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Elton John Leases Beverly Hills House

July 12, 1987|RUTH RYON | Times Staff Writer

Elton John is back in town--leasing a house in the area known as "the flats of Beverly Hills" at an estimated $25,000 a month.

The flats don't have the largest lots in Beverly Hills, but the house John is renting was described as a "nice, large one--close to 10,000 square feet--built three or four years ago in a traditional style."

Traditional--for the flamboyant Elton John? Can't be he's getting old. John is only 40. Maybe the throat surgery he was recovering from in Australia earlier this year made him more conservative.

The Beverly Hills home has been called "a serious house." It has high ceilings, crown moldings, a tennis court, swimming pool and guest house.

We've heard of some big price decreases in our time, but here's one to remember:

It's the late Rudy Vallee's Hollywood Hills home, which he occupied for 45 years before his death at age 85 a year ago this month.

Built in the '30s for actress Ann Harding, the 20-acre mountaintop estate was first listed, with another firm, last October for $10 million. Now it's listed with Dolly Brown at Fred Sands Estates for $5.5 million!

Brown said the price was dropped so substantially mainly because Vallee's widow, Eleanor, "didn't get the response she wanted at $10 million, and she is a motivated seller."

By "motivated," Brown said she meant that Vallee's widow is "more ready emotionally to give up the house now. She wants to go on with a new life."

Eleanor Vallee was a teen-ager when she became the megaphone-carrying crooner's fourth wife. He was in his late '40s.

Sculptures more than price can make a home world famous, says Beverly Hills real estate broker Mike Silverman.

As an example, he cites the statues of nudes that were along the walls of the Sunset Boulevard mansion owned by Sheik Mohammed al-Fassi before it was demolished in 1985.

"He certainly made an outrageous statement when he painted certain areas (of the statues) in a graphically erotic manner," Silverman said, "but when I met him in the south of France and told him about the commotion (caused by the painted statues), I found that the French were amused by it all."

Even the statues are gone now, but another client, also with a house on Sunset Boulevard, has been drawing attention to his property this year through sculptures that amuse and entertain.

Among the statues are a couple peering over a wall with binoculars, two kids trying to climb over the wall and a policeman writing a ticket.

"They're show-stoppers," Silverman noted, "and Liz Taylor even left a note commending the owners--she liked the sculptures so much."

The home is owned by a commercial real estate developer who "is very concerned about his privacy," Silverman said, refusing to divulge the name. He named the sculptor, though. He's J. Seward Johnson Jr.

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