But does he also drive a hard bargain?

Times Staff Writer

If there is one thing actor Frankie Muniz likes as much as driving a professional race car, it’s dealing in real estate.

At 22, he already has bought and sold several houses.

When he was 19, he wound up with two houses in the same Westside neighborhood because he couldn’t wait to sell one home before buying another with a fingerprint-recognition front door -- a feature that sounds like something straight out of his “Agent Cody Banks” spy films.

Now the former star of the sitcom “Malcolm in the Middle” is dabbling in the market again. He has listed his home in the Sunset Strip area at close to $3.9 million. Muniz has owned it since January 2006.


The traditional-style 1941 home was “completely upgraded,” according to the Multiple Listing Service. The one-story house has five bedrooms and four bathrooms in just under 2,000 square feet. The master-bedroom suite has a pitched ceiling with skylights, two walk-in closets and an infinity tub. There’s also a deck with city views. Other features are a basement, a breakfast nook, a pool and a spa.

Muniz took a break from acting in 2006 to become a race-car driver but recently appeared in an episode of the CBS drama “Criminal Minds” and is in the film “My Sexiest Year,” which had its world premiere in October at New York’s Hamptons International Film Festival. Muniz began collecting race cars before he could drive.


Making like stones and rolling out of Malibu

Romance novelist Leigh Court and her husband, rock ‘n’ roll tour director-producer Timm Woolley, have put their 11-acre Malibu estate on the market at close to $3 million.

Woolley, who just wrapped up a two-year Rolling Stones world tour, and Court, both from the United Kingdom, are planning to move to Orlando, Fla., for family reasons, their spokesman said.

Their Malibu estate has three bedrooms in 3,500-plus square feet. There also is a family room that could function as a second master suite with two additional bedrooms. The home has sweeping ocean and mountain views, a media room and a gated center courtyard with a water feature.

The upper level has a large deck with views from the Palos Verdes Peninsula to the Channel Islands. Each bedroom has a view of Surfrider Beach and the Malibu Pier.


Cormac and Wailani O’Herlihy have the listing at Pritchett-Rapf & Associates in Malibu.


Beverly Hills a fit for exercise guru

M.J. Diebold wanted to bring her Kiss Your Age Goodbye program to Beverly Hills from her base in Louisville, Ky., so she bought a house behind Neiman Marcus for close to $3 million.

Diebold stayed for several months at the Beverly Hills Hotel while she established her diet-and-exercise program and has become so enamored with the landmark that she plans to paint her new home in the same pink and green colors.

Her villa, a pied-a-terre, has four bedrooms and 4 1/2 bathrooms in a shade under 3,000 square feet. The contemporary Mediterranean, built in 1926, has a two-level family room, a pool and a swimsuit changing room in the garage.

Diebold’s website is at

Drew Mandile and Brooke Knapp, both of Sotheby’s International Realty in Beverly Hills, represented Diebold in buying.


Trapezoidal pool, Hollywood square

A John Woolf-designed home in the Hollywood Hills has come on the market at nearly $3 million.

The Hollywood Regency-style house was once owned by comedian Paul Lynde.

The villa, built in 1926, has three bedrooms and 3 1/2 bathrooms, wood-paneled ceilings, parquet floors, French windows and a trapezoidal pool along with a John Woolf signature pergola.

Other features are a media room with built-in bookcases; an updated, eat-in kitchen; a gated motor court; and a guesthouse.

In addition to his extensive Broadway, film and television credits, the actor long occupied the center square on “The Hollywood Squares.”

Brent Watson and Mike Deasy of Deasy, Penner & Watson have the listing.