Actor Noah Wyle has sold his Los Feliz home for close to its $3.8-million asking price. The buyer was Robert Richardson, who won an Oscar in 1991 for best cinematography for “JFK.”
The house, which actor Tim Curry also once owned, is a restored Spanish colonial estate. It is on about 1.5 acres of lush grounds and has three bedrooms and 3 1/2 bathrooms in slightly more than 4,000 square feet. The home has hand-carved, hand-stenciled ceilings, a pool, an amphitheater, waterfalls and fountains.
Other features are a basement, a breakfast area, a library, a bonus room and several patios. The house was built in 1922.
Wyle, 33, plays Dr. John Carter on the hit NBC series “ER.” He is the only member of the original cast to have stayed with the show continuously since its premiere in 1994. He signed in August to continue through the 2004-05 season. He also has appeared in the movies “Donnie Darko” (2001), “Enough” (2002) and “White Oleander” (2002).
Richardson, in his 40s, is director of photography for the upcoming film “The Aviator,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Richardson also was director of photography for the two “Kill Bill” movies (2003, 2004), “Snow Falling on Cedars” (1999), “Wag the Dog” (1997), “Casino” (1995) and “A Few Good Men” (1992).
Barry Sloane, director of architecturally and historically significant properties for Sotheby’s International Realty, Beverly Hills, represented Richardson.
Peck’s widow sells longtime home
Veronique Peck, widow of Gregory Peck, has sold her longtime home in Holmby Hills for about $22 million and purchased a nearby estate for $14 million. The Oscar-winning actor died in June 2003 at age 87.
The house Veronique bought was built in 1932 and has four bedrooms plus a master bedroom suite and guest quarters in 10,000 square feet. The French-traditional-style estate is on 1.3 acres of park-like grounds.
The Pecks’ home, where they raised their family and lived for about 30 years, has eight bedrooms and eight bathrooms in 8,600 square feet. The house, built in 1925, is on slightly more than three acres and has guest quarters where celebrities such as Cary Grant stayed.
Veronique’s new home is in the neighborhood. The houses are similar in size and alike in other respects, so she has said that she doesn’t expect her move to be jarring.
It was the yard that prompted her to sell. Gregory Peck liked to join the gardeners in caring for the grounds, and he even had a glass enclosure where he grew orchids. But Veronique found maintenance of the grounds daunting. The gardens at her new home are smaller and more manageable.
The style of her new home also appealed to her. She was a journalist when she met the actor during an interview in Paris. They married in 1955.
Barry Peele and Bridget Martens of Sotheby’s International Realty, Beverly Hills, represented Veronique Peck in her purchase. Drew Mandile and Brooke Knapp of the same firm had the listing.
No Realtors were involved in the $22-million sale. An investor who owns several properties in the neighborhood was the buyer.
More big-ticket L.A.-area sales
The Los Angeles-area real estate market has had more high-end sales this year than a year ago, according to figures compiled by Cecelia Waeschle of Sotheby’s International Realty in Malibu. She has tracked big-ticket homes from the Hollywood Hills to Malibu since 1987.
Among her findings so far this year:
* The number of homes selling at more than $3 million increased from 330 in 2003 to 500 in 2004.
* Those selling at more than $5 million doubled from 93 in 2003 to 186 in 2004.
* Homes selling at more than $10 million more than tripled from 11 in 2003 to 35 in 2004.
The biggest sale during the last two years was in 2003, when Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison created one estate with the purchase of half a dozen Malibu properties. The selling price: $65 million.
The biggest closings this year include the $22-million sale of Gregory Peck’s Holmby Hills home and the $26-million sale of Merv Griffin’s former 157-acre Beverly Hills-area mountaintop estate. There was a $30-million sale in the gated community of Beverly Park, but no details were available.
Frank and Jamie McCourt of the Dodgers also made a large investment with their purchase of two adjacent homes in Holmby Hills at a total cost of more than $25 million.
Among celebrity buyers, Simon Cowell, the British record producer who will return in January as one of the judges on the Fox-TV show “American Idol,” bought a six-bedroom Beverly Hills home for about $7.2 million.
Ray Romano, Katey Sagal, Bruce Willis, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Dr. Phil McGraw, Shelley Long, Tyra Banks, Marilyn Manson, Carnie Wilson, the Olsen twins, Ricky Martin, Britney Spears, Lakers coach Rudy Tomjanovich, Halle Berry, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell also bought Los Angeles- area homes this year.
Former Chandler estate up for sale
The longtime Windsor Square home of the late Dorothy “Buffy” Chandler, wife of one Los Angeles Times publisher and mother of another, has been listed at $8.75 million.
The 10,000-square-foot Beaux Arts-style home, on nearly an acre, has four bedroom suites, a guesthouse, a two-bedroom staff apartment, a three-car garage, a swimming pool, a reflecting pool and fountains. New landscaping includes a rose garden and rolling grounds.
Tim Corrigan and Kathleen Scheinfeld have owned the home since 1997, the year Chandler died at age 96. Chandler lived in the home from the ‘50s.
Corrigan, a designer, extensively renovated the house while maintaining its 1913 character. He also restored the music room, which was reassembled from a German palace that had been designed for Mozart.
Chandler, wife of Norman Chandler and mother of Otis Chandler, was the guiding force behind the L.A. Music Center.
Barry Peele of Sotheby’s International Realty, Beverly Hills, is co-listing the property with Lisa Hutchins, Coldwell Banker, Hancock Park North.
To see previous columns on celebrity transactions visit latimes.com/hotproperty.