A new place and a new show

Times Staff Writer

Comic Ellen DeGeneres has purchased a Hollywood Hills home on almost two acres for $6 million, real estate sources say. The asking price was close to $7.3 million.

In February, the comedian lost a bidding war on another Hollywood Hills home that was sold for about $4.5 million to “Friends” star Courteney Cox and her husband, actor David Arquette.

For the record:

12:00 AM, May. 25, 2003 For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday May 20, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 45 words Type of Material: Correction
Wealthy neighbors -- A Hot Property item in the Real Estate section on May 4, which said that former KNBC anchor Kelly Lange was selling a property on the same street as one owned by billionaire David Murdock, incorrectly spelled his last name as Murdoch.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday May 25, 2003 Home Edition Real Estate Part K Page 3 Features Desk 1 inches; 45 words Type of Material: Correction
Wealthy neighbors -- A Hot Property item in the Real Estate section on May 4, which said that former KNBC anchor Kelly Lange was selling a property on the same street as one owned by billionaire David Murdock, incorrectly spelled his last name as Murdoch.

The estate DeGeneres bought has a main house with a screening room, an updated kitchen, a master suite, a guest room, a formal dining room and a living room with a fireplace. The guesthouse has an office/gym and bathroom. The nearly 4,800-square-foot, recently rebuilt home, originally constructed in the 1930s.

DeGeneres listed her Beverly Hills-area home in February at $4.75 million. The home, built in the ‘90s, has five bedrooms in 5,500 square feet.


“The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” a talk show, is expected to debut in September on NBC. DeGeneres, 45, is now on a stand-up comedy tour that will culminate in New York City with a live taping for HBO. She also has a book coming out and is the voice of a fish in the animated film “Finding Nemo,” due out in May.

Saying goodbye to three properties

Kelly Lange, former longtime KNBC-TV Channel 4 anchor-turned-mystery writer, has put three homes on the market: her primary residence in Beverly Hills, a Tarzana house she bought as an investment and a condo in West Hollywood.

The condo, which has two bedrooms plus a den and three bathrooms in about 2,300 square feet, is for sale at just under $1.2 million or for lease at $8,000 a month.

Among the owners and occupants in the 17-story building are singer Jerry Vale, actress Dyan Cannon, writer Gail Parent, producer Norman Lear, radio personality Dr. Toni Grant, actress Bo Derek, actor John Corbett; and actress Suzanne Pleshette and her husband, actor Tom Poston.

The tower, which has a tennis court and a rooftop pool, was built in 1964. The corner unit, with dramatic city and mountain views, was recently refurbished.

Lange listed her Beverly Hills home at just under $3 million. That home has city views from Dodger Stadium to the ocean. The 4,000-square-foot home also has two master suites and a third bedroom for a maid’s room, office or gym. There is a separate guest house with a kitchen and sitting room. Built in 1960, it was recently expanded and remodeled.

Lange says she is “the pauper on the street,” where billionaires David Geffen and David Murdoch are neighbors along with “Friends” star Lisa Kudrow, who is remodeling her house.


Lange has refurbished a number of houses that she has sold. Her Tarzana house is newly built and was never occupied. She bought it when it was the last lot in the guard-gated community of Mulholland Park. “I bought it as air, and they [the developers] finished it,” she said.

Listed at close to $2.4 million, the Tarzana house has five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a library and a loft in nearly 6,400 square feet. The house is also on a golf course.

Lange’s latest novel, “The Reporter” (Mysterious Press/Warner Books, 2002) is part of a new murder-mystery series set in the news industry. Her next book, “Dead Fire,” is due out in July. She also wrote “Gossip,” centered in the art world. She left KNBC after 28 years in December 1998.

Joe Babajian of Prudential Estates, Beverly Hills, has the listing on Lange’s Beverly Hills home; Robert and Patricia O’Byrne of Mulholland Park Realty, Burbank, have the Tarzana listing; and Guy Fedele at Gold Star Realty, Beverly Hills, has the listing on the West Hollywood unit.


