The mystery buyer of Rock Hudson's hacienda overlooking Beverly Hills is . . . John Landis!!
Freshly acquitted of involuntary manslaughter charges in the "Twilight Zone" case, the director of such comedy hits as "Animal House" and "Trading Places" bought the late actor's home in the name of Beverly Crest Trust, but the word (or name, as in "Landis") is out, even though Jeff Hyland and Bobbie McCall, the listing agents, refused to divulge it.
At a probate hearing in June, Landis' representatives made a successful overbid at $2.89 million, $60,000 more than the listing price. Escrow closed last Wednesday.
Hyland, president of the Beverly Hills realty firm of Alvarez, Hyland & Young, described the 5,000-square-foot home as the "quintessential hacienda, what everybody thinks of as a California house."
The two-story Spanish-style home has a courtyard, swimming pool, spa and a hilltop view extending from downtown Los Angeles to the Pacific Ocean.
All of Hudson's belongings were supposed to be out of the house last week, with his film collection donated to the UCLA Film Department and other items expected to be auctioned by Butterfields in New York.
The house is on 2 1/2 acres or five legal lots, which may be subdivided, judging by the number of surveyors and geologists studying the property. There is also talk that Landis may buy an adjacent lot that has been for sale for a long time, since the house on it burned down.
The prospect of several houses being built where Hudson entertained Hollywood's most famous celebrities doesn't thrill some of the neighbors, but they like the idea that Landis plans to spend at least $500,000 to restore the hacienda, which was built in the '50s.
Landis knew the property as he was already living in the neighborhood.
Tom Selleck is in town this weekend to celebrate the grand opening of Selleck Properties' Gateway Center in Palmdale.
The popular star of TV's Hawaiian-set "Magnum P. I." is chairman of Selleck Properties, and his brother, Robert D. Selleck II, is president.
Gateway Center, on Palmdale Avenue between 17th and 20th streets East, is an $11.5-million neighborhood center with 135,268 square feet of fully leased space, anchored by a Hughes market and a PayLess drugstore.
And during its weeklong opening, a trip for two to Hawaii will be given to some lucky shopper. How appropriate!
Clara Bow, the "It Girl" of silent-screen fame, once owned the Palm Springs retreat just bought by real estate developer D. Tom Hile, founder and president of West Coast Resort Properties, a pioneer in developing fractional-share vacation homes.
Hile drives a DeLorean with the custom plates: HylStyl. And he was buying an entertainment life style when he acquired the Palm Springs house: a 4,000-square-foot, split-level home with formal gardens and a backyard built for partying. It has a gazebo bar, tiki torches, a large waterfall, swimming pool and spa.
The house was built for Clara Bow in the Mesa area of South Palm Springs against the side of a mountain in 1942, but it was not occupied for many years. The purchase price was not disclosed, but the estimated value, including refurbishing, is $600,000.
Clara Bow isn't the only famous name involved in this property, by the way. Hile was represented in the transaction by Betsy Ross, and the house was listed with Eadie Adams Realty. Nooooo, not the actress Edie Adams. Not the flag maker, Betsy Ross, either. And the seller, represented by Nancy Campbell, was a private party, not related to the "It Girl," who only lived in the house for about eight years and died in 1965.