Little Holmby home where Marlene Dietrich lived and entertained seeks $6.5 million

A Little Holmby estate once home to actress Marlene Dietrich has come on the market at $6.495 million.


A Little Holmby home with an Old Hollywood connection has listed for sale at $6.495 million.

Situated on more than half an acre, the 1932 Mediterranean Revival has ties to actress-singer Marlene Dietrich, who hosted scores of stars at the property during her stay. Todd Wellington Johnson, the tax attorney for Bing Crosby and other Hollywood types, was another former resident and also used the property for large social gatherings.

In the late 1930s, actress Dorothy Dunbar leased the home after her marriage to French artist Tino Costa, the fifth of her seven husbands, was annulled. Dunbar was later sued by the owner for property damage caused by her beloved cocker spaniel, Duke.


“He was never a bad dog when I was around,” Dunbar told The Times in 1937.

The two-story house, designed by architect L.G. Scherer, has been restored and renovated while maintaining key architectural elements. Vaulted and beamed ceilings, wood and terra-cotta floors and stained-glass windows are among the original details. A circular foyer with a sweeping staircase sits just beyond the entry.

The 6,167 square feet of living space include a wood-paneled den, a chef’s kitchen and a screening room with a wet bar. The great room is anchored by one of six fireplaces. The master suite, among the four bedrooms and four bathrooms, opens to a balcony overlooking the grounds.

Outdoors, there’s a swimming pool and spa, a fireplace, gardens and a koi pond. A tree-topped courtyard sits off the front entry. Views from the site take in the Los Angeles Country Club.

The property last changed hands six months ago for about $5.472 million, public records show.

Jane Gavens of John Aaroe Group and Marc Noah of Sotheby’s International Realty hold the listing.


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