Game plan pays off

Times Staff Writer

Ah, the difference $2 million makes. Tennis star Pete Sampras has sold his Beverly Hills home after dropping the price from $25 million to $23 million, which is what the Multiple Listing Service says the place fetched.

Sampras recently expanded and remodeled the English Tudor-style house, adding lots of detailed finishes throughout. The estate, walled and gated, sits on more than an acre of landscaped grounds that include -- surprise, surprise! -- a north-south tennis court. Did the King of Swing ever play on it? Not likely; this house has been a work in progress since Sampras bought it.

The 10,376-square-foot, two-story house has five bedrooms and 12 bathrooms. There is a detached guesthouse and a separate gym. The main house includes a home theater and an office-library; the master bedroom suite has his-and-hers bathrooms.

Sampras, the former top-ranked player in the world, won a record 14 Grand Slam men’s singles titles. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2007 and is married to actress Bridgette Wilson.


Jordan Cohen was the listing agent, according to the MLS Combined L.A./Westside.


Pro golfer swings into the market

While we’re talking about sports, the Rancho Santa Fe estate of pro golfer Phil Mickelson has come on the market with an asking-price range of $10,750,000 to $12,225,876. Makes you wonder who came up with those numbers, doesn’t it?

The Tuscan-style house sits on about 5 acres and includes a 1,200-square-foot detached guest villa. There are hand-carved cantera stone fireplaces, Calcutta marble and Baccarat crystal used on the sterling silver fixtures. The custom mosaics are replicated from a Venetian palazzo.

Mickelson, 38, has finished second or third on the money list in six of the last eight seasons. He is one of today’s leading players, having won three major championships and 34 PGA Tour events. He’s a southpaw -- when playing golf, anyway -- hence the nickname “Lefty.”

Susan Bartow, Prudential California Realty in Rancho Santa Fe, has the listing.


Rocker seems an alt-residence guy

How does such an idiosyncratic singer live in such an everyday mansion? Maybe that’s why Beck wants to sell the Hancock Park-area Mediterranean he’s owned since November. Some houses just aren’t a good fit.

Listing price: $9 million. Pretty optimistic for a place he bought less than a year ago for $6.75 million, although he has apparently done some remodeling, agents say. The 8,292-square-foot house -- six bedrooms, nine bathrooms, two stories -- was built in 1924, according to the MLS/CLAW. The house has all the bells and whistles you’d expect in an estate: mature trees, large-scale public rooms, a library. The grand-entry foyer has custom-designed Bill Blass floors, and the living room opens to a lanai for morning coffee. There is a professional recording studio and rehearsal room in the guesthouse and a grassy backyard with a 60-foot swimming pool with lanes.

But this is Beck -- the alternative synthesized rocker who creates those surreal, free-associative lyrics that are all generally kind of dark -- in a Mediterranean. Let’s hope for a quick sale.

Beck, on a world tour, will be playing the Hollywood Bowl in September. His latest album, “Modern Guilt,” has just been released.

Richard Klug of Sotheby’s International Realty is the listing agent, according to the MLS.


Bike aficionado ready to scoot

Speed is the heart and soul of Scott Gillen’s life, and the producer-director of the popular motorcycle lifestyle show “Build or Bust” no doubt hopes his Malibu house will sell with it as well.

Gillen has listed his Midcentury Modern at $5,475,000. It has a brand-new 60-foot lap pool and sits on a private acre lot with ocean and sunset views. Built in 1958, the one-story house has four bedrooms and 3 1/2 bathrooms in 5,462 square feet. There are three fireplaces.

Gillen started as a stuntman and quickly made a name for himself flipping cars and doing maneuvers that likely gave his mother heartburn.

His career evolved into producing and directing car commercials before he added TV shows to his resume. In 2005, he launched “Build or Bust” on the Speed channel; last year, he followed it with his reality show “Setup,” on which 12 teams of amateur race-car drivers compete for a chance to win $100,000.

Eytan Levin of Bentzen Levin Real Estate, Malibu, is the listing agent.


That not-so-little house off PCH

Kent and Susan McCray made the kind of TV shows that the whole family could sit down and watch together without anyone getting embarrassed: “Bonanza,” “Little House on the Prairie” and “Highway to Heaven.”

And the one thread that ran through their professional and personal lives was actor-producer Michael Landon, who died in 1991. Landon and Kent McCray were business partners as well as “best friend brothers,” Susan McCray said.

Now that the McCrays are semiretired, they’ve decided to sell their Malibu home. The 5,607-square-foot house they’ve listed for sale at $3.8 million has four bedrooms and five bathrooms -- including a master suite with two separate bathrooms.

The family room opens to a patio, pool, spa and gardens. There is an entertainment bar with koa wood cabinets, a brass sink and a granite countertop. The home has walls and high ceilings made of cedar, and the living room has an Italian tile marble fireplace.

There are ocean views from the home, located in the Malibu Country Estates community -- unique in Malibu because of its sidewalks and sewers. It is right below Pepperdine University and just across Pacific Coast Highway from the Michael Landon Community Center.

The McCrays have owned this house for about 25 years.

Susan McCray has her own Internet radio show, “Getting to Know You,” at She also just produced a CD of her father’s music; her dad was Academy Award-winning composer Harry Sukman. She is also the author of a children’s book, “Harry’s Piano,” (

Kent McCray has a newly dedicated television studio at the University of Hartford in Connecticut, where the McCrays are both regents.

For 14 seasons, Americans gathered around their television sets to tune into the High Sierra adventures of the Cartwright clan on “Bonanza.” Kent McCray worked as a producer of that show, as well as on “Little House on the Prairie” and “Highway to Heaven.” His wife worked as a casting director, and Landon starred in all three.

“Little House on the Prairie” was on the air for nine years and has a bigger audience now than it did when it originally aired.

Lynette Bishop of Prudential Malibu Realty has the listing.


Time for couple to transplant

If ever a house should have magnificent gardens, it’s this one.

Michael D. Kunce and his wife, Marianne, have listed their Claremont home for $3 million. Kunce is president of Armstrong Garden Centers, which has 32 Southern California locations and two in the Bay Area.

The house has 8,000 square feet, five bedrooms plus an office, eight bathrooms and a three-room guest suite. The entryway has a dramatic dual winding staircase. The master bedroom suite is on the ground level and has a three-sided fireplace, a sitting room and a gym for when you aren’t sitting. Every bedroom has a patio or balcony.

The great/family room has a refreshment center and a 450-bottle wine closet. The formal dining room features coffered ceilings. There is a bonus game-room loft.

The acre property includes a 68-foot swimming pool, a wading pool and a spa. And why, yes, the landscaping was done by Armstrong Garden Centers and Roger’s Gardens of Newport Beach.

Geoff T. Hamill of Prudential Wheeler Steffen Real Estate in Claremont has the listing.