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A Bit of England in Bel-Air for Actress Seymour


Actress Jane Seymour and her business manager-husband, David Flynn, have sold the house in the Beverly Hills Post Office area that they bought a year ago in March from singer Carol Lawrence and are about to start renovating a Bel-Air house that they purchased earlier this year.

"They keep buying homes to fix up and live in, but the (Carol Lawrence) house wound up being too big for spending some weekends and other days when they're in town," said Jana Jones of Alvarez, Hyland & Young.

The Flynns' main U.S. residence is in Santa Barbara, and they also own a couple of homes in England, including one in the Mayfair district of London, which they just purchased.

"They plan to spend more time in England," Jones said. But the English-born actress, whose credits include a starring role in the TV miniseries "War and Remembrance," and her American husband will have a touch of England in Los Angeles, because they expect to turn their traditional-style Bel-Air house into a Country English home, designed by architect Gus Duffy.

The couple also plan to expand the Bel-Air house, which they purchased for slightly more than $1.2 million, from 3,500 to about 6,000 square feet.

The Flynns turned the 6,980-square-foot French Regency they bought from Lawrence for $2.25 million, into an 8,000-square-foot Georgian Colonial, also designed by Duffy, with red-brick exteriors and white pillars.

The Georgian Colonial, which has seven bedrooms and six baths, was sold before it was listed and landscaping was completed. "The buyers climbed over the dirt to look at it," Jones remarked.

It sold, Jones said, for $6 million, a price that a broker from another Beverly Hills firm termed "amazing for the area," despite the site's views from downtown to the ocean. Jones credits Flynn, whom she describes as "the man with the vision."

"Nobody else would touch that property because it had a gully," she said, "but he had the foresight to buy it, fill the gully with dirt and put in a retaining wall to create a flat place where a tennis court was built. Because he did that, he got the price he did."

The buyer is Theodore J. Forstmann, general partner of Forstmann, Little & Co., a New York investment firm formed in 1978 to specialize in leveraged buyouts. The home is Forstmann's first in California, other sources said.

Actress Victoria Principal has listed her Benedict Canyon home at $1.15 million.

The 3,000-square-foot house, which has three bedrooms and an office that Principal used as a gym, is on the market through Rory Barish of June Scott & Associates, Beverly Hills.

The gated home is where Principal and her husband, Dr. Harry Glassman, were living last August when they bought a larger house in Beverly Hills for $2.95 million.

It has taken them this long to move into that home, which was built in the 1940s, because they have been doing major remodeling on it, other sources said.

The Benedict Canyon home, built in 1966, was Principal's main residence even before she and Glassman were married about eight years ago, Barish said. "She lived there for 12 years," he added.

Irene Bentley, widow of the founder of Bentley Laboratories in Newport Beach, has put her Pebble Beach retreat on the market at $9.5 million. Her main residence is on Lido Island.

She and her late husband, Donald James Bentley, bought the 2.67-acre Pebble Beach property, with 515 feet of ocean frontage on the 17 Mile Drive, in 1984. The two-story contemporary that they built there has seven bedrooms and seven baths in about 8,000 square feet, behind 10-foot-tall iron gates.

"They left a couple of walls from the original house but rebuilt the rest and just finished it when he died (in April, 1986)," said Mary Sivaslian of Marion Buie Realty, Newport Beach, who shares the listing with Deirdre Reade of Fox & Carskadon, Carmel.

Bentley invented the first disposable oxygenator, used in heart surgery, before he sold his company in 1981 to American Hospital Supply Corp. of Chicago for $243 million. Later, Bentley Labs was sold to Baxter Labs, also of Illinois.

Liberace's first Palm Springs home has been leased with an option to buy, said Larry Seaward, who put the three-bedroom, 2,800-square-foot house, with a piano-shaped pool and a mural depicting the late entertainer and his friends, on the market in February at $400,000.

"The house was built (in 1958) for (actress) Mae West, but she didn't buy it," Seward said. "The people who have leased it, as a vacation home, are Margo and Rod West." He's an ABC-TV exec, and they live in Beverly Hills.

Annabelle Heiferman, who was the mayor of Beverly Hills during the mid-1980s, and her husband, Joe, a retired costume jeweler, are now calling Fairbanks Ranch home.

The Heifermans bought a New England-style house with a swimming pool and a large, enclosed patio in the Rancho Santa Fe community for $1.6 million in cash.

Fairbanks Ranch, a 2,000-acre development, is now into its second decade. Ground was broken in 1980. "The first lot was sold to an old-line Los Angeles family," said a spokeswoman for the project, "and the last lot was recently sold to an international executive from overseas."

Lots were initially advertised for as low as $175,000; today, lot resales average $600,000 to several million dollars.

John McCristy of Rancho Santa Fe Acreage & Homes represented the Heifermans, and Gary Driver Jr. of Fairbanks Ranch Realty had the listing.

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