Room for more guests

Times Staff Writer

Talk about being discovered overnight. CNN talk show host Larry King and his wife, singer-actress Shawn Southwick, had been looking on and off for years for a new house. Then, in a flash, they bought one in Beverly Hills for close to

$12 million.

“I did the legwork and screening for Larry,” Southwick said.

“From seeing to buying, how long did it take?” King prompted his wife.

“Two days,” she replied.

She had started the search by casually looking for a home with more rooms and slightly more space than what they had.

Southwick, 47, and King, 73, wanted to continue to live in the flats of Beverly Hills, an area south of Sunset Boulevard they called “a feel-good neighborhood,” where residents walk to schools and shops.


Then she saw the Tuscan-style estate with seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms in 9,500-plus square feet and was drawn to the home by its distinguished European look. The house was built in 1989 but was recently refurbished by Joanna Shimkus Poitier, actor Sidney Poitier’s wife, and Kathy Mendoza, who owned it with her husband, Thomas, a Northern California businessman.

During the two-year renovation, the gated estate got a tile roof from a 200-year-old Italian monastery, state-of-the-art features and a plasma TV.

Southwick especially likes the detached guesthouse. And she likes that her new home is only eight blocks from the King family’s current residence, which had multiple offers and is in escrow at more than its $7.2-million asking price.

King and his wife have owned that house for nearly 10 years, which is about as long as they have been married. “We’ll miss the house,” he said.

As busy as they are, it’s hard to imagine they’ll have time to miss it much.

King appears five nights a week on “Larry King Live,” does CNN specials on the weekends and is getting ready for a weeklong network celebration in April marking his 50th year in broadcasting. Southwick is preparing to release a new CD of songs, including one with Willie Nelson.

Kathy Villa, a Westside agent for more than 20 years and a longtime friend of Southwick’s, represented the couple in buying and selling, as did Asher Dann, a pal of King’s since kindergarten. Villa and Dann are with Coldwell Banker Real Estate, Beverly Hills.


Stephen Resnick of Westside Estate Agency, Beverly Hills, had the listing.


Just the spot for ‘light drumming’

Former Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, who filed for divorce last summer from former Miss USA Shanna Moakler, has purchased a Calabasas home for $9.5 million.

The tattooed punk rocker, 31, has been recovering from fracturing his right arm in September while filming a music video with his new band, +44.

Doctors have allowed Barker to do “some light drumming” in his 10,000-plus-square-foot home when he isn’t enjoying one of the many features in the newly built villa. The one-story Tuscan-style, seven-bedroom estate has a mosaic-tile pool and spa, a pavilion, a guesthouse, a home theater, a gym, a library and a wine cellar. The home is on slightly more than an acre.

Gillian Caine of Coldwell Banker, Beverly Hills South, represented Barker in buying.