All set for the L.A. night shift
Conan O’Brien isn’t expected to take Jay Leno’s place on “The Tonight Show” until 2009, but he will soon move closer with his purchase of a Brentwood compound listed at just under $10.5 million.
Its New England traditional-style design should make him feel right at home. The 44-year-old O’Brien was born in Massachusetts and graduated from Harvard University in 1985.
The newly built, gated compound has six en suite bedrooms, including a master bedroom for O’Brien and his wife, Liza, that includes a sitting room, balcony and two bathrooms.
The home, which the Multiple Listing Service notes was “just completed on one of Brentwood’s most prestigious streets,” has a screening room; a 1,500-bottle wine room; a paneled library with a bar; a 60-foot veranda; a pool; a spa; a pavilion with a fireplace; an outside kitchen; and canyon views. Inside are gracious public rooms, 10-foot ceilings and six fireplaces.
O’Brien, who has been living in New York, never had it so good when he performed with the Groundlings comedy troupe in Los Angeles during the late 1980s. He went on to write for “Saturday Night Live,” for which he shared a comedy-writing Emmy in 1989.
He was a writer and producer of “The Simpsons” on Fox in the early ‘90s before launching “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” on NBC in 1993.
The late-night talk-show host was announced as Leno’s successor in 2004, giving him plenty of time to plan for the big move. Leno has been the host since 1992, when he replaced Johnny Carson.
Ocean-view villa for a ‘Navy’ man
Mark Harmon, star of the crime series “Navy NCIS,” has stirred up some Malibu real estate agents with his recent purchase of the compound Villa Vista Oceano, where the Stone Temple Pilots recorded the album “Shangri-La Dee Da.”
The compound, leased by various bands over the years, was due to be auctioned. Instead, it was sold to Harmon for $9 million plus an 8% premium, paid to the auction house.
The quick switch from auction to direct sale was unusual, as was a percentage going to the auction house instead of a real estate agent, according to Gracee Arthur, associate manager of Sotheby’s International Realty in Malibu.
The property, on 19 ocean-view acres, has a guest cottage, a gym, a tennis court, a pool and a vineyard. The compound has five bedrooms and seven bathrooms in its nearly 7,000-square-foot, Mediterranean-style main house. The property is on a knoll with views of Santa Monica Bay and the cliffs of Point Dume.
Arthur was the co-listing agent on the house a year ago when it was priced at $12.5 million.
Portraits of Liz on his walls?
Celebrity photographer Firooz Zahedi has listed his home in the Empire West tower, just off Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, for nearly $1.5 million.
Iran-born Zahedi, who worked in the ‘60s as an attache at the Iranian embassy in Washington, D.C., moved to L.A. in 1979 to become Elizabeth Taylor’s personal photographer. He soon branched out to other celebrities, and his work now appears regularly in Vanity Fair, InStyle and Town & Country magazines.
He completely remodeled his two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo, “where Midcentury meets Modern chic,” according to the Multiple Listing Service.
The 1,600-square-foot unit has a large terrace and a view to the north. Building amenities include valet parking, a gym, a tennis court and a rooftop pool.
Barry Peele of Sotheby’s International Realty, Beverly Hills, has the listing.
A question mark over Neverland
Reports have been circulating that Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch could be headed toward foreclosure. According to a Santa Barbara County Notice of Default report, the beleaguered pop star is delinquent on a $23-million loan.
William Bone, founder and chief executive of Sunrise Colony Co., sold the ranch to Jackson in 1988 for $28 million. It didn’t have as many improvements then, and it had less land -- 2,600 acres in contrast to its current 2,900. It still has a 14,000-square-foot main house.
Among Jackson neighbors, Fess Parker lives just down the road. The actor-hotelier-vintner, who played Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett on TV, remembers touring Neverland when it boasted a staff of between 80 and 100 and had a fire truck with six firemen on duty around the clock.
The pop star’s apparent financial undoing is a head-scratcher for Parker. “If he’s broke, that’s hard to understand,” Parker said.
Jackson’s financial woes have been widely reported, however, and now the fate of Neverland is in question. L. Londell McMillan, a Jackson representative, declined to comment.
To see previous columns go to latimes.com/hotproperty.