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Simpler in Santa Ynez

Times Staff Writer

Fess Parker, who played Daniel Boone on TV and Davy Crockett in the movies during the ‘50s and ‘60s, and his wife, Marcy, have listed a ranch they own in the Santa Ynez Valley at $28 million.

The Parkers and their family own other property in the area, including Fess Parker Winery and the Fess Parker Wine Country Inn & Spa at Los Olivos. They also own commercial real estate in Santa Barbara, where he plans to build a hotel next door to his DoubleTree resort.

“The reason we’re selling is that my next birthday will be my 80th, and we thought it was time to cut back a little,” he said. They actually started cutting back two years ago when they owned 5,000 acres of land in the Santa Ynez Valley, but after they sell this ranch, they will still own about 1,200 acres there.

The ranch for sale is slightly more than 1,400 acres and can be divided into four parcels ranging in size from 300 to 500 acres. The property has two wells, a new reservoir and a new 61-acre vineyard. The land also has a small house on it that the actor turned businessman and developer described as old but habitable.

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The ranch has valley views and is near the Santa Ynez Airport and the villages of Santa Ynez, Los Olivos and Solvang. The property is about 10 miles from Lake Cachuma, 12 miles from San Marcos Golf Course and less than 30 miles from Santa Barbara.

The Parkers recently gave the city of Santa Barbara nine acres for a park near the DoubleTree, but they kept the site for the new hotel, which he expects to be under construction in early 2004, the 50th anniversary of the “Davy Crockett” film release and the 15th anniversary of the Parker winery, which got the go-ahead earlier this year to expand.

The Parkers also purchased the 100,000-square-foot former Chili Factory, on 10 acres in Santa Maria, for about $5 million, to use for production and storage of Fess Parker wine.

T. Hayer of T. Hayer & Associates in Santa Ynez and Kerry Mormann of Kerry Mormann & Associates in Santa Barbara are co-listing the ranch.

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Playing duets in Palos Verdes

Composer-pianist David Benoit, a pioneer in contemporary jazz, and his wife, Kei, have finished building their new home on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

The main focus of building the contemporary ocean-view house was to create a living room large enough for two grand pianos. Kei Benoit plays piano too.

“Our idea is to open up our house to the community for concerts,” he said.

The Benoits designed the spacious home with the help of Doug Loach. The style is “contemporary Frank Lloyd Wright,” David Benoit said. The look is also “organic,” particularly in the kitchen, which Kei oversaw, with its granite counters and wood cabinets.

“It’s so much fun to cook in,” she said of the large amount of counter space. She also appreciates the slate floor when their young daughter comes in dripping wet from the backyard lap pool.

The two-level house is nearly 3,000 square feet, with a recording studio and a wet bar. The site required considerable grading; it took several years and about $1.7 million to complete. That included the cost of the lot, which the Benoits bought seven years ago for $325,000.

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David Benoit will be on tour in December in a Christmas show also featuring Melissa Manchester, Al Jarreau and the animated character Charlie Brown. Benoit is working on the music for a Charlie Brown TV special, and he is music director of the Asia America Symphony and Asia America Youth Orchestra on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

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Feet on the ground in Beverly Hills

Lance Bass, the ‘N Sync band member who tried to become the youngest person to travel into space as a cosmonaut in a Russian Soyuz capsule, has purchased a Beverly Hills-area home for about its $4.5-million asking price.

The Southern Colonial, on slightly more than an acre, has five bedrooms and six baths. The main house is about 4,800 square feet. One of the two guesthouses has its own pool.

At the end of a private drive on a knoll, the recently restored home, built in 1942, has views from downtown to the ocean.

Bass, 24, was invited to be part of the Soyuz project while he was on tour in 2002. His part in the mission was scuttled, but he became youth spokesman for the U.N.'s World Space Week in October.

This fall he has been working on a new ‘N Sync album, and he has made various TV appearances, including a guest role on the WB sitcom “7th Heaven.”

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Jeff Hyland of Hilton & Hyland, Beverly Hills, had the listing, and Lynn Teschner of Coldwell Banker, Hollywood Hills, represented the buyer, sources said.

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


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