L.A. really has a hold on him

Times Staff Writer

Legendary Motown artist Smokey Robinson and his wife, Frances, have listed their estate in a gated Chatsworth development at $10.5 million. Furnishings are extra.

The singer-songwriter, who recently released the album “My World: The Definitive Collection,” and his wife, an interior designer, will live primarily in Las Vegas, where they have a home. They plan to build a smaller one in Chatsworth.

“We will always have a home in the L.A. area,” she said, adding that they decided to sell “because this is just too much house for us.”

With 9,000 square feet on 2 1/2 acres, according to the Multiple Listing Service, the house has seven bedrooms and 6 1/2 bathrooms. It was built in 1990.


The Robinsons bought the home three years ago, and Frances took a year to redo it. She designed the crystal and wrought-iron chandelier in the three-story domed entry, which has a sweeping staircase; replaced marble with cherrywood on the floors; and created a 35mm soundproof theater with eight reclining leather chairs.

There are three family rooms, three kitchens, 10 fireplaces, a wine cellar and a gym. The master bath has a sauna and a fireplace. Another bedroom is used strictly for his golf gear.

Motown founder Berry Gordy -- a prominent figure in Robinson’s career as a singer, leader of the R&B; group the Miracles and producer of other Motown greats -- is often a guest and has his own bedroom staked out.

The estate has a couple of nooks and crannies where Smokey likes to work. “He writes in his office and could cut a record in the room if he wanted,” said Frances, while ushering around visitors.

In the backyard, past a pool, spa, waterfalls, detached guesthouse and outdoor living room, there is a red-rock bluff where Smokey goes to write songs.

Frances designed a wood-paneled room with a kitchen, which she calls the “men’s room,” as a place for her husband and his friends to hang out. The room has a pool table, chess set, plasma TV and cabinet displaying his 2003 National Medal of Arts and other awards.

Winner of a lifetime achievement Grammy, Robinson, 65, performs regularly around the country. He has written more than 4,000 songs, including such hits as “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,” “My Girl” and “The Tracks of My Tears.” Elaine Young and Barbara Eisner of Paramount Rodeo Realty, Beverly Hills, have the listing.

A touch of Velvet in the Valley


Duff McKagan, a former bassist with Guns N’ Roses who is now with the rock band Velvet Revolver, has purchased a Sherman Oaks home for just under $3 million.

McKagan bought an adobe-style hacienda with five bedrooms and five bathrooms in 5,800 square feet. The 1935 home has five fireplaces. The master bedroom has 20-foot ceilings.

The half-acre walled and gated property has a guest house, stables and barn, an underground wine cellar, gym, pool and spa.

McKagan, 41, took some time off after Guns N’ Roses in the mid-'90s to earn a degree in finance from Seattle University. He helped form Velvet Revolver last year.


Rick Chimienti of Sotheby’s International Realty, Beverly Hills, had the listing, and Bill Parks of Nourmand & Associates, Beverly Hills, represented the buyer, according to the Multiple Listing Service.

Hurry, Currie: a busy guy’s haven

Actor Currie Graham, who has been known to split his time among Fox’s “House” and ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” and “Boston Legal,” and his wife, actress Larissa Laskin, have purchased a Sherman Oaks home for about $900,000.

Graham, who played the formidable Lt. Thomas Bale in the final season (2004-05) of the long-running “NYPD Blue,” and Laskin, who played Angelica in the movie “The Tuxedo,” had been renting for three years in the Hollywood Hills and Valley Village areas.


They bought a three-bedroom, three-bathroom traditional house with an open kitchen. The single-level, 2,200square-foot home, built in 1950 but recently updated, has hardwood floors, curved archways and a yard designed for entertaining. The master-bedroom suite has a spa tub and shower.

The couple also own property in Canada and Colorado. Graham, 38, is from Hamilton, in Ontario.

Diane Katz of Prudential-John Aaroe, Encino, represented the buyers.

Heir to ship out of Beverly Hills


Paris Hilton’s ex-fiance, Paris Latsis, has listed his Beverly Hills-area home at $13.8 million.

The Greek shipping heir, 22, reportedly put his house on the market before the hotel heiress and reality-TV star, 24, announced in late September that their four-month engagement had come to an end.

Latsis decided to sell the house because it is too big for him, area real estate agents said.

The house, built in 2004, has six bedrooms and nine bathrooms in about 12,000 square feet and sits on nearly 4 acres in a gated community with canyon and city views.