Putting his castle on ice

Times Staff Writer

Olympic ice-skating champion Scott Hamilton, who will star in two NBC specials later this year, has listed his home on Lake Sherwood at $3.75 million.

The asking price includes a small party boat and furnishings by Princeton, N.J.-based architect Michael Graves, who renovated the home. It is in the gated Sherwood Country Club community in the Thousand Oaks area.

For the record:
12:00 AM, Jul. 04, 2003 For The Record
Los Angeles Times Friday July 04, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 54 words Type of Material: Correction
Maranz home -- A story in Sunday’s Real Estate section misspelled the name of Tastee-Freez co-creator Leo Maranz as Moranz. The same story said that Maranz’s Rancho Mirage home was built for Robert Marx, son of Gummo Marx of the Marx Brothers comedy team, when in fact the home was built by Robert Marx.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday July 06, 2003 Home Edition Real Estate Part K Page 3 Features Desk 1 inches; 55 words Type of Material: Correction
Maranz home -- A story in the June 29 Real Estate section misspelled the name of Tastee-Freez co-creator Leo Maranz as Moranz. The same story said Maranz’s Rancho Mirage home was built for Robert Marx, son of Gummo Marx of the Marx Brothers comedy team, when in fact the home was built by Robert Marx.

Hamilton decided to sell the three-bedroom, nearly 4,500-square-foot house because he and his wife, Tracie, plan to move into a more traditional home before the birth of their first child in September. They were married last year.

Their Lake Sherwood house, built on several levels with a master suite on the top floor and an observation deck on the roof, would work for an older child, he said, “but for a toddler, it would be a little rough because of the stairs.”


The 1984 Olympic gold medalist, who will produce the 18th season of “Stars on Ice” in the fall, has owned his former bachelor pad for four years. Hamilton spotted the property, his second home, while playing in a golf tournament at Sherwood Country Club. His primary residence is in Denver.

The Lake Sherwood house, built in 1921, was “pretty much torn down to its foundation and its chimney” at one point, Hamilton said. He bought the house after it had been rebuilt, but its design didn’t make sense to him. So he added a tower, with a commercial elevator and a spiral stairway, and enlisted the help of Graves, who worked on the whole house.

“I lucked out with this house,” Hamilton said. “It’s on the best spot on the lake and has spectacular views.”

With completion of the remodel, Hamilton calls his house “absolutely phenomenal.”


“The idea of selling it breaks my heart, but it’s the best thing for us to do.”

Hamilton, 44, founded the U.S. touring show of “Stars on Ice” in 1986 and headlined it for 16 seasons, through his farewell full-time tour in 2001. Last year, he skated in 14 of 60 performances and said he hopes to appear in more this year.

Hamilton, who is a testicular cancer survivor, recently

launched a Web site called, which answers questions about chemotherapy. “It’s a one-stop resource center,” he said.

Kevin Lehman of Prudential California Realty, Thousand Oaks, has the listing.

Britney bids Hollywood adieu

Britney Spears has sold her Hollywood Hills home for close to its $3.9-million asking price, Westside sources said.


The 21-year-old pop star, who scored with “Oops! ... I Did It Again” in 2000, is living in New York at the moment. She had owned the Hollywood Hills home since January 2001. Her family home is in Louisiana.

The Mediterranean-style house has five bedrooms in about 6,400 square feet. It was built in the late 1990s and has city views, a great room, a pool and a guesthouse. The master suite has a sitting room and a fireplace.

Spears added some landscaping and a fountain while living in the house. The home is reached by way of a long, private drive.

Stephen Resnick of Westside Estate Agency, Beverly Hills, had the listing, area sources said.

House-hunting tale ends happily

Meg Bennett, executive story editor and writer for “The Bold and the Beautiful,” and Robert Guza Jr., head writer for “General Hospital,” have purchased a Beverly Hills-area home that was owned in the 1940s by actor Gregory Peck, who died June 12.

“My first screen test was for ‘Dove,’ a film Mr. Peck was producing, so to own a home that was once his is really a thrill,” said Bennett, who was an actress before she became a writer.

