-foot guest lodge with a caterer’s kitchen, was built in the 1950s and is owned by an interior designer.

In the May 17 “Hot Property” column, we reported that actress Geena Davis had bought a Hollywood Hills home and was expected to live there. We have since been told my her lawyer that the house was purchased as an investment and she does not plan to live there.