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HOT PROPERTY

Vegas Gets a Little Jackpot

February 16, 1992|RUTH RYON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Comic-impressionist RICH LITTLE, who opened his "Copycats" review this weekend at the Sahara in Las Vegas, has just moved into his newly built, 6,000-square-foot home in West Las Vegas.

Little, sometimes called "the man of 1,000 voices," is probably best known for mimicking former President Richard M. Nixon during the Watergate era, making "one thing perfectly clear," but Little's impressions of Peter Sellers and David Niven were so accurate that he dubbed dialogue for both of them when they became too ill to complete films.

Little, who also had his own variety show on TV during the 1970s, has appeared frequently on "The Tonight Show" and on TV specials, including last year's "Very Best of the Ed Sullivan Show" and "Children's Miracle Network Telethon," for which he was Canadian chairman. He was born in Ottawa, Ontario, in November, 1938.

His classic-modern style, Las Vegas home has four bedrooms and a 35-foot-long swimming pool with an 18-foot-high waterfall, all behind gates in a planned community. He paid $1 million for the home, according to his publicist, Mike Venema.

Little recently sold a penthouse in Honolulu for about $1.3 million, Venema added.

The impressionist also owns a 7.5-acre compound in Malibu, which is for sale at $9.5 million. The property is also available on a subdivided basis, with 1.6 acres, including the main house and other structures, priced at $6,995,000.

The Malibu compound has been on the market for about three years as part of Little's divorce settlement.

RICHARD GERE, who co-stars with Kim Basinger in the just-released movie "Final Analysis," has purchased a weekend house in Malibu for $1.9 million, sources say.

He and his bride, supermodel Cindy Crawford, were looking in Malibu for a long time for a home with privacy on the water, sources said.

"Photographer Herb Ritts found a home like that for them near his," one of the sources explained.

Ritts took pictures at the couple's December wedding in Las Vegas. Ritts' mother reportedly introduced Crawford to Gere at a barbecue Ritts held four years ago for singer Elton John.

"Ritts' mother is a decorator and will probably help the newlyweds fix up their new Malibu home," a source said.

Built in 1960, the one-story house has three bedrooms in 1,845 square feet and is said to be in need of a rehab.

Gere's primary residence is a one-story, 2,600-square-foot home in the Hollywood Hills, which he bought last March for $2.25 million. It was built in 1952 but was remodeled shortly before Gere acquired it.

Armor All founder ALAN RYPINSKI has purchased the Newport Beach home of Bill Walters, a former partner of President Bush's son Neil at Denver's Silverado Savings and once one of Colorado's most prominent developers.

The house, where pickets marched last year to protest Walters' role in the collapse of the S&L, was also the site of a 1988 attack on late actor John Wayne's daughter Aissa and her friend and former owner of the home, Newport Beach financier Roger W. Luby.

Walters came to the public's attention last summer after it was disclosed that he was living in the Newport Beach home despite claims to Congress that he was broke. The home had been transferred to his wife, Jacqueline, in a 1986 prenuptial agreement, according to her attorneys last July.

The house--an 8,000-square-foot French country estate with six bedrooms and maid's quarters--sold for close to its $2.8-million asking price, sources said.

The home was built nine years ago but was completely renovated two years ago. It also has a tennis court and is on an acre of land.

Zack Wright of Dalebout, a Real Estate Co., represented the buyer, and Barbara Amstadter of Prudential California Realty had the listing. Neither agent was available for comment.

Lyricist IRA GERSHWIN's former Beverly Hills home has been put on the market at $4.45 million.

The home has been owned by the Gershwin family since 1940.

Gershwin died in 1983, nearly half a century after his legendary brother, composer George Gershwin, who was only 38 when he died of a brain tumor. Together, the brothers produced scores of the most familiar songs in American history.

Ira Gershwin's widow, Leonore, died at the age of 90 last August.

"They had a marvelous art collection that had to be removed before we could show the house to the public," said Jack Hupp, who has the listing at his Beverly Hills firm.

The house was built in 1928 but was later completely remodeled. It has four bedrooms plus staff quarters and a garden room in about 8,000 square feet.

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