A titanic swath up for grabs

Times Staff Writer

James Cameron, whose ship came in when he won three Oscars for producing, directing and editing “Titanic,” has put his 730 acres of Malibu ranchland on the market at close to $25 million.

After the 1997 release of “Titanic,” Cameron started buying parcels on which to create a ranch or a family sanctuary that he planned to call “Tranquility Base.” By 2000, he had put together the entire site.

Now that he’s in production on the sci-fi thriller “Avatar,” however, Cameron wants to focus on filmmaking instead of real estate development. The filmmaker, 52, sees his land as an opportunity for a buyer who is passionate about developing a family retreat or a community of half a dozen estates.


The property, mostly pastureland, is adjacent to Pepperdine University and has views of the Malibu coastline and Santa Monica Bay. The site winds through canyons and over ridges covered with oak trees and native plant life. It is accessed by Puerco Canyon Road off Pacific Coast Highway.

Steve Wiseman and Jeff Pion of CB Richard Ellis’ Century City office,, are marketing the property.


$20 million for Project No. 40

Sandy Gallin -- legendary manager of Dolly Parton, Whoopi Goldberg and Cher -- has sold a Beverly Hills home for $20 million. Gallin built the four-bedroom, five-bathroom house on a site he bought two years ago for $5.5 million.

It is the 40th house that he has either refurbished or built. The 7,500-square-foot mansion was sold before it hit the market.

Kurt Rappaport of Westside Estate Agency, Beverly Hills, represented Gallin in the sale.


Cool, cool, cool in Palm Springs

The former Johnny Mercer estate in Palm Springs has come on the market at close to $2.3 million.

The Oscar-winning lyricist, who wrote the words for “In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening” and worked with Henry Mancini on “Moon River” and “Days of Wine and Roses,” died at age 66 in 1976. His family sold this estate in 1995.

The three-bedroom, three-bathroom home was built in 1937 but was recently restored and updated. The house, on slightly more than an acre, is behind gates; it has a tennis court and a pool. The initial “M” for Mercer is still embedded in the walkway at the entrance to the property.

Mike McCoy and Ken Simpson have the listing at Prudential California Realty, Palm Springs.


Smooth move by Studio City jazzer

Jazz artist Carol Welsman has sold her Studio City home for $1.6 million.

The 3,300-square-foot home, built in 1961 and remodeled in 2006, has five bedrooms and 2 1/2 bathrooms and a pool. It is also on a private road and has Valley views.

Welsman, who sings and plays the piano, was named Pianist/Keyboardist of the Year at the 2006 Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards.

Paul Bilski of Re/Max, Tarzana, had the listing.


‘Neutron’ star will stick to her orbit

Debi Derryberry, the voice of Jimmy Neutron, the title character of the animated film and hit TV series, has purchased the Manny Klein estate in Toluca Lake for slightly more than $1.4 million.

Klein, who died in 1994 at age 86, was a top trumpet player in the 1940s and ‘50s. He performed in the big bands of Benny Goodman and the Dorsey brothers. He also had his own orchestra.

The Klein estate was built in 1939. It has a 2,500-square-foot main house, a two-story guesthouse, a pool and a cabana.

The property is zoned for apartments, but Derryberry plans to restore the home.

Derryberry recently sold her Toluca Woods house, built in 1941, for $950,000.


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