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'Rich Man's' Ranch a Home for Holidays


PETER STRAUSS, who starred as a crazed kidnaper in the fall CBS movie "83 Hours Till Dawn," and his wife, Nicole, just spent their first holiday season, with their two young children, on a 35-acre Ojai ranch he bought five years ago.

The Emmy Award-winning actor gained fame in the 1976-77 ABC miniseries "Rich Man, Poor Man" and stars as a jet fighter instructor in the action-thriller "Black Angel," expected to premiere on Showtime in late February.

Strauss bought the ranch for about $700,000 with the intention of remodeling and expanding the existing 3,000-square-foot house.

The house now has four bedrooms plus nanny's quarters, with a bath and a kitchen, in about 7,200 square feet. There is a breezeway between the main house and the nanny's quarters and another breezeway between the main house and a large, garage-like office, dubbed "Peter's Place."

The house was built in 1928 for one of the founders of the Ojai Valley Oil Co.

In the rehab, the builder, Newhouse Construction, matched the original plaster and hand-painted tiles and installed 80-year-old redwood beams from a mill in Oregon. Roof tiles and a fountain were crafted in Mexico.

Extensive landscaping was also completed to make the property look like the south of France, where Nicole Strauss was born. Altogether, Strauss spent an estimated $2 million in improvements, including landscaping.

CHER, who plays a promiscuous mom in the movie "Mermaids," bought a new home in Aspen, Colo., a few months ago, and she just had it redecorated in time for the holidays.

The home, an adobe on several acres that she reportedly purchased for slightly more than $2 million, has five bedrooms in about 6,000 square feet. It's a couple of years old.

The interiors were designed by Ron Wilson of Beverly Hills, with furnishings by Gina B of West Hollywood. When contacted, Wilson said, "I'm furnishing it in a rather traditional, laid-back style in monochromatic, tan tones."

Aspen is one of Cher's favorite places, sources say. She once owned another home there, which Wilson also furnished, but that was a number of years ago.

Cher's primary residence has been in Malibu.

The Bel-Air home of the late DOLLY GREEN, the last surviving child of Beverly Hills co-founder Burton Green, has come on the market at $6.9 million.

Howard Hughes and Elvis Presley also lived there, at different times, sources say.

The socialite/philanthropist/racing stable owner, who died in the home after a long illness in September, had owned the 1 1/3-acre estate, with gardens and a pool, since the early '70s.

Designed by architect Wallace Neff, the Mediterranean-style villa was built in 1932 for producer Sol Wurtzel. It has four bedrooms and two maid's rooms in about 9,000 square feet.

The home also has some hand-painted wall murals, a butler's pantry and a solarium.

There is also a theater, which has a fireplace, wet bar and air-conditioned wine cellar.

Under terms of the will, proceeds from the sale of the house will go to a number of charities, said John A. Woodward IV of Jon Douglas Co.'s Hancock Park office, who has the listing.

HAROLD BUTLER, founder of Denny's restaurants, and his wife, Jean, have listed their home in Riverside at $1.6 million.

They plan to move to Temecula, where he is developing his new business, Nicky T's California Burgers. Butler sold Denny's about 20 years ago.

Their Riverside house has five bedroom suites in 8,700 square feet, all on one floor. The home has a two-person spa, walk-in shower and sauna in the master bath.

Situated on a hilltop, the five-acre property has a swimming pool, landscaped grounds and views of Mt. Baldy, Lake Matthews, city lights and orange groves.

The Butlers built the house six years ago, said Carol Norman, who shares the listing with her husband, Art, at Shelter West Realty, Riverside.

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