Actress will grace the Westside

Times Staff Writer

Emmy nominee Debra Messing has purchased actress Renee Zellweger’s Westside home for close to $7.5 million.

Zellweger, who is preparing to co-star in a sequel to “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” bought the house last summer and then did some interior updating.

The traditional-style house was designed by architect Paul R. Williams and built in the 1930s. It is walled and gated and has seven bedrooms in 6,400 square feet. The home also has a state-of-the-art kitchen, a paneled library, a guesthouse, a pool, a pool house and beautiful gardens.


Zellweger is planning to move to the East Coast and has purchased a house in the Hamptons, sources said.

Messing, 34, co-stars on the NBC sitcom “Will & Grace.” She recently signed to voice the role of Arlene opposite Bill Murray in the upcoming “Garfield” movie. She starts work this month as a co-star with Dermot Mulroney in the comedy film “Something Borrowed.” She also co-stars with Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston in an untitled John Hamberg project, which recently completed production. Last year, she appeared in Woody Allen’s film “Hollywood Ending.”

Zellweger, 34, was nominated for a best-actress Oscar as Roxie Hart in the 2002 movie “Chicago.” She starred opposite Ewan McGregor in “Down With Love,” released in May. Zellweger first gained widespread notice when she was cast opposite Tom Cruise in the 1996 romantic comedy film “Jerry Maguire.”

The country road leads to Nashville

Pop star LeAnn Rimes has sold her gated compound in the hills of West Los Angeles for close to its asking price of $2.5 million.

The Grammy Award-winning singer, 20, and her dancer-writer husband, Dean Sheremet, have moved to Nashville. They listed the home, purchased in 2000, in late May.

Their four-bedroom L.A. home has a 3,400-square-foot main house and a 1,500-square-foot guesthouse/studio/media room. The home, on slightly more than an acre, also has a pool with a spa.


Rimes’ latest album, “Twisted Angel,” is a combination of pop and rock with a hint of country. Rimes co-wrote four of the songs and was executive producer of the album.

Richard Stearns and Steven Moritz of Coldwell Banker, Brentwood, had the listing, sources said.

A furious pace to Venice Beach

Rob Cohen, director of such Vin Diesel movie hits as “XXX” and “The Fast and the Furious,” has put his Tuscan-style villa in the Hollywood Hills on the market at a little less than $2.6 million.

He is selling his home of 14 years because he moved recently to Venice to be closer to his work and play. He is working on the film “Stealth” at Sony Pictures in Culver City, and his new love in life is surfing.

The 4,400-square-foot home he is selling, in Outpost Estates, has head-on city views, tropical and Zen gardens, and a swimming pool. The remodeled home, built in 1941, also has four bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, a family room, den, office and master suite with a sitting room, two bathrooms and a viewing deck.

Cohen graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1971.

Neal Baddin of Coldwell Banker Previews, Sunset, has the listing.

‘Beyond Borders’ of Studio City

Teri Polo, who played Ben Stiller’s bride-to-be in the 2000 movie “Meet the Parents” and co-stars with Angelina Jolie in the upcoming film “Beyond Borders,” and her husband, photographer Tony Moore, have sold their home in Studio City for about its $699,000 asking price.

The house has three bedrooms in 1,765 square feet. It also has a pool and a spa.

Polo, who will star in a new ABC sitcom this fall called “I’m With Her,” and Moore moved farther west to a larger home, which they had purchased earlier this year for close to its $1,225,000 asking price.

The house they bought has five bedrooms in 3,800 square feet.

The sprawling, Spanish-style ranch house, on half an acre, also has a pool.

Polo, 33, and Moore purchased their new home from TV director Christopher Leitch, who is moving with his wife and children to Montreal, sources said.

“I’m With Her” is loosely based on TV writer Chris Henchy’s relationship with his wife, Brooke Shields.

Kathrin Nicholson of Westside Estate Agency, Beverly Hills, represented Polo and Moore in selling; June Davies of Hilton & Hyland, Beverly Hills, represented the buyers. Nicholson also represented Polo and Moore in buying; Ron Viola had that listing at Coldwell Banker, Sherman Oaks.

Al Jolson home for sale, not for a song

A Beverly Hills-area home once owned by the late crooner Al Jolson is on the market at $4.5 million.

The remodeled house was built in the 1930s. A secluded drive leads to the Southern Colonial compound with a main residence and two guesthouses.

The five-bedroom home, on slightly more than an acre with views from downtown to the ocean, is listed with Jeff Hyland at Hilton & Hyland, Beverly Hills.

To see previous columns on celebrity transactions visit