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Duo Cooks Up $500K Remodel

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Sportscaster JIM LAMPLEY and his wife, KCBS-TV anchor BREE WALKER, have just completed a $500,000 renovation of their Monterey Colonial-style home, built in 1923, in the Hollywood Hills.

Lampley is an NBC Sports broadcaster for golf, pro-football and NBA basketball. He is an HBO sportscaster for Wimbledon tennis tournaments and world championship boxing. He hosts a morning show on KMPC, all-sports radio. And he has been reported to be replacing Bob Costas in the fall as anchor of NBC’s “NFL Live.”

Walker anchors the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Channel 2 newscasts.

“Dinner is the time we have together, with ourselves and the kids,” he said, referring to their infant son and her 4-year-old daughter from a previous marriage. “Now Bree and I spend more time in the kitchen than anywhere else.”

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The kitchen is just one of the many rooms they have refurbished since buying the Paul Williams-designed house for $915,000 in 1989.

“The house was in great shape, but it is 70 years old, and neither of us appreciated what a continuing project it would be,” he said, chuckling. “Once you let contractors into your house, they become a way of life.”

The renovation began when the Lampleys decided to replace a couple of tiles on the back porch. “But then we decided that what we really needed was a new back porch, and a new porch didn’t make sense unless we made the foundation stronger. . . . With a stronger foundation, it was time for a new roof.” Then came new rain gutters in copper to match the new roof tiles.

“When our baby son was born, that required us to carve two new rooms and baths out of the upstairs for the kids, and then, of course, we needed a new master bath, and that led to a new kitchen.”

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The nearly 4,000-square-foot home now has three bedrooms and an apartment, “for the legions who come to help Bree and me out,” he said. But, he adds proudly, “I’m the cook.” He makes dinner so it will be ready when his wife gets home between newscasts.

There was a rumor while they were still working on their infant’s room that the Lampleys were parting ways, he recalled, “but we just laughed, thinking that if we could survive the renovation process for six months to a year, we could survive anything.”

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Two former homes of the late ORSON WELLES--whose radio broadcast about a Martian invasion panicked the nation in 1938 and who starred, wrote and produced the 1941 film classic “Citizen Kane"--are on the market.

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The Hollywood home where he died in 1985 is listed at $750,000. The Southern Colonial-style house, which he owned for about eight years, was owned earlier by actress Sandra Dee. Built in 1921, the gated and walled home has a 3,500-square-foot main house and two guest houses.

“Everything was dark purple with flocked wallpaper when he owned it,” said listing broker Tim Enright. The current owners, an entertainment lawyer and his wife who bought the home from Welles’ estate, stripped the wallpaper while refurbishing.

Welles’ other home, in a guard-gated Las Vegas community, is now the residence of his daughter, Beatrice.

Welles and Beatrice’s mother, the late Italian actress Paola Mori, bought the home in 1978. It has five bedrooms, a butler’s pantry and library in 3,800 square feet. It’s listed at $319,000 with Debra Duke of Americana Group Realtors/Better Homes & Garden in Las Vegas.

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Irish tenor JOE FEENEY--who will appear in March in a PBS tribute to bandleader Lawrence Welk, who died last May--has purchased a condo in the Palm Springs area for $42,000, including a golf club membership.

Feeney, lead male vocalist for years on the weekly Lawrence Welk TV show and a dedicated 16-handicapper, has said that he was pleasantly surprised to be able to buy a condo on a golf course close to Palm Springs at a price “not seen since the Welk show’s early days.”

(The Welk show started on TV in the mid-1950s and aired every Saturday night for 27 years, becoming the longest-running prime-time musical program in television history.)

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Feeney, who is also co-owner of a $1.5-million house in Simi Valley, was represented by Tom Hile of Eldridge Realty of Desert Hot Springs, who also represented the seller. Feeney’s condo is in a development known as the Mission Lakes Country Club.

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A Bel-Air home formerly owned by actress MARILU HENNER, who was a regular in the TV series “Taxi” and appears now in the CBS sitcom “Evening Shade” with Burt Reynolds, is on the market at $1.9 million.

The current owners bought the home from Henner for $1.4 million four years ago and put $1 million into it. The house has been on the market for three weeks and already has been reduced from $2.2 million. The three-bedroom home plus guest house and waterfall is listed with Cecelia Waeschle and Joyce Rey of Rodeo Realty

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