Mitzi Gaynor’s former Beverly Hills Home — A Reminder of Old Hollywood
Written by Wendy Bowman | Photos Courtesy of Luke Gibson Photography
If the walls of this recently sold 1920s Spanish-style villa in Beverly Hills’ sought-after “flats” neighborhood could talk, they would have quite a story to tell—from extravagant evenings spent dancing and partying the night away with the likes of renowned screen legends like Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra to the private dance rehearsals of an Emmy Award-winning leading lady.
Occupying a spacious parcel at 610 N. Arden Drive, the former longtime home of famed South Pacific star Mitzi Gaynor can be found tucked away behind gates along a secluded street just minutes away from Rodeo Drive. A reminder of the Golden Age of Hollywood, the elegant two-story, five bedroom, six and a half bathroom estate (listed for $10.95 million by Lauri Lappin of Lappin Realty Group) just netted a buyer thanks to an extensive mid-century authentic Spanish Colonial restoration and update by O.C.-based real estate development and redevelopment firm American Coastal Properties LLC and Santa Monica-based designer/builder Pacific Cove Development that ensured all of the historical integrity and charm of original William Staunton design remained intact.
“I was attracted to the home by its connection to Old Hollywood,” says ACP Founder Nick Sinatra. “Our goal was to try to bring the house back to how it used to look. We kept it as period as possible, while still having all the amenities of a modern home. It’s our intention to just accentuate the outside areas, but leave the house a historically significant ode to the architect, period and people who lived in it.”
At about 6,173 square feet, the two-story stucco and tile-roofed home is graced with many of Staunton’s signature touches—including gable roofs and soaring wood-beamed ceilings. Adding to the original charm are numerous updates—including a luxurious new detached guest wing, complete with kitchen and laundry and a resort-style pool house with gym, bar, steam shower and sauna, along with a Crestron home automation system.
There’s still much of Gaynor’s distinct flair to be unearthed in the residence. When her husband, Jack Bean, and designer Bud Holden began searching for the couple’s new home in August 1960 (while she was in Greece filming the comedy Surprise Package with Yul Brynner and Noël Coward), Gaynor knew she didn’t want a house that had been “moderned-up” and filled with sliding glass doors and carpeting. “I wanted something more original,” she says. “The house really took my breath away; it was just beautiful, and seemed huge. The walls were a foot-and-a-half thick, and there were so many wonderful original details—arched entryways, Spanish tile. I was in love.”
More Throwbacks To Old Hollywood
Good Looks And Charm
The attractive Studio City home once occupied by legendary actor/heartthrob Rock Hudson in the 1950s is up for sale by the John Galich Group of Rodeo Realty Fine Estates Division for $1.095 million. Most recently home to Pitch Perfect director Jason Moore, the 1,008 square foot one bedroom, one bathroom Ralph Bowerman-designed mid-century home (at 3893 Avenida Del Sol), is tucked into a 14,000 square foot tree-filled lot boasting views of Coldwater Canyon, city lights and the grounds, which include a plunge pool, professionally landscaped gardens and several outdoor living areas. Additional features include wrap-around walls of glass and beautiful post and beam style. Perfect for today’s bachelor!
The Riviera House
A 12,000 square foot Spanish Revival-style estate situated on the Pacific Palisades site that actor/president Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, once called home is now on the market for $33 million. Listed by David Offer of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties and developed by Jaman Properties, the one-of-a-kind compound (at 1669 San Onofre Drive) is brand new, yet preserved with many historic touches from the Regan’s original dwelling—including the original bar where Reagan is rumored to have gathered his advisers on the night he decided to run for President and the original shower door that Nancy banged on to alert her husband that he had won the presidency. Updated wow-factor features of the seven bedroom, 10 bathroom estate include a professional kitchen designed by Angelini Osteria Chef Gino Angelini; cashmerelined screening room; 2,000-bottle wine room; show garage with bar; saltwater pool with invisible spa; 80-foot veranda with fireplace and heated dining areas; outdoor kitchen with wraparound bar, built-in barbecue and wood-burning pizza oven; elevator; Presidential Rose Garden sporting limited-edition roses named for Presidents and First Ladies; and more. Did we mention the views from Griffith Park to Catalina?
That’s what listing agent Ginger Glass of the Beverly Hills North office of Coldwell Banker is seeking for the most expensive home on the market in LA. What comes with that price tag? For starters, 10 bedrooms and 20 bathrooms, along with 30,000 square feet of living space situated on a 94,696 square foot lot. Located at 301 N. Carolwood Drive—in the Holmby Hills section of Bel Air, on the grounds of Barbra Streisand’s former Mon Reve Estate—the home boasts standout features including a lounge; wine room; theater complex with a separate valet entrance; dramatic indoor water wall spilling into a lap pool; salon with pedicure/manicure, steam and massage rooms; basketball and tennis courts; and parking for 50 cars within the gates, plus a 10-car garage, just to name a few.