Actor CLAUDE AKINS has been renovating his 44-year-old Altadena house in readiness for his daughter Wendy's wedding in May.
Akins played Sheriff Lobo in the early-1980s TV sitcom "The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo" and has had guest-starring roles on "Murder, She Wrote" and other current television series, but is probably more familiar for his TV and radio commercials for AAMCO, Polygrip and AM-PM stores.
"We're frantically redoing our back yard for the wedding reception, which will be held there," he said. "We're planting flower beds, hanging flower baskets, putting up trellises."
He's also completing work on the house, which he has been fixing up ever since he bought it two years ago.
"The fellow who built it was a car collector, and he built an L-shaped, six-car garage, which I broke up into a wet bar facing the pool, an office, a little projection theater and an indoor driving range," Akins said.
He has a place there for his video camera to record his golf swings and a putting green, which he created by putting six empty cans into wet concrete slab, then covered the dried surface with Astroturf.
He also built a bath in the garage area, so his home now has four baths, but there are only two bedrooms in the 2,613-square-foot house. That suits Akins and his wife, Pie, who bought the one-story house for its small size.
"About 10 years ago, we bought a big old house in Pasadena and redid it, but when our last bird flew out of the nest, we sold it because my wife said it was too big. Then we bought the house in Altadena," he explained. The couple has three grown children and four grandchildren.
The family uses Akins' swimming pool in the summer, but he swims every day, year-round, and he considered putting the pool indoors. "I backed off that idea when the adding machine started kicking out some rather large numbers to do it," he said.
He's spending $200,000 on the house, which he bought for about $500,000.
"But I had it appraised recently at $750,000," he noted, "so I feel I still haven't put into it what it's worth."
Japanese film maker MASAHIKO YOSHIDA is buying Kasteel Kamphuyzen, also known as The Dutch Castle, in the Beverly Hills Post Office area, sources said.
Escrow was due to close after deadline last week at $6.2 million.
The home was built in 1981 by Beverly Hills designer Mark Nixon for Baron Herbert Hischemoeller van Kamphuyzen of the Netherlands.
The six-bedroom, 7 1/2-bath home, plus maid's quarters, is perched on the edge of a canyon on 3 1/2 acres. The 6,000-square-foot main house and 1,600-square-foot gate house have stepped gables inspired by the 16th-Century castles and townhouses of Holland.
Van Kamphuyzen is moving into a condo on the Wilshire Corridor while he builds what he describes as a "Cape Dutch"-style compound on 6 acres opposite publishing giant Walter Annenberg's estate in Rancho Mirage.
The Beverly Hills sale was handled by Heidi Tabib of George Elkins Co. Realtors and Victoria Brooks of Rodeo/Prudential Realty, who represented the baron, and William Goodan of Exclusive Realty, who represented the buyer.
The house owned by composer and conductor JOHNNY GREEN, who died last May at age 80, is listed for sale. Green, who won five Oscars during his career, lived there with his wife, former MGM showgirl Bonnie Waters, for about 30 years.
"I found her a condo on the (Wilshire) Corridor," said listing broker Thelma Orloff of Fred Sands Estates, a former MGM showgirl herself. "I met Bonnie at MGM," Orloff added.
The Greens' two-story Mediterranean-style house, north of Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills, has four bedrooms, 5 1/2 baths, swimming pool, spa and outside studio or guest house.
The nearly 5,000-square-foot residence, on about half an acre, was built in 1924. "All it needs is some cosmetic work to bring it up to date," Orloff said.
Orloff also has the listing on Lucille Ball's Beverly Hills home, which has been reduced to $6.3 million. The asking price was $7.8 million when it first came on the market last June after the actress' death April 26.
"Gary (Morton, Lucy's husband) moved out and is now living in the house he and Lucy had in the (Palm) Springs," Orloff said, "but we're still looking for a user, not a builder to tear the Beverly Hills house down."
A regular stop on movie-star bus tours, the Beverly Hills home was Ball's main residence for 29 years.
PHYLLIS DILLER'S Brentwood garden will be on view next Sunday as part of the 31st annual Garden Tour of the Santa Monica Bay Auxiliary of Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles.
The comedienne is allowing the public to see her garden "because I want to share the beauty with as many people as possible," her secretary quoted her as saying.
Diller has owned the property since 1965. Her 20-room house, with eight bedrooms and five baths in 9,266 square feet, was built in 1914.