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$60,000/Mo. OK for 'Nutty Prof'


EDDIE MURPHY, who stars in the upcoming remake of "Doctor Dolittle" and the comedy film "Holy Man," has leased a Beverly Hills house for at least four months at about $60,000 a month while he's in town working on some movies and other projects, sources say.

He is due to produce and do the voice of the lead character in the stop-motion animated comedy series "The PJs," targeted for a midseason 1998-99 debut on Fox, and he is working on a sequel to "The Nutty Professor" (1996).

Murphy, 36, went from doing stand-up comedy as a 15-year-old to appearing on and writing for NBC's "Saturday Night Live" to starring in "48 Hrs." (1982), the "Beverly Hills Cop" films (1984, 1987 and 1994) and "The Nutty Professor."

The actor-producer-director won a best actor award from the National Society of Film Critics for his seven roles in "The Nutty Professor," which received a 1997 People's Choice Award, and he earned a Grammy for best comedy album in 1984.

Murphy leased a Country English-style home built in 1927, with nine bedrooms and nine baths in about 6,700 square feet. The gated estate is on three acres and has a guest house and three guest apartments, a pool, tennis court and rose garden.

"The house probably reminds him of his home in New Jersey, because it looks similar," a source said.

Murphy and his wife, model Nicole Mitchell, maintain their primary residence in the Englewood Cliffs, N.J., colonial-style brick mansion they call "Bubble Hill."

The Beverly Hills home, which includes furnishings and two options to extend the lease, has been rented at various times to singer Elton John, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and singer Mariah Carey, sources say.

Jeff Hyland of Hilton & Hyland, Beverly Hills, had the listing, and Barbara Robinson of Dalton Brown & Long, Beverly Hills, represented Murphy, other sources said.


MARY BONO, Sonny Bono's widow and candidate to succeed him in Congress, has put their Palm Springs home on the market at $1.45 million.

"She plans to downsize and stay in the area," listing broker Scott Lyle said. "She doesn't have to sell, but it doesn't make sense for her to keep this large a property, and she is planning to spend more time in Washington."

On Jan. 22, Bono, 36, declared her candidacy to run for the Republican seat held by her late husband. The former singer and mayor of Palm Springs died Jan. 5 in a skiing accident.

Sonny and Mary Bono bought the Palm Springs house in 1986, the year they were married. Built in 1940, the home was renovated by the Bonos in the 1980s. It has six bedrooms, seven baths and a media room in about 9,000 square feet.

The Spanish Mediterranean-style home also has two guest houses, a sunken tennis court and a lagoon like pool. The home, walled with electric gates, is on a multilevel lot on 1.75 acres with city and valley views.

Lyle Realtors, Palm Springs, has the listing.


Rock singer MEAT LOAF, whose "Bat Out of Hell" (1977) is still one of the best-selling albums in pop history, has purchased a Beverly Hills home for $1.6 million. He appears with actor Patrick Swayze in the action-adventure movie "Black Dog," due to be released in May.

Meat Loaf, born Marvin Lee Aday in 1951, also scored success with "Bat Out of Hell II" (1993), and he was in the movies "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" (1975), "Out of Bounds" (1986) and "Leap of Faith" (1992).

Built in 1922, the four-bedroom, 3,100-square-foot brick house is expected to be completely renovated.

"He plans to restore it to its original grandeur," a source said.

The house was listed by Joan Cohen, Don Robinson and Joe LaPian, all of Sotheby's International Realty in Beverly Hills, and Meat Loaf was represented by Beth Styne of Coldwell Banker-Jon Douglas Co., Beverly Hills, other sources said.


A Chatsworth house owned in the '50s by LUCILLE BALL and DESI ARNAZ has been listed at $599,999.99.

The seller, a former analyst with Drexel Burnham Lambert who owns an international acquisition management firm, set the price. He's moving to the Wilshire Corridor.

Built in 1950, the Chatsworth house was on 20 acres of orange groves when the Arnazes bought it. The 4,100-square-foot home is now on about three-fourths of an acre, behind gates, with a pool, spa, steam room, sauna and tennis court.

The three-bedroom home also has a den, step-down game room, bonus room or gym and guest house.

The Arnazes lived in the Chatsworth home soon after "I Love Lucy" became No. 1 in the ratings following its 1951 premiere. The couple called the property "Desilu," the same name as their production company, but they considered the home a ranch and kept chickens and a cow there.

Jessica Russell of Coldwell Banker-Jon Douglas Co., Hollywood Hills, has the listing.


Record producer MIKE SIMPSON has purchased a Pasadena home for $960,000, sources say.

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