Hot Property turns 30!

For 30 years, Hot Property has given readers the ultimate sneak peek into the lives and luxury homes of Hollywood's rich and famous.

The arched footbridge crossing over a stone-lined moat at Jennifer Lopez's $10-million French-style villa in Bel-Air. The bowling alley, hair salon and flower-cutting room at Candy Spelling's 56,500-square-foot Holmby Hills mansion. Elton John's snakeskin-covered bed frames in West Hollywood.

No detail is too obscure, says Kurt Rappaport, real estate agent to the stars: "People want to know — the world wants to know — what they are doing."

Then we've got a deal

When Johnny Carson sold his oceanfront home on Carbon Beach in 1985 to John McEnroe, "The Tonight Show" host negotiated an unusual request into the contract: six private tennis lessons from the former world No.1 pro.

The two consummated that part of the deal later that year at Pepperdine University, as neither had a tennis court at his home.

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So the working-class hero is now living in the Beverly Hills area.
Bruce Springsteen,
after paying nearly $14 million for a 4.5-acre estate

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Bridesmaids, beware of this bachelor pad


Square footage of actor Vince Vaughn's sub-$100,000 one-bedroom condo in Hancock Park, the lowest-priced property ever to appear in the Hot Property column.

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Trading hockey rinks for surf and sand

In the South Bay, Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach have been some of the most popular spots to live, particularly among the reigning Stanley Cup champions.

"There is a high congregation of hockey players in the South Bay, Manhattan Beach in particular," said Kofi Natei Nartey, director of the sports and entertainment division at the Agency. "But you also see a lot of out-of-state players who want to live here and train in more favorable conditions."

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Egg on his face


Age of pop star Justin Bieber when he bought his first house, spending $6.5 million on a 10,000-square-foot mansion in Calabasas.

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When you really gotta go

Some mansions have nearly as many commodes as entire blocks in less regal neighborhoods.

Pickfair, the Beverly Hills estate of Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, was outfitted with 30 bathrooms in a later overhaul.

But the record locally may be the 41 bathrooms boasted by an 18,400-square-foot Mediterranean-style home in Bel-Air that was recently on the market for $40 million, real estate agents say.

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No struggle to make the rent


Monthly lease on a Malibu Colony home along a stretch of coastline known as Billionaire's Beach.

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Just around the corner from Aunt Bee

The best-kept secret hideaway for Hollywood stars is La Cañada Flintridge, a community with the charm and grace of a long-ago era.

Residents living in the 'Mayberry' of Los Angeles include actress Angela Bassett and comic actor Vince Vaughn.

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Topping the marquee

Hollywood Hills has been attracting stars since comedian W.C. Fields, comic actor Groucho Marx, above, and 1930s sex symbol Jean Harlow were in their heyday.

Later generations of celebrity homeowners have included actors Ben Affleck, Ben Stiller and Renee Zellweger.

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Next door to the middle of everything

The Bird streets section of Hollywood Hills remains the favored home-buying locale of hip Hollywood.

The location is central to major studios, trendy restaurants and nightlife, yet perched in the hills it feels removed from the city.

"It still holds the title as most desirable place to live for younger celebrities," said Chad Rogers, a real estate agent with Hilton & Hyland.

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Where new millionaires meet old billionaires

There's a different level of star power in Holmby Hills and Bel-Air, with both old- and new-money multimillionaires and billionaires.

"The A-plus listers," Hilton & Hyland real estate agent Chad Rogers calls them. "It's a place where price really is no object."

Actors Tony Curtis and Gregory Peck and singers Sonny and Cher have owned homes in Holmby Hills, and singer superstars Jay-Z and Beyonce leased a newly built house listed at $45 million this summer.

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One of my favorite stories to tell is that of the former tennis court estate of celebrity Janet Leigh, who starred in 'Psycho.' Although she lived in her estate for many years, she never used the shower again. I guess the actress was more impacted than the audience!
Joyce Rey,
Coldwell Banker Previews International

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Hello Rock, this is Doris

Stars didn't necessarily communicate through a talent agent or a real estate broker back when Hot Property first started. On one occasion, columnist Ruth Ryon got a call about an aerial photograph that had run in the paper. She recounted the exchange in a column:

" 'Hello,' the caller said, 'this is Rock Hudson.' 'Sure,' I thought, 'and I'm Doris Day.' Turned out it was Hudson, interested in securing a copy of the photo, which showed his property before his home was built."

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Interviews over breakfast, drinks and wigs

Talk-show host and game-show creator Merv Griffin once fielded Hot Property columnist Ruth Ryon's questions at a breakfast in his honor in Beverly Hills between bites of scrambled eggs and bacon.

Actress and home restorer Diane Keaton met Ryon for an interview over Shirley Temples in the Polo Lounge of the Beverly Hills Hotel.

And another time the columnist got a personal tour of Phyllis Diller's Brentwood home. They stopped in the wig room, where the comedienne had Ryon try on a pink 'do. From then on, the two exchanged Christmas cards.

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I had a listing on a home in Beverly Hills. The son of the owner had a poster of Ozzy Osbourne on his bedroom wall. I happened to be showing Ozzy the home, and he saw the poster and signed it for him. The son of the owner was surprised and thrilled when he saw the signed poster.
Joe Babajian,
Rodeo Realty

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Celebrating three decades of Hot Property

Breaking news on the home front

A decade ago, Shaquille O'Neal wanted to be traded after the Lakers' loss in the NBA Finals. Rather than announce his intended move to Miami, the 32-year-old center let real estate agent Jordan Cohen of Re/Max Olson give Hot Property columnist Ruth Ryon the information that Shaq was putting his Beverly Hills area home on the market at $7.5 million.