New kid on a Venice block

Joey McIntyre, who at age 12 became the youngest member of the ‘80s teen-pop group New Kids on the Block but more recently played a teacher in David Kelley’s Fox-TV series “Boston Public,” has purchased a newly built, canal-front house in Venice for $1.6 million.

The Cape Cod-style house has four bedrooms in about 3,200 square feet. The three-story house also has a spa, bar, fireplace and dock. Archwest Development custom-built the airy, light-filled house.

McIntyre, now 30, made his solo debut in 1999 as a singer-songwriter with the album “Stay the Same,” which went gold. He also appeared in the 1995 movie “The Fantasticks” and the off-Broadway play “tick, tick, BOOM!” His album “Meet Joe Mac” was released in 2001.


Debra Berman and Patricia Kandel of Coldwell Banker, Marina del Rey, had the listing, and Barrett Williams of Westside Estate Agency, Beverly Hills, represented McIntyre, sources said.

Newport Beach sale is in the cards

Ed Thorp, the mathematician who figured out a way to beat the casinos at blackjack by counting cards and wrote the book “Beat the Dealer: A Winning Strategy for the Game of Twenty-One” in the early ‘60s, has listed his Newport Beach home of 21 years at $7.25 million. It’s no coincidence that the street number of the house is also 21.

It was Thorp’s dream house when he built it in 1982. Now, the former UC Irvine professor, who also wrote a 1967 book about Wall Street called “Beat the Market” and co-founded a successful hedge fund, is working on securing his next dream house in the Newport Beach community of Pelican Hill. His new home is expected to be about half the size of the one Thorp, 70, is selling.


The $7.25-million home is in the gated enclave of Harbor Ridge, and it has views of the bay, ocean and Catalina. It has a tennis court, used once by tennis champ Pete Sampras, and a 50-foot-long pool.

The seven-level, 13,000-plus-square-foot house also has an elevator, six bedrooms, a sauna, a wine cellar, a greenhouse, an atrium, a four-car garage, a workshop, a darkroom and a revolving astronomy dome.

The windows have UV protection, and there is an air-filtration system and reverse-osmosis water purification. For extra security, there is an underground room that is soundproof and has a stereo system as well as two reinforced exit doors, a kitchen and a bathroom.

Coleen Brennan of Prudential California, Corona del Mar, and Dawn Ross of Coldwell Banker share the listing.


New ‘Access’ to Studio City

Clay Smith, senior producer and on-air film critic of the NBC show “Access Hollywood,” has purchased a Studio City home for slightly more than its $989,000 asking price.

He is selling his Hollywood Hills house, listed at $939,000, with escrow expected to close early this month.

The home Smith bought has four bedrooms and three bathrooms in nearly 2,600 square feet, reached by way of a private drive. The Cape Cod-style home is in a park-like setting on nearly an acre. There is a guest house and canyon/greenbelt views. The main house has high ceilings and two fireplaces. The home was built in 1951.


The house he is selling is about the same size, but on a smaller lot. It is gated and is just below the Hollywood sign. Built in 1989 with walls of glass, the four-bedroom, three-bath home also has two fireplaces and a pool.

Smith is a veteran of more than 25 years in the entertainment industry. He came to “Access Hollywood” in 1997 after 14 years at “Entertainment Tonight.” Smith supervises coverage of such industry events as the MTV Movie Awards in June.

Jeffrey Young at DBL Realtors, Sunset, represented Smith in buying and selling; Alissa and Clinton Solomon of Prudential-John Aaroe had the Studio City listing.

Rising to new Wilshire heights


Anton Posniak -- co-owner and operator of such Hollywood nightspots as the Ivar and the Nacional, a New York-style Cuban bistro and bar, as well as Tengu in Westwood -- has purchased a condo in a Wilshire Corridor high-rise for close to its $900,000 asking price.

The 30-year-old South African entrepreneur, who graduated from UC Berkeley in 1996, bought a two-bedroom, 2,200-square-foot unit near the top of the 21-story building and has a view from the ocean to the Getty Center. The building has a concierge, valet and gym.

Mitchell Bravo of Re/Max Westside Properties in Brentwood represented Posniak in his purchase.

To see previous columns on celebrity transactions visit