Film director JOHN LANDIS has practically demolished the former Rock Hudson home he bought in probate court nearly two years ago and is now in the framing stage of what sources say will be a 7,000-square-foot-plus mansion to be built around the landscaping.
That's a twist, since landscaping is usually designed to complement the architecture.
"They've done some wonderful brick work," an observer said about the landscaping. "There are some brick steps with inset lights leading down to a new pool in the back yard."
The late actor's pool on another part of the 2.5-acre property has been filled with concrete, and the statuary he had installed has been sold. All that's left of the two-story hacienda Hudson built in the '50s overlooking Beverly Hills is an estimated 20% of the original building and a motor court hidden behind very tall oleanders, which we're told, will be replaced by a big wall with electric gates.
Just after he was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter in the "Twilight Zone" case, Landis paid $2.89 million, $60,000 more than the listing price, for the home. He is expected to spend more than $3.5 million on creating what has been described as "a veritable fortress."
Landis and his wife, Deborah, had planned to take occupancy by Christmas, but now it looks as if the place won't be finished until Easter. They already live in the neighborhood.
MIKE SHANAHAN, head coach of the Los Angeles Raiders, and his wife, Peggy, have purchased a two-story home in the Cresta Palos Verdes area of Rancho Palos Verdes.
Records show that the sales price was slightly more than $1 million.
The Shanahans were drawn to the area by Steve Ortmayer, head of football operations for the Raiders before taking a similar position with the San Diego Chargers. Ortmayer referred the Shanahans to Lillian Savitz of Merrill Lynch Realty in Malaga Cove Plaza, who helped them look for a home for more than a year, while they rented in the area. Savitz handled the sale.
The family-oriented nature of Palos Verdes appealed to the Shanahans, who have a 9-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter, Savitz said.
DIRK BENEDICT, who played "Face" in television's "A-Team," and his actress wife, TONI HUDSON, are buying a house in Santa Monica and have put their Wilshire Boulevard condo on the market at $795,000, all through Dave Holmes of Exclusive Realtors in Marina del Rey.
Holmes wouldn't say, but industry sources indicate that the Benedicts are paying close to the $900,000 asking price for their new home, which is due to close escrow in September.
"Since the birth of our son, George, Dirk needs more space, plus he can keep his plane at the Santa Monica Airport nearby," Hudson said. Benedict was in Hawaii last week filming a pilot for a TV series called "Trenchcoats in Paradise."
One of the original Westside estates--built in Holmby Hills in 1938 for actress CONSTANCE BENNETT and her then-husband, actor GILBERT ROLAND, and later owned by actress LORETTA YOUNG--is for sale at $12.4 million.
The 17,432-square-foot mansion was updated and redecorated about two years ago by its most recent owner, heiress Lydia Morrison, who died last summer. Morrison, who was in her 80s, was the only child of Louis Mendelssohn, the financial genius behind the Fisher Body Co., which merged with General Motors.
"This was a third home for her," said Kay Pick of Mike Silverman & Associates, who shares the listing with Chrys Stamatis of Douglas Properties.
It's across the street from homes owned by singer Barbra Streisand and actor Burt Reynolds.
Morrison's main residence in Palm Beach is also for sale, at $8.75 million, as is her New York, Fifth Avenue co-op, at $14.5 million. Her estate also owns a 43,000-square-foot home in Grosse Pointe, Mich.
The Holmby house has a new pool, a tennis court, hand-painted wallpaper, silk draperies, 18-karat gold-plated fixtures, an elevator and a silver vault. And if you want the dining room table that seats 22 and other furniture, you can buy it for an extra $4 million.
Another golden, and Goldwyn, oldie--a 1916 house that biographer A. Scott Berg said was the first bought in Hollywood by movie mogul SAMUEL GOLDWYN--is for sale for $1.95 million.
Berg wrote that a pavilion that Goldwyn designated his card room was the scene of his famous poker games in which he sometimes won, sometimes lost, as much as $150,000 for a sitting--"a very tidy sum in those days," said realtor Jack Hupp, "and not to be sneezed at in these." Constance Chesnut of Hupp's Beverly Hills office has the listing.