Rock Hudson's house, just north of the Beverly Hills city limit, where the actor lived for about 20 years before he died last October, has been put on the market for $2.95 million.
(Court papers describe the value of Hudson's assets only as "exceeding $10,000," although a bond of $8.6 million was posted for the estate, which Hudson willed to a trust he established in 1974.)
The mountaintop Mediterranean-style home, with a view from downtown Los Angeles to the Pacific Ocean, has a courtyard behind gates that holds 20 cars. The main house, built in three sections around an inner courtyard with a swimming pool and barbecue, has a living room that looks out to a sloping lawn, greenhouse and trails leading to a tropical forest.
The 5,000-square-foot home, on little more than an acre, also has chauffeur's quarters and a theater that seats about 20 people.
About 100 mourners gathered there for the star's memorial service last fall. Elizabeth Taylor, Susan St. James, Robert Wagner, Stephanie Powers, Carol Burnett, Esther Williams, Tab Hunter and Roddy McDowall were just a few of the celebrities counted as attending. In happier days, Hudson had the theater and swimming pool built for entertaining, often with Mexican food and strolling mariachis, which the mourners also enjoyed in his memory.
Hudson recently remodeled the house, redoing the kitchen and pool area. The home was built about 50 years ago.
Four years ago, when the real estate section ran an aerial photo taken in the late 1920s of the Coldwater Canyon area, I got a phone call. "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.
In the photo, a sign on the site said: "Beverly Crest." "It was a sign to promote a subdivision in the area, which was very exclusive, between Coldwater Canyon and Trousdale," said Jeff Hyland, who has the listing through Alvarez, Hyland & Young in Beverly Hills.
Beverly Crest was a 250-lot subdivision by developer George Read, who publicized it with a map and a key "to the homes of motion picture celebrities and other notables" about the time Hudson was born.
Actors Lloyd Bridges, Charlton Heston, Stewart Granger and Ron Ely all went to that trendy West Hollywood restaurant, Spago, the other day to hear their friend, tennis champion Charles Pasarell Jr., and his friend, Al DeVaul, announce a $400-million joint venture.
The pair's Grand Champions Resort Development Corp. and VMS Realty Partners signed a letter of intent to team develop luxury resorts in Indian Wells, on Peter Island in the Caribbean, and on the island of Maui, where the principals went after the Spago event to announce acquisition of the Wailea Tennis Club, known unofficially as "Wimbleton of the West."
The first venture will be a $100-million, 34-acre, 340-suite hotel, already under construction and expected to open in November in Indian Wells. A 3,500-capacity tennis stadium, 12 tennis courts, 22 pools and spas and two 18-hole golf courses are planned as part of that resort. Wolfgang Puck, Spago's owner/chef, is expected to supervise food operations.
Corbin/Yamafugi designed the hotel, which--by the rendering--is reminiscent of La Mamounia, supposedly Winston Churchill's favorite hotel, in Marrakech, Morocco. Robert Yamafugi, Pasarell and DeVaul were there last summer, looking for design ideas. Even stayed in the Churchill Suite, which I didn't see, but it had a very imposing door.
We met on the plane from Casablanca, and Pasarell was carrying a tennis racket. A tennis racket in Marrakech's 120-degree July temperatures?
"What do you do for a living?" I asked. "What do you think we do?" one answered. "I think you're real estate developers," I replied to their surprise.
I was pretty sure Pasarell didn't come there for the tennis, but come to think of it, Indian Wells gets almost as hot as Marrakech in the summer. Maybe Pasarell has a special technique for playing in the heat. He was former top-ranked tennis pro and five-time U.S. Davis Cup competitor.
Grand Champions, which has offices on Avenue of the Stars in Century City, was Pasarell's brainchild, and it opened its first project, a private club in Aspen (that Grand Champions didn't build), in January, before deciding to team up with Chicago-based VMS. VMS has a portfolio of 50 hotels, 12.2 million square feet of office and retail space and about 30,000 apartments. Total value: more than $5 billion.
Celebrity interest in Grand Champions isn't surprising, by the way. Not only has Pasarell hobnobbed with the stars for years, but entertainer/producer Alan King is vice chairman of Grand Champions' entertainment and special events.