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Holmby Mansion to Be Site of Benefit

June 21, 1987|RUTH RYON | Times Staff Writer

Producer David Wolper's old Holmby Hills house, built in 1937 for an unnamed silent-screen star and owned most recently by the late British pop-singer manager Gordon Mills, will be on view next Sunday at California Spirit III, a 5 to 9 p.m. garden party to benefit the American Cancer Society.

Mills, who took two singers named Thomas Jones Woodward and Arnold George Dorsey and turned them into Tom Jones and Englebert Humperdinck, died last year at age 51 of liver cancer.

Mills, who was divorced, is survived by his mother and five children, ages 15-22, who live in England. The Holmby Hills house is owned by Mills' estate, which donated it for the event.

Wolfgang Puck recruited several other chefs to man food stands, which will represent Spago, Tommy Tang's, Trumps, Chinois, Saint Estephe, Valentino, Primi, The Border Grill and City. Tickets, at $200 each, are available through the Cancer Society (213/670-2650 or 213/390-8766).

This is the third year for this benefit. It was held the past two years at Pickfair, originally the home of Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks Sr. Pickfair has been owned by Lakers' owner Jerry Buss since 1980.

The Cancer Society was hoping to have the benefit there again this year, but Pickfair was expected to have new owners by now. After extensively renovating it, Buss put Pickfair on the market in February, 1986, at $11.5 million, and--though it has since been reduced to $8.7 million--it is still for sale through Margie Oswald of Rodeo Realty.

The 28-room Mills home is also for sale through Cecelia Waeschle, of the same firm. Asking price: $3.65 million. "We have an offer on it, which will be considered at a court hearing at the end of July," she said.

The house has seven bedrooms and seven baths in about 9,000 square feet of space designed by architect James Dolena in Georgian-Colonial style. It has a screening room, added by Wolper in t1751457831red-velvet drapes and flocked wallpaper. The property is on a flat acre that she likened to a croquet lawn.

Kenny and Marianne Rogers have given notice on the Beverly Hills house they have been leasing at more than $30,000 a month, and--industry sources say--they sold the lot they bought at Beverly Park Estates to producer Richard Zanuck.

The popular singer, who is "developing"--if you'll excuse the expression--into an outstanding photographer (his book "Kenny Rogers' America" was published last year), and his family are planning to live full time on their ranch in Georgia, Stephen Shapiro of Stan Herman Associates in Beverly Hills said.

Shapiro, who has the $7.75-million listing on the house Rogers and his wife were renting, said, "The street talk I hear is that they are moving for their son. They feel the ranch is a better place for him to grow up. It's a less-spoiled atmosphere."

Besides, Rogers probably can book his music tours and do his photography in Georgia as well as in California.

The Beverly Hills house, owned by Stan Herman, was built for the JC Penney family in the 1930s, and--here's that name again--it was designed by architect James Dolena. Later, it was sold to Asa V. Call, a prominent business leader who died in 1978 at age 85.

The home was refurbished in 1980. It has a tennis court, swimming pool and seven fireplaces.

Rogers' ranch isn't shabby. Known as Beaver Dam Farms, the 332-acre compound--in Athens, Ga.--has a waterfall, several horse barns, a heated equine pool, guest facilities and a 15,000-square-foot main residence. It was for sale last summer at $11 million.

With so many hotels opening in California, the new Doubletree in Mission Valley found a novel way to get attention. It's where a Hollywood celebrity-doubles casting call will be held Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. If you look like Clark Gable, Joan Collins, Madonna or some other luminary, just show up at the Doubletree, dressed for the part, with a photo of you dressed for the part. The reward? Look-alikes may be selected for a new motion picture or for TV commercials and promotions for the Doubletree. No guarantees. That's Hollywood.

Century City theatergoers and office workers who have been yearning for more nearby places to eat should be happy with this:

Several leases were signed last week for some new restaurants and what are known as "patio vendors" in The Marketplace, the farmer's market-type part of the $25-million Century City Shopping Center expansion.

The new places to chow down will be Langan's Brasserie, the first U. S. rendition of a famous London establishment by the same name. It's owned by David Hockney with several celebrity backers--Michael Caine included.

The Stage Deli, which has been in the same Manhattan location for 53 years, will be another restaurant there--as will Yin Yang, a dim sum, open kitchen-type restaurant partly owned by Bill Lee, who owns Jade West, the long-time Century City dining place that has some of the best Chinese chicken salad and Peking duck around.

Some of the patio vendors will be Gulen's, named for Gulen (he goes by one name), the maitre d' who has supervised President Reagan's meals at the Century Plaza Hotel, and Gulen's Burger 5, featuring--you guessed it--five hamburgers, called the Buddy Hackett, the Shecky Greene, the Don Rickles, the Bob Newhart. What a laugh. Then there's the Mario Machado, named for the former sportscaster-turned-soccer official. The hamburger honorees are Gulen's friends.

In all, there will be 30 vendors and five restaurants when The Marketplace opens with a gala celebration Oct. 6 to benefit the AFI Film Associates and Los Angeles Arts Council.

The 130,000-square-foot shopping center expansion also will include one of the largest bookstores in Los Angeles, a European sporting goods store, and the AMC Theater complex, with 14 new movie houses. All are expected to open two days after The Marketplace.

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