Player’s choice of beach city is a slam-dunk

Times Staff Writer

There was a time when Manhattan Beach residents would have said there was no life east of Sepulveda Boulevard.

Those days are gone. Not only is there plenty of new development on the side of town farthest from the ocean, but it’s also not uncommon to see well-known sports figures throughout the community.

Among them is basketball forward Luke Walton, who signed a six-year contract worth $30 million with the Lakers before he sold his home of about three years and bought a newly built one. Both homes are in east Manhattan Beach.


The 27-year-old bachelor, who moved up in home size and price last month, had been living in Manhattan Village, a gated community whose residents include former Lakers Devean George and Brian Cook and Lakers assistant coaches Kurt Rambis and Brian Shaw.

Walton’s town house sold for close to $1.24 million after a two-week escrow. The remodeled town house has three bedrooms and three bathrooms in 1,820 square feet. It has stainless-steel appliances, granite counters, cathedral ceilings with recessed lighting, a full bar, a great room, a steam shower, a walk-in closet and a community pool and spa.

The buyer was hockey player Jack Johnson, a Kings defenseman, and Walton purchased a single-family house with four bedrooms and two bathrooms for $2.75 million, property records show.

The two-story, 2,700-square-foot home is Mediterranean in style, with wrought-iron work and a balcony.

Walton, a son of basketball legend Bill Walton, was represented in his sale by Phyllis Cohen-Edwards of Shorewood Realtors.


Will buyer find its effect special too?

How fitting for a special-effects producer to have a house with “the latest and greatest technology . . . programmed for ease of use,” according to marketing materials.

Four-time Oscar winner Stan Winston has listed his recently remodeled home, on La Costa Beach in Malibu, at nearly $12 million, fully furnished.

The two-story view house in about 3,500 square feet has a great room, a master-bedroom suite with two walk-in closets, two fireplaces, electronic drapes, two guest-bedroom suites and a den/media room with a projector and a drop-down screen. The lot’s size is nearly 7,000 square feet.

There is 35 feet of beach frontage, an inner courtyard with an in-ground, oversized spa complete with a waterfall and sound system, plus a beach deck for large-scale entertaining.

Winston, 61, is moving to a home on a larger piece of land so he’ll have more outdoor play space for his grandchildren. He won Oscars for the visual effects in “Aliens” (1986), “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991) and “Jurassic Park” (1993). He also won an Oscar for the makeup in “Terminator 2.”

Stephen Shapiro has the listing at Westside Estate Agency, Beverly Hills.


Desert estate with Hollywood lore

Snowbirds from Canada have purchased what is known as the Bette Davis estate in Palm Springs for $5 million, about the asking price when the property was listed in June.

The actress died in 1989 and, despite popular lore that she owned the compound, actually just leased its guesthouse in the ‘50s and ‘60s. That’s how the estate, built in the ‘30s, got its name.

The five-bedroom, 6,000-square-foot home is on slightly more than an acre with an orchard, a pool, tennis court, gym, spa and sauna.

Steven Hannegen at Prudential Realty in Palm Springs represented the buyers, and John Nelson and Ron de Salvo -- both with Coldwell Banker -- had the listing.


Among actress’ roles: neighbor

Alice Backes, a character actress from the 1950s to the late ‘90s, lived for years in a Hollywood Hills home now on the market at just under $1.4 million.

The renovated, two-story house has three bedrooms in 2,000 square feet. There is a formal dining room, a gourmet kitchen, balconies off two bedrooms, hardwood floors and hillside views.

Backes’ most recent role was in 1997 as Harriet Jenkins on “Columbo: A Trace of Murder.”

She also appeared in “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” and “Barnaby Jones.”

After she retired from acting in the late 1990s, Backes was busy with charitable entertainment work. Backes died in March at age 83 in her sister’s home in Virginia.

Bruce McPherson of Sotheby’s Realty in Pasadena has the listing.


If you are interested in seeing previous columns on celebrity realty transactions, go to