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Time for a scene change for sidekick

Times Staff Writer

Megan Mullally, who won a Screen Actors Guild Award earlier this month for playing ditsy sidekick Karen Walker on the NBC sitcom “Will & Grace,” has purchased a Sunset Strip-area home for about $3.8 million.

She also listed her former home, in the Hollywood Hills, at just under $1.3 million.

Mullally’s new home, built in 2002, has three bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms in nearly 3,800 square feet. The contemporary-style house has city-to-ocean views, large rooms, high ceilings and a pool. Among her new neighbors are actors Tobey Maguire, Courteney Cox and David Arquette.

Mullally’s former home, which she bought in September 2000, has two bedrooms in about 1,800 square feet. The Mediterranean-style home was built in the ‘30s but has been almost completely remodeled. The home also has gardens and a pool.

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Mullally, 44, started playing Karen on “Will & Grace” in 1998. In 2000 she won an Emmy for her role. On March 9, she won the SAG award as best actress in a comedy series.

She opened on stage March 15 at the Evidence Room in L.A., co-starring with her fiance, Nick Offerman, in the premiere of “Mayhem,” a play about the weight of global politics on one L.A. couple. The play, written by Kelly Stuart, runs until April 19.

Mullally has appeared in two Broadway revivals, first in 1994, playing Marty in “Grease,” and then in 1995-96, co-starring with Matthew Broderick and then John Stamos in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”

Before “Will & Grace,” she also provided the voice of Pebbles Flintstone in two ABC-TV specials.

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He finds harmony in the ranch life

Bernie Taupin, Elton John’s songwriting partner for more than 35 years, has sold his Beverly Hills penthouse for close to its $2.4-million asking price, including furnishings. He plans to spend most of his time at his Santa Ynez Valley ranch.

“I’ve never been on a horse, and he’s never been to Cartier,” Elton John was quoted as saying in a Billboard magazine report on the annual Music Industry Trusts Award dinner honoring the pair last November in London. “You couldn’t get two people that were more opposite.”

John’s longtime lyricist sold his penthouse to Keith and Orianna Harrison, who, with their two children, recently moved to California from Australia.

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The penthouse, in an eight-unit building constructed in 1990, was remodeled and has four bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms in nearly 4,000 square feet. The unit, which Taupin had owned since 1998, also has high ceilings, wood floors, city views and a private elevator.

After buying in the Santa Ynez Valley, Taupin, who was born in 1950 in a rural community in England, formed his own rock band, Farm Dogs, in 1996.

He has lived in the United States for more than 25 years, and during that time he has written lyrics for hundreds of songs, sometimes for such artists as Melissa Manchester and Rod Stewart. Among his favorite songs with John are “Sacrifice” (1989), “The One” (1992) and the original version of “Candle in the Wind,” written in 1973 as a tribute to Marilyn Monroe.

Deborah Moore of DBL Realtors, Sunset, had the listing. Cathy Smith and Heather Ozur of Coldwell Banker, Indian Wells, represented the buyers.

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Comedian picks desert over L.A.

Comedian Shecky Greene and his wife, Marie, have sold their Hancock Park home for almost $2 million. The couple moved to their Palm Springs residence.

The Hancock Park home has six bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms in about 5,500 square feet. The Mediterranean-style house, built in 1919, has grand-scale public rooms, including a huge entry hall with leaded-glass windows and an oak staircase.

The house also has a den, bar and chauffeur’s apartment, which is over the garage. The grounds have a pool, spa and paddle tennis court.

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Greene, 76, has appeared in major nightclubs throughout the United States since the late 1940s. He has worked on TV and in the movies since the early ‘50s. He often appeared on the Johnny Carson, Merv Griffin and Mike Douglas TV shows.

Gillian Rendle of Prudential California’s John Aaroe division represented both sides of the transaction.

Hoping his home will be a bestseller

Celebrity biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli, who has written such bestsellers as “Call Her Miss Ross” (1989) about singer Diana Ross and “The Magic and the Madness” (1991) about Michael Jackson, has listed his Glendale home of three years at about $1.1 million. He plans to move to larger quarters in the Hollywood Hills.

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The home he is selling has three bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms in close to 2,400 square feet. The Spanish-style home has a library-study, a living room with a fireplace; a family-game room, a pool, a spa and an arbor.

The house was built in 1930. Designer David Goldberg of David Alan Designs supervised a renovation and restoration of the home.

Taraborrelli, in his mid-40s, also wrote “Jackie, Ethel, Joan: Women of Camelot” (2000) about the Kennedy spouses, and “Madonna: An Intimate Biography” (2001).

His next book, to be published April 15 by Warner Books, is “Once Upon a Time -- Behind the Fairy Tale of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier.”

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Bob Weatherford and Jeff Yarbrough of DBL Realtors’ Sunset Strip office have the listing.

Now he’s ready to pitch his house

Ron Popeil, known as “the king of the infomercial,” has listed his former Beverly Hills-area home at just under $4 million.

Popeil, who went from promoting the Veg-O-Matic food chopper in the 1960s to the Showtime Rotisserie and BBQ oven in the 2000s, purchased a home in the same area in the $7-million range in February 2002.

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The TV pitchman, in his mid-60s, wasn’t ready to sell his house until now because he was using its extensive kitchen facilities for product testing.

The gated compound was built in 1955. It includes a main house with three bedrooms and maid’s quarters plus a guesthouse with a screening room, temperature-controlled wine cellar and kitchen.

The main house has a kitchen with commercial appliances. The 4,500-square-foot home, on slightly more than an acre, also has a greenhouse, a pool with a black bottom and a north-south tennis court.

Popeil’s new home is contemporary in style and has eight bedrooms and a large eat-in kitchen in more than 14,000 square feet. The house also has a gym and a screening room.

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Jon Bronson and Richard Ehrlich of Westside Estate Agency, Beverly Hills, have the listing on Popeil’s former home.

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To see previous columns on celebrity transactions visit www.latimes.com/hotproperty.


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