She'll be waking up in Malibu now

Times Staff Writer

Charlize Theron, who stars as a Florida serial killer in the upcoming independent film "Monster" and then will star opposite Geoffrey Rush in an HBO Films project about the late actor Peter Sellers, has purchased a beachfront Malibu home.

The actress paid close to $3.4 million, according to a real estate mailer and area residents.

Theron purchased a three-bedroom, more than 2,000-square-foot home, which was built in 1930 but recently remodeled. The house, with 40 feet of beachfront, also has a large deck.

The model-turned-actress, 27, was born and raised in South Africa. She appeared in "The Cider House Rules" (1999) and co-starred with Ben Affleck in "Reindeer Games" (2000). The same year she starred with Matt Damon and Will Smith in Robert Redford's "The Legend of Bagger Vance."

In 2002, she co-starred with Billy Bob Thornton in the comedy "Waking Up in Reno" and co-starred with Kevin Bacon in the drama "Trapped."

"Monster" is due out in November. The HBO film, in which she plays one of Peter Sellers' wives, Swedish actress and former James Bond girl Britt Ekland, is expected to be filmed in London soon.

Country-English is no longer her style

Rachel Hunter, the New Zealand-born model-actress who posed for the "Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2003 DVD" and is a pundit on the ABC-TV talent show "Are You Hot? The Search for America's Sexiest People," has sold her Beverly Hills-area home on 1.2 acres of park-like grounds for slightly less than its $2.95-million asking price.

Hunter, 33, had owned the house since she separated from rock star Rod Stewart in 1999 after eight years of marriage. The Country English-style home was formerly owned by actor Shadoe Stevens and leased by Roseanne.

The house, reached by way of a long driveway behind gates, has four bedroom suites and a maid's quarters in 4,500 square feet. Built in the '50s and later renovated, the house opens onto a pool and a tennis court.

Hunter reportedly moved into a nearby $2.4-million home with seven bedrooms, a gym, a spa and a sports court.

Anthony Marguleas of A.M. Realty represented the buyer, a businesswoman. Asher Dann and Tatiana Moleva-Rouchon of Coldwell Banker, Beverly Hills, had the listing, sources said.

Tinker's Bel-Air homestead for sale

TV icon Grant Tinker's Bel-Air home of 14 years has come on the market at $9.9 million. The industry legend plans to stay in the L.A. area.

Built in 1980 on 1.5 acres bordering the Bel-Air Country Club, the Mediterranean-style home has five bedrooms and nine bathrooms in 7,800 square feet. A gated driveway leads to motor-court parking and the house, which has a two-story entry with a skylight and stone floors.

The master suite has a fireplace, large walk-in closets and his and hers bathrooms. There is a separate guest studio. The home also has a large pool and a north/south tennis court.

Tinker's career in TV spans more than 30 years, during which time he had a number of positions in network programming and production. During the '70s and '80s, he was president and co-founder with his then-wife, actress Mary Tyler Moore, of MTM Enterprises, which first produced "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and later other shows such as "Lou Grant" and "St. Elsewhere."

Tinker has been described on many occasions as "the man who saved NBC" when he was the network's chairman and chief executive officer from 1981 to 1986. Throughout his career he was associated with quality programming. During the '80s, he became an independent producer.

Brooke Knapp and Drew Mandile of Sotheby's International Realty, Beverly Hills, have the listing.

Leaving London for the Strip

British actor Rufus Sewell, who played the villain in such movies as "Bless the Child" (2000) and "Knight's Tale" (2001), and his wife, Amy, have leased the former Sunset Strip home of the late actor Rock Hudson for $4,800 a month, including furnishings.

The Sewells and their son, Billy, plan to live in the home for at least six months. Built in 1949, the 1,330-square-foot house has two bedrooms, one bathroom, a large office and a fireplace. On a gated knoll with canyon views, the one-story home also has a Zen garden.

The couple put their two-story, loft-style home in north London on the market in December for about $1.4 million, according to the London Sunday Times. At the time they were looking for a more child-friendly home. The actor had purchased the house six years ago, and he added a roof garden, home cinema and designer kitchen.

Sewell, 35, also played Ian, the TV commercial director, in the Austrian Alps thriller "Extreme Ops" (2002), and he portrayed Will Ladislaw in the BBC adaptation of "Middlemarch" (1994).

Among his many movies were "Dangerous Beauty" (1997) and Kenneth Branagh's "Hamlet" (1996), in which Sewell played Fortinbras. He made his U.S. stage debut in the 1995 Broadway production of "Translations" and has acted many times on the British stage.

Jeffrey Hobgood of Sotheby's International Realty, Beverly Hills, represented the tenants; Patricia Hodson of DBL Realtors and Michelle Ficarra of Prudential California-John Aaroe, Beverly Hills, had the listing.

A Venice loft for Lord of the Elves

New Zealand actor Marton Csokas, who played Celeborn, Lord of the Elves in "Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" (2001) and appeared in the action-spy thriller "XXX" with Vin Diesel (2002), has purchased a Venice loft for $625,000.

From the mid-'90s until 2001, Csokas had a recurring role on the hit TV show "Xena: Warrior Princess." The role of a handsome and muscular seducer won him a cult following.

The more than 1,600-square-foot loft, built in 2000, has polished concrete floors, exposed cinder-block walls and a large skylight. The upper level has an office with a bridge leading to the master bedroom and its balcony, bathroom and walk-in closet. The loft also has a fireplace and a patio. William Adams designed the loft, built by Richard Ehrman.

Csokas, 36, was also cast in the movie "Timeline," based on the Michael Crichton novel. The film is due out this summer.

Jack Hoffmann of Venice Properties had the listing, and Monique Oliver, of the same firm, represented Csokas in the deal, sources said.

Ferrare chooses the high-rise life

Cristina Ferrare, a model-turned-actress/TV personality and jeweler, and her husband, former entertainment executive Tony Thomopoulos, have purchased a high-rise home on the Wilshire Corridor and listed their Bel-Air home at just under $6.6 million.

The couple has owned the six-bedroom, 7,500-plus-square-foot home in Bel-Air for 16 years. The English Tudor, built in 1937, has had such former celebrity owners as Betty Grable, Stephen Stills, Jaclyn Smith and Dr. Irene Kassorla.

The house was remodeled in 1997. The dining room was extended by 8 feet, and the kitchen was updated. The house also has a home theater, wet bar, guest retreat, library, sunroom/gym, wine cellar and two maids' quarters. The master suite has a balcony, steam shower and sitting room with a fireplace.

The home sits on nearly an acre and has English, Japanese and children's gardens. There are some large "Alice in Wonderland" characters in the yard, and topiaries depicting a tiger, a deer and Winnie the Pooh.

The children's garden also features swings and a small playhouse.

Ferrare, whose jewelry line is sold at Neiman Marcus, also has written several books. Among them is "Realistically Ever After," which is scheduled to be published in the fall, when Ferrare also plans to launch a show featuring her jewelry and home furnishings on the Home Shopping Network.

Thomopoulos, formerly an entertainment executive heading such entities as ABC Broadcast Group and Amblin TV, is now chief executive officer of Media Arts Group, which publishes, licenses and distributes the work of artist Thomas Kinkade.

Diana Ferrare-Magaldi (Ferrare's sister), Stephen Ciotta and Dennis Magaldi of Magaldi Real Estate in Thousand Oaks have the Bel-Air listing.

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