A milestone gives actor a new ‘Alias’: homeowner

Times Staff Writer

Michael Vartan, co-star of the ABC-TV series “Alias,” is on track to become a first-time home buyer with the purchase of a Hollywood Hills home for $1.65 million. Escrow is due to close in October.

The contemporary-style home was built in the 1950s, but its kitchen and 3 3/4 bathrooms have been updated. The 2,500-square-foot house also has three bedrooms and an attached guest suite. The master bedroom has four closets.

There are hardwood floors in the kitchen, breakfast room, formal dining room and master bedroom, and the yard has a pool and a view of the hills.


Vartan, 34, has been dating “Alias” star Jennifer Garner, 31. They have been a romantic couple on screen as well.

Vartan was born in France and appeared in several French film productions before making his U.S. movie debut in the comedy “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar” (1995). The following year, he co-starred in the comedy “The Pallbearer” as the best friend of David Schwimmer’s character. In 1999, he was cast opposite Drew Barrymore in “Never Been Kissed,” and he co-starred with Natasha Henstridge in “It Had to Be You.”

In 2001, after playing Lancelot in the TNT miniseries “The Mists of Avalon,” he started appearing in “Alias,” which emerged as one of the 2001-02 season’s surprise hits. In 2002, he appeared opposite Robin Williams in the movie “One Hour Photo.”

Isabel DeMayo of Re/Max, 100 Wilshire, represents Vartan in his purchase, and Rod Ostrom of DBL, Sunset, has the listing.

Ex-King leaving beach for Senators

Bryan Smolinski, formerly of the L.A. Kings, has listed his Manhattan Beach home at just under $1.4 million.

Smolinski, 31, was an assistant captain for the Kings before being traded in March to the Ottawa Senators in Ontario, where he and his wife, Julie, have moved.


They have owned the Manhattan Beach home since 1999, when it was newly built.

The Mediterranean-style house has five bedrooms, four bathrooms and three fireplaces in 3,700 square feet. It has a two-story living room with floor-to-ceiling windows and a kitchen with stainless-steel appliances.

Ed Kaminsky of Shorewood Realtors, Manhattan Beach, has the listing and had represented the Smolinskis in buying the house.

It’s an instant hit in Beverly Hills

Doug Aarniokoski, second-unit action director of the just-released Johnny Depp-Antonio Banderas movie “Once Upon a Time in Mexico,” no sooner listed his Beverly Hills home than it went into escrow at close to its asking price of $3.5 million.

Aarniokoski is selling the house because he and his family are moving to Pacific Palisades. He bought the Beverly Hills home a couple of years ago from Shirley Jones and her husband, comic-producer Marty Ingels.

The Cape Cod-style house has six bedrooms and seven bathrooms in slightly more than 6,000 square feet.

The house, built in 1950, was recently remodeled and has a master suite with a fireplace, a media room, a library, a playroom and a lanai. The home also has a pool and an entertainment center as well as a guesthouse and parking for at least 12 cars.


Richard Ehrlich and Stephen Shapiro of Westside Estate Agency, Beverly Hills, represent Aarniokoski in his sale.

La Quinta retreat

is in production

Mike Medavoy, chairman of Phoenix Pictures and producer of such films as the summer Disney hit “Holes” and the upcoming “Country of My Skull,” and his wife, Irena, have purchased a newly built four-bedroom retreat in La Quinta for $800,000.

As finishing touches are applied, the 4,000-square-foot house is being given Country French villa decor, said Gregory McAllester, the Medavoys’ West Hollywood-based designer. He also helped Irena Medavoy decorate several of the couple’s homes, including their current residence in the gated Beverly Hills-area community of Beverly Park.

“Long-range plans may include adding or modifying space to include a screening room,” McAllester said. The house, which has south-facing mountain views overlooking a fairway, also has a pool and a spa.

Mary Williams of KSL, La Quinta, represented the Medavoys in buying.

Property has a stellar history

Actress Marilyn Monroe and actor Lionel Barrymore lived, at different times, in a Beverly Hills-area home that has been listed at $3.85 million.

The Mediterranean-style house, with five bedrooms and 5 1/2 bathrooms in 6,000 square feet, was built in 1926 and recently remodeled.


The master suite has a fireplace, two walk-in closets, a steam shower and a spa. The home also has a pool and a funicular to a guesthouse.

Bob Hurwitz of Hurwitz James, Beverly Hills, has the listing.

To see previous columns on celebrity transactions, visit