New place to chat with her guests

Times Staff Writer

First there was Oprah. Now, Ellen. The welcome mat is out for talk-show hosts in Santa Barbara County, and Ellen DeGeneres is the latest to enter escrow on a retreat there.

DeGeneres, 48, owns a home in Los Angeles, where she shoots her Emmy-winning syndicated talk show, which is in its fourth season. Now she’s buying a house in the Montecito area for close to its asking price of $16.9 million. The home, on the market since March 2004, was originally listed at $17.9 million.

If that seems like a hefty price for a weekend getaway, remember that Oprah Winfrey bought her 42-acre Montecito retreat for $50 million in 2001.


DeGeneres, named as host of the 2007 Academy Awards, is buying a 1926 Spanish Colonial Revival on 4 acres. The house was designed by George Washington Smith, whose sought-after work is in evidence throughout Santa Barbara.

The two-story home, with four bedrooms and eight bathrooms, was renovated in 2003. The main house, guesthouse, studio, pool and pool pavilion were all restored at that time. The home also has a tennis court, lawn, fruit trees and mountain-to-ocean views.

The living room has covered loggias, cathedral ceilings and a mahogany wet bar. The dining room has a curved stairway and a beamed ceiling. There are four rooms in the 1,300-square-foot master-bedroom suite, including a nursery and a patio. The house is nearly 5,000 square feet, according to public records.

‘Desperate’ hunk to sell ‘sexy pad’

Jesse Metcalfe made his mark in “Desperate Housewives” playing the hunky gardener who seduced Eva Longoria’s character, Gabrielle Solis.

It’s little wonder then that the Sunset Strip-area home he bought earlier this year for about $1.3 million has “beautiful, serene gardens” and a house that the Multiple Listing Service described as “a sexy pad.”

What is surprising is that the 27-year-old actor decided to put the house back on the market two months later and to keep his former home in a nearby canyon.


Metcalfe, enjoying the success of his latest movie, “John Tucker Must Die,” listed the Sunset Strip house at slightly more than $1.6 million. It sold last month for close to that figure.

The two-bedroom, nearly 1,800-square-foot Mediterranean, built in 1938, was “redone to the nines,” the MLS reported. The MLS went on to describe the gated home as “hip, earthy and a Zen masterpiece.”

The home has a large deck with a stone fireplace, a pool with a fountain, a koi pond and a “sexy master suite” with a spa bath.

Prince ready to leave his castle

Saudi Prince Mohammed Al-Saud has put his 12,000-square-foot home in Calabasas on the market at $10.8 million.

The house, built in 2005, has six bedrooms and seven bathrooms on an acre in a gated community called the Estates.

The European-style manor also has a screening room with reclining seats and padded walls. There are stone and walnut floors, an elevator and an outdoor sitting area with rolling lawns as well as a pool with a swim-up bar and a spa. There is also a four-car garage and adjacent motorcourt. A sitting room is in a rotunda, and a steam shower and exercise room are in the master bathroom. The kitchen has a wine cellar.

Kay Cole of Ewing & Associates/Sotheby’s International Realty, Calabasas, has the listing.

Moore’s ex-wife to sell her hill villa

Brogan Lane, former wife of British actor Dudley Moore, has spruced up her Tuscan-style villa in the Hollywood Hills and put it on the market at about $1.6 million. Lane is a designer who owns the ‘20s Spanish-style all-suites hotel, the Villa Delle Stelle, in Hollywood.

Her two-bedroom, two-bathroom main house is on an acre with a pool, a waterfall and a detached office. The nearly 2,000-square-foot residence was built in 1953.

Lane, who married Moore in the 1980s, was his third ex-wife. He died at 66 in 2002.

Michael Tunick of Sotheby’s International Realty, Sunset Strip, has the listing. An open house will be held today from 2 to 5 p.m. at the house, 7750 Woodrow Wilson Drive.