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'Rifleman' Aims to Sell His Ranch


Actor CHUCK CONNORS has put his ranch near Tehachapi on the market.

"I love the ranch and really don't like the idea of selling it, but I'm away so much, and I like to keep it spotless," said the 65-year-old Connors, who played TV's "Rifleman" in the early '60s and stars in the USA Network movie "High Desert Kill," which premiered last Wednesday.

The ranch is in Bear Valley Springs, a 25,000-acre gated community, which has a nine-hole golf course and a stocked lake. Connors' 8 1/2-acre property has a 3,000-square-foot ranch house, a guest/caretaker cottage, a barn with three stables and three paddocks, a stud corral and a multi-vehicle garage/workshop.

"It all has to be taken care of," he said, "and I don't believe in a weed." He chuckled. "There are seven out there that I can see right now."

He has been rebuilding the fence around his property, using telephone poles, for the past four years. "It's been time-consuming but enjoyable," he said. "You don't find telephone poles in your local hardware store, you know."

The project might have gone faster, he admitted, if he hadn't traveled to France, Italy, Venezuela and Mexico during the same period. "I also go to Asia once a year," he said, "and I must spend time in L.A., where I work, too. I have an apartment in Studio City.

"I try to spend about 14 weeks a year at the ranch, but during the past three to four years, I've only spent maybe 4 1/2 months total there." So he listed the property, at $730,000, with Solveig Alexandra Thompson at Century 21 Mountain Realty in Tehachapi.

Connors has owned his ranch for 13 years. He bought it from Justin Dart, late member of President Reagan's Kitchen Cabinet who maintained the ranch as a personal residence. His Dart Industries developed Bear Valley Springs.

Singer AL JARREAU, headliner this weekend at the Young Musicians Foundation's annual gala at the Beverly Hilton, has purchased a house in Encino, where he and his family are relocating from the Bay Area.

He was in Los Angeles when the San Francisco earthquake struck, but his wife, Susan, was "up there packing," said Karen Page of Jon Douglas' Westwood office, who represented the buyers. "She's fine, though," Page added.

The couple bought a home behind gates on three-quarters of an acre with a tennis court and a swimming pool for $1.1 million. It also has four bedrooms, 4 1/2 baths and about 3,300 square feet. It was listed with Adrienne McCune of Bradbury & Co., Encino.

"The largest auction of privately held, contiguous land in the United States" is how Leeann McEdwards of Schrader/Westchester, a Champaign, Ill.-based farmland auction company, describes the sale this Thursday of the Paloma Ranch just west of Gila Bend, Ariz.

Potential buyers may bid on all or part of the 64,000-acre cotton ranch, owned for several years by the Prudential Insurance Co., which can reject or accept any bid although there is no minimum.

The ranch, mostly desert and irrigated farmland with some houses and a cotton gin on it, was developed at the turn of the century by the Gillespie family. "They were colorful, Southwest characters," McEdwards said. "The father, Frank, was an Oklahoma oilman."

Entertainer PIA ZADORA and her multimillionaire husband, MESHULAM RIKLIS, are expected to move this week into their new house near Pickfair, where a two-year renovation/expansion is due to start this week on the historic Beverly Hills home of late actors MARY PICKFORD and DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS.

At the same time, Zadora and Riklis are building a house in Malibu Colony, where they finally broke ground after a year of planning, and they are redecorating their Manhattan apartment. They also own an older house in the Colony.

Their new, $6.7-million house near Pickfair has a three-hole golf course, sunken tennis court, five bedrooms, seven baths and maid's quarters in about 11,000 square feet, built by Columbia Residential Development.

Their new Malibu home, due to be completed in about seven months, will have six bedrooms and six baths in about 6,000 square feet, designed by New York architect Nikita Zukov. His plans also call for two swimming pools, one indoors.

"They're negotiating to buy the house next door for the second pool and extra guest accommodations," said Reg Adams, who is designing contemporary interiors in beiges and whites to match the architecture, which he described as "all white and boxy looking with quite a few windows."

All the floors, except in the bedrooms, will be teak, and the furniture, created by Gina B, will be overscaled, which means, a source explained, "Gina B's coffee tables are bigger than some dance floors."

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