Veteran comedian and actor DON RICKLES and his wife, BARBARA, have sold their Beverly Hills home of 26 years for close to its $3.8-million asking price and have moved to a nearby gated community, sources say.
Rickles, 71, was a headliner in May in Las Vegas, where he has been a regular for 40 years. He was signed this year to an exclusive multiyear contract by the Sheraton Desert Inn. Last year, he made his Carnegie Hall debut.
Rickles, who built a reputation with his insult humor on stage and on such TV programs as "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson," has been facetiously called "Mr. Warmth" as well as the "Merchant of Venom."
He had a dramatic role in Martin Scorsese's "Casino" and was the voice of Mr. Potato Head in the animated "Toy Story" (both 1995). He co-stars with British comic Eric Idle as a two-headed dragon in the animated "Quest for Camelot," to be released next summer.
Rickles sold his eight-bedroom 8,000-square-foot house to an Arizona businessman who owns several medical buildings, sources say.
The house, on about an acre, has 8 1/2 baths; a family room, den, library, office and pool. The home was built in the 1950s and was later refurbished.
Heidi Tabib of Hilton & Hyland in Beverly Hills represented the buyer, and Steve Moore of the Prudential-Jon Douglas Co., Beverly Hills, had the listing, other sources said.
SAM PILLSBURY, director of the upcoming movie "Free Willy 3, the Rescue," has completed rebuilding a house he bought two years ago in Pacific Palisades. "I practically gutted it," he said.
By doing all of the contracting and much of the work himself, he kept rehab costs down to about $600,000. Original estimates totaled more than $1 million.
Built in 1920, the three-bedroom 2,200-square-foot house was redesigned to look contemporary, with skylights and soaring white walls to display colorful art. Pillsbury, 50, converted a garage into a studio, because both of his sons, who are in their 20s, paint.
"We needed to keep to the footprint of the house, but we opened it up because I believe in light and space," he said.
He used vinyl windows, floor tiles on the counters and industrial faucets. "I played some design tricks to make the house look expensive, but I did it with cheap materials," he said.
Pillsbury didn't stint when it came to the carpet, however. "It's pure wool," he said. "Coming from New Zealand, I like wool."
Actress-comedian LISA ANN WALTER has purchased the Hollywood Hills home of Bryan Lourd, the Creative Artists Agency agent who represents Madonna, Ellen DeGeneres and Ralph Fiennes.
Walter, in her early 30s, co-created and starred on the ABC sitcom "Life's Work" (1996-'97), and she co-starred as Whoopi Goldberg's best friend in the movie "Eddie" (1995). She starred in the Fox series "My Wildest Dreams" (1995) and, later, in "The Lisa Ann Walter Show."
She bought a gated three-story house, built in the 1920s, with three bedrooms in about 2,500 square feet for close to its $595,000 asking price, sources say.
Lourd sold the house because he bought a 6,000-square-foot Holmby Hills house for $2.6 million, other sources said.
Walter was represented in her purchase by Michele Martin of DBL Realtors in the Sunset Strip area.
Republican pundit and columnist ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, 46, has closed escrow on a Brentwood home, which was part of her multimillion-dollar divorce settlement, sources say.
The 9,000-square-foot house, with five bedrooms including two master suites, was purchased in the high $3-million range, sources say. The French-style house was built in 1946 and was recently refurbished. It's on almost an acre.
Millionaire oilman and former Rep. Michael Huffington, 49, is living in the couple's former home in Montecito, although he also has a condo in Los Angeles, sources say.
The couple, who married in 1986, started living more separate lives after he lost a 1994 U.S. Senate race to Democrat Dianne Feinstein. The Huffingtons will share custody of their two daughters.
KALIP AL SAUD, the 25-year-old nephew of the King of Saudi Arabia and son of Crown Prince Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz, and his 21-year-old wife, MINEERA, have leased a Beverly Hills-area home for a year at close to the asking price of $7,300 a month, sources say.
Built in 1927, the Italian-style villa is owned by former stage actress Bijou Durden, widow of Wally Durden, longtime manager of the Beverly Hills Hotel.
The house has four bedrooms in about 3,800 square feet plus a cabana and a pool. The walled and gated home was leased for the month of June to actress Mercedes Ruehl, sources say.
Michael Barton of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in Beverly Hills had the listing.
GRADY SANDERS, the Texas-born entrepreneur and property developer who reopened the legendary Chasen's in Beverly Hills last spring, has leased a 3,000-square-foot house in Beverly Hills with a pool for a year at its asking price of $4,000 a month, sources say.