Playa Vista scores with Laker coach

Times Staff Writer

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Kurt Rambis, assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers. Rambis, nicknamed “Superman” when he started wearing thick, Clark Kent-type eyeglasses as a Laker player, and his wife, Linda, have bought a town home in Playa Vista for $1.2 million.

The three-bedroom, 3 1/2 -bathroom unit was a model for the complex and was purchased fully furnished. It has 2,600 square feet.

The town house also has a private gated entry, a living room with a fireplace, a dining room with a deck, a family room and a gourmet kitchen.

Rambis, a key player with the Lakers during most of his 14 seasons in the NBA, played a vital role in the 1980s as a reserve power forward alongside Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy. Rambis, 48, was a member of four Laker championship teams as a player and three as an assistant coach.


He has been a fan favorite since he became recognizable while wearing the eyeglasses and a thick moustache. Laker announcer Chick Hearn gave him the nickname.

Phyllis Cohen-Edwards of Shorewood Realtors, Manhattan Beach, represented the Rambises in their purchase.

Drummer marches

to a different house

Rocker Travis Barker, former drummer with the punk band Blink-182, and his wife, 1996 Miss USA and actress Shanna Moakler, are buying a house in Calabasas.

The couple, in their early 30s, recently listed their home in Bel-Air at $8.5 million.

Moakler said that they chose Calabasas because they “want to move a little further from the city.” The house, in a celebrity neighborhood, is the same size as the pair’s Bel-Air residence, which has eight bedrooms and 10 1/2 bathrooms in slightly more than 12,000 square feet.

The Calabasas home is a sprawling, newly built one-story with a backyard designed for entertaining.

The Bel-Air estate, built in 2003, has three stories, serviced by an elevator. The home is where Barker’s MTV reality series, “Meet the Barkers,” was filmed.

Robin Lucas and Eva Horland of Re/Max Olson, Westlake Village, have the Bel-Air listing.

Lighting is right for ocean sunsets

Mark Marchetti, a director of lighting and photography for music videos, commercials and feature films, has purchased a Playa del Rey home with whitewater views from Malibu to the Palos Verdes Peninsula for about $1.8 million.

The four-bedroom, three-bathroom house was built in 1939 in the post-Art Deco, Moderne style. The first owner was a representative of the U.S. Shipping Board in Washington, D.C. After he came to California in 1921, he worked for the L.A. Steamship Co., which may explain why some parts of the home look like a steamship.

Marchetti has been in the film industry for 13 years and recently worked on music videos for Usher, Eminem and Velvet Revolver. He also has been working on a series of commercials for Disney.

Nick Tatone of Prudential California Realty represented both sides of the deal.

Singer tunes in

to Valley Village

Singer Ralph Saenz, also known as Michael Starr of the heavy-metal comedy act Metal Skool, and his wife, model-actress Jocelyn Saenz, have purchased a newly built Valley Village home for $1.4 million.

The Mediterranean-style house has five bedrooms and 4 1/2 bathrooms in 3,600 square feet. There is a two-story living room with a balcony, a wood-burning fireplace and hardwood floors.

Ralph Saenz, formerly with L.A. Guns, appears weekly as Starr at the Key Club on the Sunset Strip. The 31-year-old tours under his name as lead singer for the Atomic Punks, a Van Halen tribute band. Since his first feature-film appearance in “Rock Star,” he has been on the road with both bands and expects to start production on another, as yet untitled, film later this year.

Jocelyn Saenz’s credits include a music video and a Dunkin Donuts commercial.

Dorene Martin of Coldwell Banker, Studio City, represented the couple in their purchase. Avi Barazani of the same office had the listing.

$6.8 million for 3 acres and rubble

Three landscaped acres and the charred remnants of a Pasadena mansion have been sold for close to their $6.8-million asking price. The seller, Michael Hammer, grandson of the late industrialist Armand Hammer, was renovating the house in October when it was gutted by fire.

Many people mistakenly believed that the mansion was used in the ‘60s “Batman” TV series to portray Wayne Manor, Batman’s residence. It nevertheless had a life in Hollywood, having been used in the movies “Topper” and “Rocky V” as well as the TV series “Murder, She Wrote.”

The 12,000-square-foot house, a few doors away from the home used in the “Batman” series, also appears on the cover of “Paul R. Williams, Architect: A Legacy of Style,” written by Karen Hudson as a tribute to her grandfather. Williams, who designed the house in 1929, was the first African American member of the American Institute of Architects.

The buyer was described as an owner-builder.

Joe Babajian and Drew Fenton had the listing at Prudential John Aaroe, Beverly Hills.