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Her Beat Goes On in Malibu

November 16, 1997|RUTH RYON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

CHER, who has built a number of her homes over the years including her current residence in Malibu, has broken ground there on another house, this one a 15,000-plus-square-foot walled compound on about two acres overlooking the ocean, sources say.

The singer and Oscar-winning actress ("Moonstruck," 1987) most recently starred in the movie "Faithless" (1996) and in a segment of HBO's anthology movie "If These Walls Could Talk," in which she made her directing debut.

There has been talk of a TV series, maybe a sitcom, starring Cher, 51, and of a Broadway musical based on the pop duo Sonny & Cher, which first made her name.

The singer-actress is building a Venetian palazzo-style compound with five bedrooms and 10 bathrooms in the main house, a full gym and projection and editing rooms.

She turned one room in her existing Malibu home into an editing room to work on "If These Walls Could Talk," a source said, "and that's why she wants one in her new house."

There will be about 20 different styles of windows in Cher's new home, which will take about a year to complete. She spent three years looking for doors, fireplaces and coffered ceilings to use in the house, sources say.

The hilly site, which once had two small houses on it, has been owned by Cher for several years. She listed it for awhile at $4 million but then decided to build there.

Cher recently built an 18,000-square-foot villa in the Miami area, but she no sooner completed it than she bought a nearby site on which to build a more private 20,000-square-foot house, sources have said.

Her current Malibu home is listed at $4.5 million. It has been listed since 1995, most recently at $4 million, but she just raised the price "because the market is hotter now," a source said.

Her Malibu home was actually a redesign and expansion of an existing house that Cher bought in 1990. Cher and Beverly Hills designer Ron Wilson nearly doubled the size of the house, which now has six bedrooms, a gym and a media room in just under 10,000 square feet. The 1.2-acre compound also has a tennis court, ocean view and pool.

Wilson has worked with Cher on 18 housing projects since 1970, sources say. He helped Cher design her Egyptian-style Benedict Canyon home with its moat and electronically controlled roof. Cher sold that house in 1988 to actor Eddie Murphy, who sold it in 1995.

Nancy Sill of John Aaroe & Associates, Beverly Hills, has the listing on Cher's current Malibu home.

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ROLAND EMMERICH, who produced and co-wrote the sci-fi blockbuster "Independence Day" (1996) as well as the Fox sci-fi series "The Visitor," has closed escrow on a Hollywood home on almost five acres for just under its $2.5-million asking price.

Emmerich, 42, collaborated with Dean Devlin on writing "Stargate" (1994), "Independence Day," "The Visitor" and the remake of "Godzilla," due to be released next May. Emmerich also directed "Independence Day" and "Godzilla."

Built in 1920, Emmerich's new eight-bedroom 8,000-square-foot home has a main house, guest house and editing room. It also has terraced gardens, fountains and a circular drive.

The first owner of the Mission Revival-style home was film producer Jesse Lasky, who made 44 movies, including "The Squaw Man" (1914) and "The Great Caruso" (1951).

Lasky, who died in 1958, sold the house in 1939 to Mark Twain's daughter, Clara. She was 62 when she moved into the house, described then as "a vine-covered fortress."

At 70, she married a clarinet player whose gambling debts forced the couple to sell the house and most of their possessions in 1951, sources say.

After they auctioned off Mark Twain's books and many of his letters, Clara and her husband moved to La Jolla, then to Mission Beach, where she died at 88 in 1962.

Emmerich bought the house from film producer-financier Greta von Steinbauer, who had purchased the home in 1988.

Von Steinbauer owned the house until a couple of years ago, when she sold it, but she took it back through foreclosure. "I moved back in and got it put back together [to sell again]," she said.

Constance Chestnut of Coldwell Banker-Jon Douglas Co., Beverly Hills, represented Emmerich in his purchase; Tony Shultz of John Aaroe & Associates, Pacific Design Center, represented von Steinbauer.

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Phoenix Pictures chairman MIKE MEDAVOY has sold his Beverly Hills-area home for close to its $5.4-million asking price.

The industry veteran, who began his career in the mail room at Universal, was a production executive at United Artists, Orion Pictures (which he co-founded) and TriStar Pictures as well as at Santa Monica-based Phoenix, which he started more than a year ago as a production unit at Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Medavoy, 56, was an executive on such Oscar-winning pictures as "Platoon" (1986), "Amadeus" (1984), "Rocky" (1976) and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975). His first films as CEO at Phoenix were the '96 movies "The Mirror Has Two Faces" and "The People vs. Larry Flynt."

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