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'Murphy Brown' Buys Near Work


Emmy-winning actress CANDICE BERGEN is buying a house in the Beverly Hills Post Office Area as a place to live while shooting her CBS-TV show "Murphy Brown."

"The asking price was very reasonable for a 3,000-square-foot house at that location, and the sellers bought another house and didn't want to play games, so I'd think she's paying close to the $1,295,000 price tag," said a broker not involved in the deal. The property is still in escrow.

The sellers bought a Beverly Hills home that another realtor described as "a nice little Mediterranean in the 3s," meaning the $3-million range.

Built in 1957, the one-story, Colonial-style house that Bergen is buying has three bedrooms, maid's quarters, four baths, a fireplace and a pool.

Bergen, daughter of the late ventriloquist Edgar Bergen, lived nearby as a child in a walled hacienda overlooking the Beverly Hills Hotel. Known as Bella Vista, that property--which Bergen described in her 1984 autobiography as being "high on a mountain, at the end of a steep, twisting road"--was later owned by comedian Shelley Berman. It sold again about a year ago for $2,575,000.

Bergen also has homes in France and New York with her husband, French film director Louis Malle, and their 4-year-old daughter.

Tito Jackson, one of singer MICHAEL JACKSON'S brothers, and his wife, Delores, are planning to move to the beach and have put their 3.5-acre Encino home on the market for $6.3 million.

The property, a quarter of a mile from the Encino home where the Jacksons grew up, was formerly owned by Sydney Chaplin, one of Charlie Chaplin's two half-brothers.

Tito and his wife practically razed the 37-year-old house after they bought it in 1978 from a screenwriter with Disney Studios.

In its place, they built a larger, Spanish-style house, designed by Arthur Valdez, on three levels, with an elevator and about 10,000 square feet, including five fireplaces, five bedrooms, seven baths, maid's quarters, a game room, gym, library, breakfast room and recording studio, where Tito and his brothers Jermaine, Randy and Jackie recorded their 2300 Jackson Street album.

The home also has a cabana, pool, spa, carport and heated and air-conditioned five-car garage with a workshop.

"Oh, it also has a batting cage," said listing agent Barbara Robinson of Alvarez, Hyland & Young in Beverly Hills. That's of special interest to her, because her husband is Baltimore Orioles Manager Frank Robinson.

DIANNE FEINSTEIN, former mayor of San Francisco, has leased a Century City condo to be near her Southern California campaign offices.

The gubernatorial candidate is paying $2,500 a month rent for her temporary home, which she is redecorating, though she only leased it for six months.

A 700-acre ranch in Santa Ynez Valley, owned in the '60s by FRED ASTAIRE has been sold to a Huntington Beach-based real estate developer for $4.08 million.

The buyer plans to use the property, known as Rebalot Farm, as a second home. It was a thoroughbred ranch and has a 2-mile turf training track, but the new owner isn't interested in horses. He bought the ranch for its beauty and privacy, said Kerry Mormann, who handled the transaction.

Al Gersten Jr., a builder who is in the fast-food business, has decided to sell his 16-room "Pacific Palace" in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

The 23,000-square-foot home has eight bedrooms, all with direct access to the swimming pool; 12 baths, two guest houses and a disco. The $2.95-million price includes furnishings and land.

"It's not complicated to buy land down there anymore," said Cecelia Waeschle, who shares the listing with Joyce Rey, both of Rodeo Realty. Gersten is selling the house, which he had built a year ago, because he doesn't use it as much as he thought he would.

NORMAN LEAR'S Act III Communications, known for such hit films as "Stand by Me" and "The Princess Bride," has leased 3,000 square feet of a Canoga Park office building that looks like a Queen Anne-style mansion, which is why its new owner, Stuart Marks, is calling it "The Victorian."

The 34,000-square-foot building, at 19717-25 Sherman Way, was built in 1980 of materials from Los Angeles houses constructed in the 1890s. Designer Gail Claridge is giving it a fresh look.

Mix Magazine, a recording-industry publication owned by Century-City headquartered Act III, plans to occupy the building, starting in November, according to Beitler Commercial Realty.

A New York Times profile of BOB HOPE said earlier this month that "he lives on the wrong side of the Santa Monica Mountains--on a street of modest homes a dozen miles away from Beverly Hills."

"Modest? " exclaimed Joe Babajian of Fred Sands Estates. "I sold the house next door to Bob Hope's for a little over $1 million, and I sold another one down the street for more than $2 million."

"There's a fixer nearby at $2.7 million," said Dawn Papson of Ramsey Shilling, Better Homes and Gardens, which has offices in Hope's Toluca Lake neighborhood.

"Anyway," she joked, referring to Hope's vast real estate holdings, "he owns Toluca Lake, doesn't he? I don't think he's suffering."

Some other celebrity residents near Hope's home are Henry Winkler, Jonathan Winters and Rick Dees.

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