Bigger Home for 'Little Woman'

TIMES STAFF WRITER

WINONA RYDER, who played an action hero for the first time while co-starring with Sigourney Weaver in the recently released movie "Alien Resurrection," has purchased a Beverly Hills house for $2.5 million, sources say.

Ryder, 26, is a two-time Oscar nominee, in 1994 as best actress for her portrayal of Jo in the remake of "Little Women" and in 1993 as best supporting actress for her performance in Martin Scorsese's "The Age of Innocence."

She and Matt Damon, nominated for a best actor Oscar in "Good Will Hunting," have been dating, thanks to Ryder's matchmaking friend, actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who has been dating Damon's co-star and friend Ben Affleck, sources say.

Affleck and Damon are also up for a best screenplay Oscar for their movie, a best picture nominee, at the Academy Awards on Monday.

Ryder bought a house built in the 1930s with four bedrooms in nearly 4,000 square feet. The house, which has city-to-ocean views, had several offers the first day it was on the market. The asking price was $2.8 million.

Ryder still owns the nearby home where she was living. Built in the 1920s, the Spanish-style house has three bedrooms in 2,000 square feet.

The actress grew up living with her parents in a commune. Her godfather was countercultural philosopher Timothy Leary. But Ryder has said she wanted to be "like the other kids" and "live in a little house."

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JIMMY STEWART's longtime Beverly Hills home has been sold for just under $6 million, sources say. The seven-day, all-cash escrow closed Tuesday. The asking price had been $6.7 million.

The buyer is a Beverly Hills resident who recently sold his company to Mellon Bank and is a member of the New York Stock Exchange.

The buyer isn't sure yet what he will do with the Stewart property, which is on 1.3 acres, a sizable site for the neighborhood. The house was built in 1928. The Oscar-winning actor owned it for more than 40 years.

He and his wife, Gloria, bought the Country English-style home shortly after they were married in 1949. He died in July at 89; she died in 1994 at 75. Their estate sold the property.

The 6,300-square-foot house has five bedrooms, two staff bedrooms and a three-bedroom guest house, all behind walls and gates.

Don Robinson, Joseph LaPiana and Victoria Risko, all of Sotheby's International Realty in Beverly Hills, shared the listing.

Myra Nourmand of Nourmand & Associates, Beverly Hills, represented the buyer.

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BIJAN, the internationally known fashion and fragrance mogul, has purchased an Italian palazzo-style home on the Westside for about $6 million, sources say.

The house has a master suite with a sitting room and two baths plus four other family bedrooms and four staff rooms, all in about 12,600 square feet. There are also hand-carved ceilings, Portuguese tiles, high ceilings and a large courtyard with a fountain.

Built in 1929, the house is on an acre overlooking a golf course.

Raymond Bekeris of John Bruce Nelson & Associates and Melissa Schupp of John Aaroe & Associates, Brentwood, had the listing, and Schupp also represented Bijan, other sources say.

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Actress VICTORIA TENNANT, who co-starred with her then-husband actor Steve Martin in "L.A. Story" (1991), and her husband, Warner Bros. attorney Kirk Stambler, have purchased a Westside home for close to its $1.8-million asking price, sources say.

The couple, married in 1996, had been renting nearby, sources say.

Tennant, 44, wrote the script and produced the 1996 HBO movie "Edie and Pen." She played the mistress of Victor "Pug" Henry (Robert Mitchum) in the 1980s miniseries "The Winds of War" and its sequel "War and Remembrance." The British-born actress is the late Laurence Olivier's goddaughter.

The house that she and her husband purchased was built in the 1940s and has three bedrooms, a den and an office in 3,700 square feet, sources say. The two-story, country-traditional house also has a circular drive.

Natalie Janger and Judy Leach, both now with Dalton Brown & Long in Beverly Hills, represented both sides of the deal, other sources say.

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TONY ROBBINS, the motivational speaker and author of three bestsellers, and his wife, Becky, have listed their home, the Del-Mar Castle, for sale.

The couple "will entertain offers" in the range of $2.5 million to $3.4 million, Realtors say.

The home, which the couple has owned since 1987, was built in 1926 by architect Richard Requa, who designed many homes in the San Diego area but is probably best remembered for designing the 1935 Exposition site in Balboa Park.

Spanish Revival in style, the house resembles a castle and has massive, carved entry doors and 2-foot-thick walls. It has five bedrooms and six baths in 7,300 square feet, and sits on two acres.

The house had the first telephone in Del Mar with a number--No. 1, sources say--and during World War II, its rooms were rented out to relieve a local housing shortage.

Robbins, head of La Jolla-based Robbins Research International, is known for his best-selling motivational books "Unlimited Power" (1986), "Awaken the Giant Within" (1991) and "Personal Power" (1995). In seminars, he pioneered the idea of walking barefoot on hot coals, using positive thinking to avoid getting burned.

As an infomercial king in 1995, he agreed, while denying any wrongdoing, to pay franchisees more than $200,000 to settle FTC charges that he sold motivational seminar franchises based on inaccurate and incomplete financial information.

The same year, he settled out of court with several disgruntled franchisees. That was also the year that Robbins was summoned to Camp David, Md., for a consultation with President Clinton.

Robbins, in his late 30s, is a personal consultant to major corporations, and he is the founder of eight companies and a resort in Fiji.

The house is listed with Katie Ritto and Tricia O'Brien of the Prudential California Realty, Del Mar.

A 58-acre site has come on the market in Bel-Air at $13.9 million. "It could be developed into four estates or one," said David Crown, whose Gold Star Realty in Beverly Hills represents the property.

The owner is an investor who has owned the site for 25 years. "He does deals but not development," Crown said.

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