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HEARD ON THE BEAT / REAL ESTATE

Bette Midler Selling Divine Home

March 03, 1998|E. SCOTT RECKARD

Speaking of housing sales, there's a divine home available on a bluff above the Pacific. It's Bette Midler's funky Laguna Beach getaway, with rooms tucked away on several levels. Asking price: $2,795,000.

Midler, known to joke about having to apologize to her Democratic friends for owning a house in Orange County, paid $1,925,000 for the Victoria Beach property in August 1988, county property records show. The singer-actress once spent considerable time there, frequenting local florists and takeout joints.

Victoria Beach has been a hangout over the years for celebrities such as O.J. and Nicole Brown Simpson, who once had a house there. The homes near Midler's include one owned by Ron Burkle, the Ralphs Grocery Co. merger-meister, philanthropist and Bill Clinton pal.

Midler's listing agent, Darlyne Woodward of First Team Nolan Real Estate Inc., couldn't be reached for comment. Sources said Midler has been trying to sell the home for two or three years, but doesn't want her name used to promote a sale. Midler, reportedly negotiating to star in a TV comedy by the creators of "3rd Rock From the Sun," now lives mainly back East.

Built on a 5,000-square-foot lot, the Laguna home features a French Norman tower, which has stairs circling down to the beach. It has four bedrooms and three fireplaces, including one in the master bedroom, plus a large brick entry courtyard. It's historic too by local standards, dating to 1925.

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E. Scott Reckard covers real estate for The Times.

He can be reached at (714) 966-7407 and at scott.reckard@latimes.com

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