Home is so nice actor buys it twice

Times Staff Writer

Michael Gross, who stars as a survivalist in the upcoming TV series “Tremors” and played the liberal husband and father in the long-running NBC sitcom “Family Ties,” and his wife, Elza, have bought back a La Canada Flintridge home they first purchased in 1990 and sold in 1996.

“My wife always mourned selling the house, which was built around a 300-year-old oak tree,” Gross said by phone while on a train to Mexico, where he is shooting “Tremors: The Series,” to debut March 28 on the Sci Fi Channel. He also stars in his fourth “Tremors” feature film, starting pre-production Tuesday.

The actor and his wife paid slightly under $1.6 million for the five-bedroom house, which they originally bought in 1990 for about $1 million.


“It’s in a good school district, it’s private but is close to a boulevard, and my wife’s mother can walk to many places: major markets, the cleaners, the drugstore,” he said. His mother-in-law, whom he described as being “more than 90 but less than 100,” had been living with the couple in adjoining Pasadena condos, which they sold when they repurchased in La Canada.

“A blended family is not a problem for us,” the actor, 55, said. “I grew up in Chicago, and there were several generations in one house. My own grandmother lived with us for 11 years.”

He and his wife sold their La Canada home in 1996 to buy in New York so he could do more theater. (He subsequently co-starred on Broadway in “Macbeth.”) The couple still has an apartment in Greenwich Village and a house in New Mexico, which they also bought after “Family Ties” (1982-89).

“We have homes now in three time zones,” he said.

The La Canada home, built in the 1950s, wasn’t on the market when he and his wife repurchased it. “The people who bought it from us in ’96 approached my son and said if we wanted it back, they’d make us a good deal,” the actor said.

In some ways, the house is better than when they first bought it. The 4,000-plus-square-foot house has a new, separate wing with its own entrance. The former owners also built an outdoor kitchen with refrigerators and counter space.

One thing that needs to be changed, however, is the decor, which dates back to when he and his wife bought the house in 1990. “The colors and the style have completely changed, and we aren’t the same people we were 13 years ago,” he said. “It’s fun re-energizing it.


“You can go home again,” he said, “but in certain cases, you must redecorate.”

Shades of ‘Dallas’

on a small ranch

Jenilee Harrison, who played Jamie Ewing Barnes on “Dallas” and Cindy Snow on “Three’s Company,” and her husband, chiropractor-to-the-stars Bruce Oppenheim, have sold their Tarzana home for close to its $2.9-million asking price, area sources said.

The couple then purchased a small ranch in Agoura Hills for $870,000 and a house in the Sherman Oaks foothills for $725,000.

The Tarzana home was once part of a working ranch of 30 acres but is now on 1 acre. The compound includes a 1902 main house with four bedrooms in 5,200 square feet, a guesthouse of about 1,200 square feet and a guest quarters/office of 420 square feet.

Harrison and Oppenheim had owned the gated estate for eight years.

The couple’s new home in Agoura Hills is undergoing renovations to make it “horse and dog ready,” they said. They plan to use the Sherman Oaks house as a pied-a-terre.

Harrison, who recently appeared in “That ‘70s Show,” is doing some TV producing for the fall season.

Rosalie Simon-Friedman of Re/Max on the Boulevard, Encino, represented the buyers of the Tarzana property; Leland Properties in Studio City represented the sellers in their sale and purchases.


New production

for a Goldwyn

Producer John Goldwyn, grandson of industry pioneer Samuel Goldwyn and son of independent producer/distributor Samuel Goldwyn Jr., has purchased a Windsor Square house for about $2.6 million.

The five-bedroom 4,200-square-foot house, built in 1924, was just refurbished by designer Brian Little. The home has 5.5 marble and limestone bathrooms; a library/media room; a guesthouse with a fireplace; a motor court, a pool and a spa.

Goldwyn, also a brother of actor-director Tony Goldwyn, became president, motion pictures, at Paramount Studios in the late 1990s. Earlier in his career, he was executive producer of “Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment” (1985), and he shepherded such hits as “Moonstruck” (1987) and “A Fish Called Wanda” (1988).

Timothy Enright of the Enright Co. had the listing and was the seller; Lisa Hutchins of Coldwell Banker, Hancock Park, represented Goldwyn, sources said.

First-time listing

of a Neutra house

The Henry Singleton House, designed by architect Richard Neutra, has come on the market for the first time at $7 million.

The Bel-Air home was built in 1959 for Singleton, the pioneering co-founder of Teledyne Inc., leader of the Los Angeles-based conglomerate for more than 30 years and one of the nation’s leading corporate-merger whizzes from the 1960s through the ‘80s.


Singleton died in 1999, leaving his wife of 57 years, Caroline, five children and four grandchildren. Neutra died in 1970.

The Neutra-designed house is still owned by the Singleton family. The home, overlooking Stone Canyon Reservoir, has six bedrooms and five bathrooms plus maid’s quarters. There is a two-bedroom guesthouse/studio on the 5.2-acre property.

The home, which has park- like grounds, is one of the modernist architect’s later designs, using large expanses of seemingly seamless glass-window walls to blur the lines between interiors and exteriors.

Simple post-and-beam construction and flat roofs are other distinguishing characteristics of Neutra houses. Crosby Doe of Mossler, Deasy & Doe, Beverly Hills, has the listing.

Laguna estate has a presidential link

The Moss Point Estate in Laguna Beach has been listed at $15 million.

The oceanfront home, a combination of Craftsman and Cape Cod styles, was built in 1917 by Col. Henry House, an associate of President Wilson, who visited the estate while touring the West in 1919, seeking support for the League of Nations. At times the estate has been called the Woodrow Wilson House in honor of the president.

In the 1970s, the house was threatened with demolition by developers who wanted to build condos on the site, but the house was purchased and restored by the Andrew Morthland family, who lived next door. Now the family has put the house on the market.


The house, on a private half-acre promontory, has direct beach access, and there are views of the ocean from almost every room. The 4,000-square-foot home has seven bedrooms, a library, nearly five bathrooms, a den/staff quarters, and a living room with a fireplace.

George Pagano and Anthony Cupo of Prudential California Realty, Monarch Beach, have the listing.

Moving closer

to her cookies

Australia-born Rosemary Walker, a former punk rocker who is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Mrs. Fields and Famous Amos, has sold her Sherman Oaks home for $395,000.

Walker moved from her three-bedroom 1,300-square-foot house, built in 1932, to an apartment closer to her Deluscious Cookies & Milk.

Walker, who won the hearts and stomachs of such stars as Val Kilmer and Fred Durst after setting up a cookie window in a liquor store near Hollywood’s Viper Room, has joined with investment banker David Schachter to promote her cookies. The two have opened a 5,000-square-foot facility in Hollywood, where Walker’s cookies are available by special order.

Paul Bilski and Alexandra DeGraeve of Re/Max on the Boulevard, Sherman Oaks, had the listing on Walker’s Sherman Oaks home.