A west wing of his very own

Times Staff Writer

Actor Rob Lowe and his wife, Sheryl, have purchased a temporary home in Montecito for $6 million and are in escrow to buy, for $7 million, 3.4 acres nearby, where they plan to build an estate, local real estate sources said last week.

The couple, who have lived in the area for years, are also in escrow to sell their longtime home there for an estimated $25 million. The buyers were identified as Peter Sperling, son of the founder of the Arizona-based University of Phoenix, and his wife, Stephanie. In addition, the Sperlings just closed escrow on an oceanfront home with a seven-car garage in Montecito for about $27.5 million.

The Lowes’ longtime home was featured on the cover of the July 2001 issue of Architectural Digest. It was decorated by Lafia/Arvin of Santa Monica, whose celebrity clients also include Wayne Gretzky, Courtney Thorne-Smith and Sugar Ray Leonard.

The house, built in the 1990s, has seven bedrooms and 7 1/2 bathrooms and includes a guesthouse, pool, pool house and butler’s pantry. The 5.6-acre site has ocean and mountain views.


The Lowes’ temporary home has six bedrooms and six bathrooms, including a guesthouse, plus a detached cabana with exercise and media rooms. The house, built in the ‘20s and recently refurbished, is on 1.2 acres with a pool and mountain views.

The land where the Lowes intend to build has ocean and mountain views. The site is renowned for its privacy. The property comes with building plans.

Lowe, 41, played Sam Seaborn, deputy communications director for the president (Martin Sheen) on the NBC drama “The West Wing.” Lowe decided to leave the show in 2002 due to monetary disputes. In 2003, he starred in the short-lived NBC legal series “The Lyon’s Den.” Last year, he starred as a physician in a Las Vegas casino on the CBS series “Dr. Vegas.”

This pussycat’s leaving Bel-Air


Singer Tom Jones has listed a Bel-Air home he owns at close to $6 million. He purchased it 24 years ago as a residence for his parents.

The midcentury modern house, on 2 1/2 acres with city-to-ocean views, has three bedroom suites plus maid’s quarters in under 5,000 square feet. One of the guest suites has a sauna. The second-floor master bedroom suite has a fireplace, wet bar and a deck. There is a library-study off the step-down living room. The home also has a gated motor court, a marble entry, vaulted ceilings, walls of glass and a black-bottom pool.

Jones is planning to return to his hometown of Pontypridd, Wales, for a concert May 28 to mark his 65th birthday. Among his many hits are “It’s Not Unusual” and “What’s New Pussycat?”

Cecelia Waeschle, who represented Jones in buying the house, has the listing at Sotheby’s International Realty, Malibu, with Joyce Rey at Coldwell Banker, Beverly Hills South.

A penthouse tall enough for a Laker

Laker forward Slava Medvedenko has purchased a penthouse condo at Playa Vista for $1.2 million.

The newly built unit has two bedrooms plus a study and 2 1/2 bathrooms in nearly 3,000 square feet. The single-level condo is at the top of a four-story building and has two decks with views of the ocean, the Ballona Wetlands and a freshwater marsh.

The building has a pool, spa, outdoor fire pit, concierge services, a club room and a business center. The complex was built by Standard Pacific.


Medvedenko, who is from Ukraine, has been with the Lakers for four years. He re-signed last summer for two more seasons. The 6-foot-10-inch player turns 26 on Monday. His new home also has 10-foot ceilings.

Brian Pane of Re/Max, Studio City, represented Medvedenko in his purchase.

Now playing catch in the Palisades

Jason Kendall, a catcher with the Oakland A’s, has purchased the Pacific Palisades home of Jim Wiatt, who joined the William Morris Agency in 1999 as president and co-chairman. Sources estimate the selling price to be in the $7-million to $8-million range.

Wiatt refurbished and expanded the home, built in 1973. The 8,000-square-foot-plus home has a tennis court and a pool. The gated house had not been on the market. Wiatt bought a ‘50s hacienda in the same area for $3.2 million in September and also renovated it.

Kendall, 30, joined the A’s last year. He was formerly with the Pittsburgh Pirates as the National League’s three-time All-Star catcher and franchise leader in games caught.

He waived his no-trade clause to play closer to his home, then in Manhattan Beach. The Pirates traded Kendall, a Torrance High School graduate, for three players who will cost them less. Kendall is due to make $10 million this season.

Holden’s treasures part of the bargain


A Palm Springs home once owned by Oscar-winning actor William Holden has been listed at $6.75 million, furnished. This is the second time the 3.7-acre estate has been on the market since Holden’s death at age 63 in 1981.

The hilltop, midcentury-style tennis estate was custom-built for Holden in 1977 to entertain his friends and house the treasures he brought back from his world wanderings. He relished traveling to Kenya and other places when he wasn’t making such movies as “Sunset Blvd.” and “Stalag 17,” for which he won a best actor Oscar.

What’s left in the home from Holden’s time there? A desk given to him by Ronald Reagan, a door made in Africa with Holden’s initials carved in the corner and a number of African artifacts. The four-bedroom, 4 1/2 -bathroom house also has walls of glass, valley, mountain and canyon views, and an early infinity-type pool.

The seller, who has owned the home since shortly after Holden’s death in Santa Monica, has several other residences and is scaling back.

Deirdre Coit and Susan Canavan of Coldwell Banker and the Desert Estates Network have the listing.

To see previous columns on celebrity transactions visit