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HOT PROPERTY

To Singer, Home Strikes a Chord

March 15, 1998|RUTH RYON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Grammy-winning singer-songwriter SHERYL CROW, who wrote and sang the theme song for the most recent James Bond movie, "Tomorrow Never Dies," has purchased a Hollywood Hills home for about $1.8 million, sources say.

Once a backup singer for Michael Jackson and Don Henley, Crow, 36, became a pop star and a five-time Grammy winner after her single "All I Wanna Do" from her 1993 debut album "Tuesday Night Music Club" was a hit. That album and her second, "Sheryl Crow," sold more than 12 million records worldwide.

Crow moved to L.A. from St. Louis in 1986, after earning a degree in classical piano from the University of Missouri at Columbia. After living in L.A. for more than a decade, she moved to New York.

She first expressed interest in the Hollywood Hills house about a year ago, but it had just been purchased then, with multiple offers, for about $900,000, sources say. Nevertheless, Crow persisted in trying to buy the house from its new owner, and she has now closed escrow.

Built in the '20s, the Spanish-style home is behind gates on less than an acre near a canyon, sources say.

The house has five bedrooms and four baths in about 5,400 square feet. It also has a tower.

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The longtime Bel-Air home of the late HENRY SALVATORI, a key figure in the "kitchen cabinet" of wealthy backers whose advice Ronald Reagan often followed as governor and then president, has been sold for close to $18 million, sources say.

The price is one of the highest ever for a private home on the Westside. The asking price was $24 million. It had never before been on the market.

Salvatori, who used proceeds from the sale of his oil company, Western Geophysical Corp., to become a major contributor to Republican causes and a close confidant to three U.S. presidents, died in July at age 96. His wife of 54 years, Grace, died in 1990.

Their estate sold the home to a Bermuda corporation, sources say. The buyer plans to expand the house, "keeping the integrity of its classic Paul Williams style," a source said.

The Georgian Colonial was one of the architect's last commissions. Williams, who designed dozens of movie stars' and others' mansions during Hollywood's golden days, died at age 85 in 1980. He designed the Salvatori home in the 1960s. It was completed in 1967.

Situated on four flat acres, the 12,000-square-foot house, behind gates and reached by way of a long private driveway, has 33 rooms, including three bedroom suites, three staff rooms and a guest house. The home also has a tennis court, pool, formal gardens and an eight-car garage. Raymond Bekeris of John Bruce Nelson & Associates had the listing.

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JOHN HILLERMAN, the Emmy-winning actor best known for playing British major-domo Jonathan Higgins on "Magnum, P.I." during the '80s, has listed his Lake Arrowhead house at just under $1.7 million, including a ski boat and furnishings.

"I bought the house in 1987, the last year of 'Magnum,' but didn't move in for a year because I was in Hawaii [where 'Magnum' was filmed]," he said.

Hillerman, 65, decided to sell the house because he wants to move where he can have a cigarette and a glass of wine with dinner. "I love Lake Arrowhead," he said, "but I've had it with the [anti-smoking] laws of this state."

The Texas-born actor says he is thinking of moving to Santa Fe, Taos, New Hampshire or Florida.

The Lake Arrowhead house, where he is working on a cookbook when not acting on TV, in film or on the stage, has six bedrooms and eight baths in 7,000 square feet.

The English Country-style home also has an elevator, a tram to the dock and a heated driveway, for melting snow. The house was built in 1975.

Kay Pick of Mike Silverman Estates, a Coldwell Banker-Jon Douglas Co. in Beverly Hills, shares the listing with Karen Cerwin and Sue Weaver of Coldwell Banker-Skyridge Realty at Lake Arrowhead.

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GARY LEVINSOHN, executive producer of the Bruce Willis-Richard Gere thriller "The Jackal" (1997), has purchased a Bel-Air home for about $3.5 million, sources say.

Levinsohn and Mark Gordon head Mutual Film Co., originally called Cloud Nine Entertainment, and they developed the upcoming movie "Saving Private Ryan," directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks.

The house that Levinsohn bought was designed by the late architect Richard Neutra and has four bedrooms and eight baths in about 5,500 square feet.

Built in 1955 and restored, the house also has city views. Levinsohn was living in Beverly Hills, sources say.

Kurt Rappaport of Stan Herman-Stephen Shapiro & Associates, Beverly Hills, had the listing.

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BING CROSBY's former estate in Rancho Santa Fe, in Northern San Diego County, has come back on the market at $7.5 million, the same price when it was listed for a while in 1992.

The sellers, a businessman and his wife, have owned the property, the Osuna Ranch, for 11 years.

Crosby and his family lived there in the '30s, when he and some of his friends built the racetrack at Del Mar, but the 22.2-acre estate dates from 1845, when it was part of a 10,000-acre land grant to Don Juan Maria Osuna, the first administrator of the San Diego Mission.

There is still a reminder of Osuna on the ranch: a house he built from mud and dried grasses. The house, with 3-foot-thick walls, is now a two-bedroom guest cottage.

Nearby, an avocado tree said to be 150 years old shelters a patio.

And there is a reminder of Crosby: a pump house with a cement floor in which he inscribed his name and the year, 1939. (He died at age 73 in 1977.)

The Osuna Ranch also has a 6,600-square-foot main house, built in the 1920s; a caretaker's cottage; a pavilion for the pool and tennis court; a temperature-controlled wine cottage; a gun room; and a number of garages.

Jean Stewart and Nancy Layne in the Rancho Santa Fe Village office of Prudential California Realty share the listing.

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