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El Segundo Area Fit for a King


BARRY MELROSE, flamboyant coach of the Los Angeles Kings, and his wife, Cindy, have purchased a home in El Segundo, where they had been renting.

The 37-year-old coach led the Kings to the Stanley Cup finals last season for the first time in the hockey team's 26-year history. During the playoffs, Melrose, an NHL rookie coach when he joined the Kings a year ago in June, was always in the spotlight, trading insults with opposing coaches and insights with sports commentators.

Melrose, who wears a ponytail, also has been humorously described as "the hair apparent" to former L.A. Lakers coach Pat Riley because of the media attention generated by their unconventional hairstyles.

The Kings coach and his wife bought a contemporary-style house, which was built in 1980, for $675,000. The house has four bedrooms in 3,700 square feet. While renting another home in El Segundo this past year, the Melrose family fell in love with the area, the coach's spokesman said.

Melrose and his wife, who have two young sons, also own an 83-year-old Victorian home on an acre in Glen Falls, N.Y., which they bought in 1984 when he played with the Adirondack Red Wings. Later, he coached the team to the American Hockey League's Calder Cup title.

A native of Saskatchewan, Melrose was a coach for five years and a player for 11 years before joining the Kings. Since then, he also has been called "a maverick with yuppie leanings" partly because of his use of self-help books to motivate players.

JOE REGALBUTO, who plays Frank Fontana on "Murphy Brown," and his wife, Rosemary, have purchased the Deer Valley, Utah, retreat of actress KATE JACKSON. Deer Valley, known primarily as a ski resort, is in Park City, 45 minutes from Salt Lake City.

"We were looking in Steamboat Springs and Jackson Hole for a place (to buy) where we could meet for the holidays when the kids grow up. Then we went to Deer Valley," Rosemary Regalbuto said. "We saw some condos, then this house, which is open, airy and furnished with light pine."

They bought the three-bedroom, A-frame chalet for $350,000, including furnishings, which Jackson had installed during the year or so she was the owner. Now the Regalbutos are updating the 12-year-old, 2,700-square-foot home, adding a family room, fourth bedroom and loft.

"It should be ready in a month," she said of the chalet, which has a hot tub, mountain views and a location near several golf courses. Although some celebrities live in the neighborhood year-round, the Regalbutos, who have had a home in Santa Monica for 14 years, plan to use their chalet when he is on hiatus.

"We have three children who are going to school here (in Santa Monica)," said Regalbuto, who is executive director of Santa Monica/Malibu Meals on Wheels. "So we're not going anywhere for awhile," she said when asked if they might make Utah their permanent residence.

REGGIE HUDLIN, who co-directed and played a street hustler in the 1992 Eddie Murphy film "Boomerang," has purchased the former RANDALL KLOSE estate in Beverly Hills for about $1.42 million, according to public records.

Klose, a gay rights activist who was co-chairman of the Human Rights Campaign Fund, died a year ago from complications of AIDS. He was 37.

Klose, also an heir to the Dairy Queen fortune, left his estate in a trust for the Human Rights Campaign Fund in Washington, D.C., where he died, sources said.

Built in 1957, the Beverly Hills house has three bedrooms and maid's quarters in about 4,500 square feet. The whole top floor is a master bedroom.

The home, which is gated and also has a motor court, had been listed by Steve Robinson in Fred Sands Estates' directors office. Hudlin was represented by Jacqueline McQuarn and her daughter, Tracy Edmonds, both with L.A. West Properties.

Producer VICTOR DRAI ("The Woman in Red," "Weekend at Bernie's") opened his Beverly Hills restaurant, Drai's, on Thursday. Drai, who is married to actress Lauren Lockyn, was previously married to actress Kelly LeBrock and had a long relationship with actress Jacqueline Bisset.

His French bistro will be in space formerly occupied by L'Ermitage, founded by the late Jean Bertranou. Bertranou's son, Patrick, leased the La Cienega location to Drai for close to the asking price of $200,000 for improvements and $12,500 a month for 10 years.

Stephen Shapiro of Stan Herman/Stephen Shapiro & Associates represented Drai in the transaction, and Jeff Ginsburg of Lambert, Smith & Hampton represented Bertranou.

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