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Actor Enjoys the High Life

March 21, 1993|RUTH RYON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

ROBERT CONRAD, who stars in the CBS-TV movie "Sworn to Vengeance" on Tuesday night, has put the finishing touches on a 10,000-square-foot family compound that he has been building in Bear Valley, in the eastern Sierras, since 1980.

"Building permits have been a way of life up here for me . . . but now we're done," he said by phone from the home, where he, his wife, singer-actress La Velda Fann, and their three young daughters have lived full time during much of the construction.

Conrad co-stars with Japanese superstar Hiromi Go, Matt McCoy ("The Hand That Rocks the Cradle") and Catherine Mary Stewart ("Weekend at Bernie's") in the contemporary-Western film "Samurai Cowboy," which will be released in July.

His first regular TV role came in 1959 as Tom Lopaka in "Hawaiian Eye." After many other TV parts, he created a company in 1979 that has produced a number of his TV movies and series, including "High Mountain Rangers," which also starred a couple of his sons. His daughter Joan is producing the upcoming "Sworn to Vengeance" through Conrad's company.

Now 58 and married for the second time, he has nine children and six grandchildren, which is why, in part, he built his marble, wood and glass compound with a three-apartment guest wing, which he calls "The Conrad Hilton."

"You have to import your friends here or draw from a very small community," he said. Their home is near Mt. Reba, southwest of Lake Tahoe, at 7,800 feet; population, an estimated 150. "The only way to get from town to our house, about a mile up--from the first snowfall until it melts, about seven months--is by snowmobile, and we have 12 of them," he said.

Underground heating pipes keep the driveway, stairs and patios clear of snow, but he can ski into his living room. His quarters also have a just-completed dining area; wine cellar, master suite with spa and steam room; office, gym, and mountain and lake views.

In three years, he and his family will move to either Costa Rica, Spain or Fair Hope, Ala., he said, "because there is no high school here (in Bear Valley)." But, he stressed, "this house will stay (in the family)."

MARK SENNET, executive producer of the TV movies "Miracle on I-880" and "Deliver Them From Evil: The Taking of Alta View" as well as supervising producer of the 1991 mini-series "Switched at Birth," and his wife, Pam, have sold a home in Nichols Canyon and purchased a house in Studio City.

"We moved because we ran out of room when we had another baby," he said. The Sennets have two children.

Their new home, which has five bedrooms in about 5,000 square feet, was purchased for just under $1 million through listing agent Tony Tucker of Re/Max, Beverly Hills.

Sennet was a photojournalist with the London Daily Express and Time-Life before he became a producer. While working for Time-Life, he photographed more than 120 covers for People magazine, he said. He recently left Columbia Pictures Television for Citadel Pictures, where he produces TV movies and mini-series.

A former Santa Monica home of the late Hollywood agent MYRON SELZNICK, who has been credited with finding Vivien Leigh for the role of Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone With the Wind" (1939), has been purchased for close to its $2.45-million asking price, sources say.

Myron Selznick, who died at the age of 45 in 1944, was the brother of David O. Selznick, who directed the famous film. At the time of his death, Myron Selznick handled more than 300 of Hollywood's top stars, directors and producers.

Built in 1927, the Mediterranean-style, oceanfront villa, with a pool and walled terrace, was the scene of many parties. The six-bedroom house is on the Santa Monica Gold Coast, where such stars as Peter Lawford, Cary Grant, Darryl F. Zanuck and Norma Talmadge once lived.

Bob and Carol Hurwitz of the Hurwitz-James Co. represented the seller, and Bob Hurwitz represented the buyer, described as a European businessman.

Late newspaperman SCOTT NEWHALL'S mansion on nine acres in Piru, near Santa Paula, has been put on the market at $2.5 million.

Newhall, who died last October at age 78, was owner and editor of the Newhall Signal and a board member of the Newhall Land & Farming Co., which developed most of the Santa Clarita Valley. He was also editor of the San Francisco Chronicle from 1952 to 1971.

Known for his flair for the unusual, he once sent a reporter to Mexico to find where Pancho Villa's head was buried, and he tried to boost circulation with a camel race and treasure hunt with a $1,000 prize.

The Queen Anne-style Victorian mansion, with about 11,500 square feet in four stories, was completed in 1890 for a book publisher; Newhall bought it in 1968. His widow, Ruth, listed the home with Eric Marsh, Anita Pulido and Brian Guevara at Coldwell Banker Citrus Valley Realtors, Santa Paula.

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