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'Taxi' Ride Leads to Beverly Hills


Actor/director DANNY DEVITO and his wife, actress RHEA PERLMAN, have purchased a Beverly Hills home on nearly two acres at the end of a cul-de-sac.

Since he created the character of Louie the dispatcher on the sitcom "Taxi," DeVito has enjoyed a string of box office successes from his roles in "Romancing the Stone," "Ruthless People," "Tin Men" and "Twins" to his directing and acting parts in "Throw Mama From the Train" and "The War of the Roses." Perlman, who also appeared on "Taxi," is a regular on the NBC sitcom "Cheers."

They bought a two-story, colonial-style residence, with two family bedrooms and a small guest bedroom in the main house; two maids' quarters in a separate structure, a cabana and a temperature-controlled greenhouse.

The home has 6 1/2 baths and four fireplaces in about 7,500 square feet.

It was built in 1930 for a couple with no children, and the DeVitos have three, leading some realtors to speculate that the house will be torn down and a larger, more up-to-date home built in its place.

"The rooms are small, and it's a dark house, but the grounds are beautiful, and the home is beautifully located," a source said.

It's situated on two lots and has expansive lawns, and trees and rose bushes. The home also has private patios and a swimming pool.

The property had been listed at $10.3 million with David Perry of Fred Sands Estates. Perry refused to comment, but other real estate sources said that the property sold in the $8-million range.

The sellers represent the estate of photo essayist/cinematographer Shirley C. Burden, who died a year ago in June at the age of 80.

Burden was a movie producer in the early days of Hollywood who later became known for his still photographs in national magazines and in such museums as the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Actress IRENE DUNNE, one of the top movie stars of the 1930s and 1940s, lived in a Paul Williams-designed, French-colonial estate in Holmby Hills from 1946 until she died in September at the age of 88, and now that home is on the market at $6.9 million.

Built in 1936, the two-story home has four bedroom suites upstairs, including the master, and three servants' rooms on the first floor. The 6,000-square-foot-plus house is on an acre north of Sunset Boulevard, behind gates and up a long drive with a circular motor court.

Bill Bakewell and Mary Alice Von Stroheim represent Dunne's heirs in selling the property through Jack Hupp & Associates, Beverly Hills.

"I did a picture with Irene Dunne in 1932 and knew her very well through the years," Bakewell, a former actor, said.

The picture was the original "Back Street," in which he played the son of the married man who was having an affair with the character played by Dunne. Dunne's role was re-created by Margaret Sullivan in 1941 and Susan Hayworth in 1961.

Movie mogul CECIL B. DE MILLE'S Los Feliz home for more than 40 years, until he died in 1959, has been sold to a Japan-based firm for use of its corporate executives and guests when in Los Angeles.

The 2.5-acre estate, which was maintained by De Mille's family until 1988, consisted of two houses that sold separately for $2.4 million and $1.5 million, both in cash.

De Mille moved into the more expensive house in 1915, then also occupied the other house when his tenant, actor Charlie Chaplin, relocated in 1926.

Soon afterward, the producer commissioned Julia Morgan, who designed Hearst Castle, to connect the houses by a 60-foot-long, glass-enclosed loggia, which was threatened with demolition when the houses were put up for sale separately.

"Since a single owner bought both houses, the loggia won't be taken down," said Dorothy Carter, who shared the listing with Jodi Hodges at Jon Douglas Co.'s Los Feliz office and Carolyn Heitzman at Alvarez, Hyland & Young, Beverly Hills.

The sellers were attorney Terence O'Toole and his wife, Evelyn, who renovated the properties.

The Beverly Hills home of FRANK YABLANS--who produced "Mommie Dearest," "North Dallas 40," "The Other Side of Midnight" and "Silver Streak"--is to be auctioned as part of a divorce settlement, sources say.

Sealed bids are due at Kennedy-Wilson Auctioneers in Santa Monica by 5 p.m. Thursday on the one-story, 8,000-square-foot contemporary, which has three bedrooms, maid's quarters, a pool and a view. The home is on about an acre behind gates, with a private drive.

There is a $3.5-million minimum bid.

RANDY PFUND, assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers since 1985, has purchased a one-bedroom, beachfront condo in Santa Monica for about $500,000. He was previously living in the Marina del Ray area.

Randi Pollock had the listing, and Jeanne Rubinoff represented Pfund. They're both with Fred Sands Realtors.

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