The six-bedroom, 6.5-bathroom house, which the writers bought for about $2.8 million, was also once the home of actor Boris Karloff, who added stairs leading into a canyon and left a swing set that he built, Bennett said. She and Guza bought the property for its access to hiking trails.


“This is the first house we have owned together,” she said. “We were writing partners, and we fell in love. It’s not his first house, but it is mine, and it’s my dream house.”

She described the remodeled house as having lots of windows and light despite its many nooks and crannies, including a secret passageway. The gated house has a great room, walls of glass and canyon-to-ocean views. The master suite has a steam shower. The home, estimated to be 6,000 square feet, sits on nearly an acre with a pool and rolling lawns.

Both writers were nominated for Daytime Emmys this year, and Guza won.

Gary Johns of Prudential California-John Aaroe at the Pacific Design Center represented the buyers. Jana Jones-Duffy and Fred Holley of Coldwell Banker, Beverly Hills, had the listing.

Mountain home, soaring pedigree

Hilltop, a Lake Arrowhead home built in 1927, has come on the market at just under $13.3 million.

Dr. Jules Stein, the ophthalmologist who created a billion-dollar entertainment empire through MCA Inc. and its subsidiary, Universal Pictures, owned the waterfront compound for many years. Stein, who died at 85 in 1981, entertained many Hollywood luminaries at the 3.85-acre estate.

Jeff and Susan Elghanayan of Laguna Beach are the sellers. Jeff Elghanayan spent three years restoring the compound, which includes a main house, a gatehouse, a caretaker’s quarters, a multipurpose building and five accessory buildings. Among its features are 10 bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, a great room, a family room, a formal dining room, a library, a chef’s kitchen with its original Wedgewood stove, a chess room, a music room and a tennis court.

There is a classic car and motorcycle restoration and display area. The home also has a kennel, a beach, a half-acre of lawn and several boat docks.

David and Mary Vail of Re/Max, Lake Arrowhead, have the listing.

Brits have a short stay on Sunset

Chris Evans, a British DJ and TV host who became a media mogul, and his young pop-star wife, Billie Piper, have sold their Sunset Strip-area home to motivational speaker Grant Cardone for about $7.4 million.

Evans and Piper bought the house last year and spent only about six weeks in it. They returned to London, where he planned to work in TV and she expected to appear in movies, real estate agents said.

The couple had purchased the house for about $7.2 million. The one-story, 6,000-square-foot villa has five bedrooms, six bathrooms and city-to-ocean views. The home, built in 1979, also has a guesthouse, a tennis court and a pool. Lionel Richie owned the estate in the 1990s.

Piper, 20, recorded the hit “Because We Want To” when she was 16.

Evans, 37, sold his Ginger Media Group in 2000 for about $320 million. He bought out Richard Branson’s Virgin Radio in 1997, but one of Branson’s venture capital companies retained a 20% stake in Evans’ Ginger Media. Evans was the majority owner with a stake of more than 50% when he sold.

In addition to being a speaker, the La Jolla-based Cardone is a real estate investor.

Gordon MacGeachy of Hilton & Hyland, Beverly Hills, represented Evans and Piper in selling, and Bill Parks and Mimi Starrett of DBL, Beverly Hills, represented the buyer.

Desert house that ice cream built

In 1960, Tastee-Freez co-creator Leo Moranz and his wife, Esther, built a Rancho Mirage home. It’s now on the market at just under $1.5 million, furnished.

The estate, with a three-bedroom main house and two-bedroom guesthouse, was designed by Val Powelson for Robert Marx, son of Gummo Marx of the Marx Brothers comedy team.

The desert home, with its three-pointed roofline and I-beam construction, is an example of mid-century Modernism. The house is on the cover of the 2001 coffee-table book “Palm Springs Weekend” (Chronicle Books) by Andrew Danish and Alan Hess.

Andy Linsky, a local Realtor, has owned the home since last summer. Demolition of a neighboring house designed by Richard Neutra prompted Linsky to buy the Moranz house, which he restored with the help of original plans and Wright Design.

The 4,700-square-foot house, on half an acre with a pool and mountain views above a Tamarisk Country Club fairway, is listed with Linsky at Windermere Real Estate, Palm Springs.

To see previous columns on celebrity transactions visit