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Maestro Swings Penthouse Deal


Bandleader LES BROWN and his wife, Claire, have moved into a Santa Monica penthouse after selling their Pacific Palisades home of 39 years.

Les Brown and His Band of Renown, one of the last remaining big-name swing bands, completed an annual, weeklong appearance last Saturday at Disneyland and will play Aug. 11 at Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach.

The clarinetist-saxophonist, now 79, and his band only play in public about 10 dates a year, though they recently released "Anything Goes," an album of classic standards, and "Les Brown: The Best of the Big Bands," with hits such as his "Sentimental Journey" from 1945 and "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm" from 1948.

Their penthouse, a two-level condominium, has two bedrooms, a bonus room, a fireside family room and a living room, where he can play his grand piano while gazing at their 180-degree view of the ocean.

The 3,250-square-foot townhouse is one of the largest of the 22 condos at El Tovar by the Sea, where prices range from $695,000 to $2.6 million.

The project is a rehab and expansion of a building that was constructed in the 1920s as a hotel but was later used as a retirement home. A second building was just completed to complement the first.

The Browns live in the older, renovated building, but much of their townhouse is newly built. It also has a secluded roof terrace and a view of the project's pool and spa.

"It's just beautiful," he said. "It's a beautiful way to end our days. We don't have to take care of any pool, garden, trees, rodents or painting any more." The project has a concierge as well as a maintenance crew.

The Browns sold their North Riviera Estates home, where they raised their children--Les Jr. and Denny Marsh, to a young computer executive and his family for $2-million plus.

Marsh, now a real estate agent with R. R. Gable in Encino, represented her parents in their sale and purchase.

Former San Francisco Giants pitcher MIKE KRUKOW, who won 20 games for the Giants in 1986 before retiring last year to become an analyst for the SportsChannel, and his wife, Jennifer, have sold their Pasadena home for $900,000 and moved into a home that they built in San Luis Obispo for $1.2 million.

Krukow also just invested $2.8 million in the California Coastal Restaurant chain in the San Luis Obispo/Paso Robles area, a source said.

The Krukows' new home is Colonial in style and has six bedrooms in 7,200 square feet. The couple, who were high school sweethearts in San Gabriel, have five children, from 19 months to 12 years of age.

Before moving to San Luis Obispo, their main residence was in Pasadena, though Krukow played ball with the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies before joining the Giants in 1983.

A Pacific Palisades home where late actor DAVID NIVEN lived during the '40s before he moved to Switzerland has come on the market at $3.95 million.

The house was built in the '30s by Vicki Baum, author of the novel, "The Grand Hotel," which was made into a movie in 1932, starring Greta Garbo, Wallace Beery and John and Lionel Barrymore.

"The seller has a movie showing Vicki Baum laying the brick," said Joan McGoohan, who shares the listing with Verka at the Jon Douglas Co.

There are also some remembrances of Niven in the house, she said, including a foot pedal that he had installed in the powder room to make it easy for inebriated guests to wash their hands.

The five-bedroom, 7,000-square-foot-plus home also has a guest house, pool and view of Will Rogers State Park.

GARY A. ADELSON, a producer of the Steven Seagal film "Hard to Kill" and son of Los Angeles businessman and former Lorimar Telepictures Chairman Merv Adelson (estranged husband of TV interviewer Barbara Walters), has sold a lot in Brentwood for nearly $2 million. The asking price was about $2.4 million.

Janet Factor at Prudential California Realty handled the transaction but was unavailable for comment.

JENNINGS LANG, who produced such movies as "Earthquake" and "Airport '75," and his wife, singer/actress Monica Lewis, have listed their Beverly Hills home of 27 years at a bit more than $9 million.

The Langs plan to move to a smaller residence.

The home, which was built in 1937 and designed by the late architect Roland Coate, was originally owned by Pandro S. Berman, producer of such hits as "Top Hat," starring Fred Astaire, and "National Velvet," starring Elizabeth Taylor. The estate has had only two owners.

There is a 10,000-square-foot-plus main house and a 1,500-square-foot guest house on the property, which is slightly more than an acre. The estate also has a pool and tennis court.

The Langs plan to move to a smaller residence.

Cindy Berman Schaffer, Pandro S. Berman's daughter who was raised in the mansion, shares the listing with Bette Lethe of Fred Sands Estates.

Volleyball star KENT STEFFES, who just turned 23 and last year made more than $116,000 playing volleyball, has purchased his first home--a two-bedroom, Santa Monica condo--for $350,000.

Steffes, who was represented in his purchase by Bob Matthess of Norton Realtors, has been ranked as the third-leading money maker on the professional volleyball beach tour, behind Sinjin Smith and Randy Stoklos.

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