That bit of news couldn't be kept secret until the column appeared in Sunday's paper. The Sports section ran with the scoop in the daily paper, ahead of the column's publication, much to Ryon's ire.

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In a world where we don't know our neighbors, 'celebrity' has now become something that we can connect around. Hot Property did tap into that early on.
Elizabeth Currid-Halkett,
Author of "Starstruck: The Business of Celebrity"

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A full suite of sports

Former Dodgers third baseman Adrian Beltre outfitted his onetime mansion-estate in Bradbury with a 2,500-square-foot rec room outfitted as an indoor batting cage.

But that was just the start. The property offered a full range of athletic outlets: a tennis court, a basketball court, two tees and two putting greens with sand traps.

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Most athletes, particularly basketball players, like to live near workout facilities rather than work out at their homes. They like to be at the gym, training with other guys, and then they like to leave it all there and come home.
Jordan Cohen,
Re/Max Olson and Associates broker

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Jane Seymour ousts an 'ugly' neighbor

British actress Jane Seymour, who starred in the series "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman," and her then-husband fixed up and sold several homes in Beverly Hills as investments.

"They once bought the house across the street from theirs because it was so ugly," their real estate agent Jana Jones-Duffy said, redoing it "so they could look at something they liked."

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You'll never guess who called

She found her dream home

Phyllis Diller bought a 10,000-square-foot Country English-style house in the fall of 1965 and immediately fell in love.

"It was the house I always dreamed of," she said of the 1914 Brentwood residence, "and here it was, already built."

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Celebrity couple flips homes with 'good bones'

Actor Corbin Bernsen and his wife, actress Amanda Pays, appear regularly in Hot Property, having renovated about 20 houses in Hollywood Hills, Beverly Hills and the San Fernando Valley.

"For us it was always a way to make extra income and be creative at the same time," Pays said. "My thing is finding old houses with good bones and reworking them."

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Blasting away in the subterranean firing range


Square footage of the mansion purchased by commercial real estate investment manager Donald Abbey.

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Diane Keaton: Driven to save vintage homes

Bent on restoration, Oscar-winning actress Diane Keaton has favored homes by well-known architects and 1920s Spanish-style homes.

Keaton made her Hot Property debut in 1996 selling the Lloyd Wright-designed Samuel-Novarro home in Los Feliz for about $950,000 after, the column reported, she had put nearly $1 million into renovations.

The actress told The Times in 2003 that she grew up accompanying her father as he invested in tract houses. That fueled her interest in homes, and she became driven to save vintage Spanish Colonial-style houses from destruction. "I'd buy every one of them that comes up for sale if I could afford it."

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A landmark Halloween haunt


Trick-or-treaters who visit Spadena House each year. The whimsical property in Beverly Hills conjures impressions of the Brothers Grimm thanks to its storybook-style design, complete with irregular wooden shutters, a gable roof and a moat.

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Out with Bieber, in with Kardashian

The infamous egging. A confrontation with former NFL star Keyshawn Johnson over alleged reckless driving in the neighborhood. A raid carried out by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. No home drew more eyes in 2014 than Justin Bieber's Calabasas residence.

The saga ended in June with Bieber handing off the Spanish-style home to another celebrity capable of keeping the media circus going strong: Khloe Kardashian.

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30 years and counting

From gambling den to three-ring circus

Never one to shy away from the unorthodox, the Material Girl caused a stir after she had her home in the Hollywood Hills painted in red and yellow stripes, a color scheme that many likened to a circus tent. The 1920s Mediterranean — once used as a gambling den by Bugsy Siegel in the 1930s — later sold in 1996 for about $5 million.

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What to get the man who owns a Hawaiian island


Acres in the Rancho Mirage estate bought by billionaire Oracle Corp. co-founder Larry Ellison.

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From 'The Addams Family' to 'Leave It to Beaver'

Home life for Cassandra Peterson became more "Leave It to Beaver" than "The Addams Family" after she sold her Los Feliz house to Brad Pitt and moved next door.

"We went Elvira-crazy in our old home," she said, referring to her role as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.

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Just imagine the dentist bill


Cost of the candy room in the 23,000-square-foot contemporary mansion of handbag magnate Bruce Makowsky.

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Where no man has gone before

"Star Trek" reminders, such as the last pair of pointy rubber ears he wore as the half-human, half-Vulcan Mr. Spock, are displayed in Leonard Nimoy's study. But he's quick to say, "There isn't much of that."

He keeps little memorabilia: Marker boards for some movies he directed, a photo of himself with "Star Trek" star William Shatner, a director's chair with his name on it.

A large movie poster in the family room advertises his first sci-fi movie, "Zombies of the Stratosphere." It was released by Republic Studios in 1952.

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Just don't flush all at once


Number of bathrooms in the Holmby Hills estate built in 1988 for film and TV producer Aaron Spelling and his wife, Candy.

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Indulging her impractical side

Diane Keaton likes to look at houses even when she is not in the market to buy.

The Oscar-winning actress grew up in Santa Ana during the housing boom of the '50s, going to open houses with her father, Jack Hall, a civil engineer who became a real estate broker.

"My father took me to see model homes, which I thought were palaces," Keaton said as she sipped a Shirley Temple in the Polo Lounge of the Beverly Hills Hotel.

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