Longtime Friend Goes to Malibu


Actress Courteney Cox and her husband, actor David Arquette, have a new home in Malibu, purchased for about $10 million.

The beachfront retreat was not on the market, but it was sold by its original owners, who built the house in about 1980.

The house, designed by the late architect John Lautner, has three bedrooms in approximately 4,500 square feet. The home, described over the years as a work of art, also has exposed concrete, natural wood, frameless glass, gentle curves and skylights. The roof is in a curved shape. The house also has a pool.

Cox, who likes to buy and restore houses, bought a home in Brentwood for about $2 million in 1996, the same year that "Scream," the film in which she met Arquette, was released. The couple married in 1999.

Cox, 35, is in her seventh season on the hit TV series "Friends." She and the five other stars of the sitcom negotiated a salary of $750,000 each per episode plus more profit-sharing for the seventh and eighth seasons.

She also appeared in the movies "Scream 2" (1997), "Scream 3" (2000) and "3000 Miles to Graceland."

Arquette, 29, has been in a series of AT&T; commercials. He will appear in the upcoming Holocaust movie "The Grey Zone," co-starring Harvey Keitel and Mira Sorvino.


Attorney Leslie Abramson and her husband, L.A. Times staff writer Tim Rutten, have sold their Hancock Park home of eight years for about its $1.8-million asking price. The couple moved to a Craftsman-style home they bought in the San Gabriel Valley.

"We had been hankering on putting our arts-and-crafts furniture, which we've been collecting for 25 years, into an authentic Craftsman," the celebrated lawyer said, "and so we bought a more modest house with more character in arts-and-crafts land."

They also moved because she is "cutting down on her workload dramatically," she said, "and I can't stand the traffic in L.A."

They sold their Hancock Park house to director Sheldon Larry, whose many TV credits include the TV series "Boston Public."

The Hancock Park house has four bedrooms and four baths plus maid's quarters, a den and a library in just under 4,400 square feet. Built in 1926, the English manor-style house also has four fireplaces, leaded-glass windows, beamed ceilings and extensive use of mahogany and oak. The gated park-like grounds have fountains and waterfalls.

"I did nothing else but tend the garden," Abramson said. Her new 3,200-square-foot home has a yard big enough for vegetable and flower gardens, but it also has a pool, which was a prerequisite for her 7-year-old son.

Abramson was the first woman to win the Outstanding Trial Lawyer award of the Criminal Courts Bar Assn. in 1989, and she won the same award again in 1993. She also wrote "The Defense Is Ready" (Simon & Schuster, 1997).

Abramson, who is opposed to capital punishment, has helped several of her clients avoid the death penalty.

Among them Erik Menendez, sentenced, with his brother Lyle, to life in prison with no possibility of parole for the 1989 slaying of their parents; and Jeremy Strohmeyer, given the same sentence for the assault and murder of a 7-year-old girl in Nevada. The sentence was handed down in 1998 before a trial.

Gary Johns of Prudential John Aaroe, Pacific Design Center, had the listing on the Hancock Park home. Sue Carr and Janet Loveland of Coldwell Banker, Hancock Park, represented Sheldon Larry. Doug Drummond of Coldwell Banker, La Canada-Flintridge, represented Abramson and Rutten in buying.


Stand-up comic Stephanie Miller, who hosted a syndicated radio show over KABC-AM (790) in Los Angeles until last year when she moved to New York, has listed her Hollywood Hills home at $1 million.

Miller, who hosts the Oxygen Network's daily show "Pure Oxygen" and the network's game show "I've Got a Secret," already bought a newly built, 5,300-square-foot house on eight acres with a pond for $1.4 million in Teatown, in Westchester County, 30 miles north of New York City.

Her Hollywood Hills home has three bedrooms, including a master suite with a spa, and an office in 3,800 square feet. The 1.7-acre property also has a pool and a sauna.

Kathy Fisher at Coldwell Banker Previews, Brentwood East, has the listing.

Kevin Wendle, chief executive of the struggling online venture Ifilm, has sold a Bel-Air home, which he bought as an investment a year ago, for about $7 million.

The house has five bedrooms in 4,700 square feet. Wendle bought it for $3.75 million.

He also has his other Bel-Air home on the market at just under $20 million. The two-house compound is on 2.3 acres and has city views.

Wendle, 42, is a former Fox-TV producer and founder of the San Francisco-based Internet technology and services company CNet. He put an estimated $10 million to $12 million of his personal fortune into Ifilm, which reportedly lost $17.5 million for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30. Even so, Ifilm is one of the few surviving Internet short-film and cartoon sites.

Valerie Fitzgerald of Coldwell Banker Previews, Beverly Hills, represented the buyer; Jeff Kohl of Prudential-John Aaroe Co., Beverly Hills, represented Wendle in his sale and has the listing.


The Robson Chambers House, designed by architect Albert Frey and built in 1947, has come on the market in Palm Springs at $525,000.

The Swiss-born Frey, one of the leading California Modernists of his generation, designed the Palm Springs city hall and the tramway gas station as well as many homes in Palm Springs, where he lived from 1934 until he died at 95 in 1998.

Frey designed the three-bedroom, 1,757-square-foot Robson Chambers House, with walls of glass looking out to the pool, for a partner in his firm.

Gary Lacy, who owns a West Hollywood hair studio, bought the house in foreclosure as an investment about three years ago.

"I had no idea it was an Albert Frey, but when I heard that it was, I wrote to him," Lacy said. Frey confirmed that he was the architect and dropped off the blueprints at the house the day he died, Lacy recalled.

"I started the restoration, but it will take more money than I have, so I put it on the market hoping to get somebody who can restore it right."

Robert Parker at Fred Sands Desert Realty, Palm Springs, has the listing.


Want to see previous columns on celebrity real estate transactions? Visit http://www.latimes.com/hotproperty for more Hot Properties.

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