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A Constellation of Abodes

April 14, 1999|NANCY WRIDE

Movie trailer voice: Just when movie stars thought it was safe to go home . . . Now comes a book that takes you on an incredible journey through the neighborhoods of the rich and famous, a book that finally reveals the shocking truth about their addresses and the little secrets hiding inside. . . . Actress Goldie Hawn's Malibu pad has 12 bathrooms! Actor Warren Beatty forks out 10 grand in annual taxes on a Beverly Hills spread! Late "Kojak" TV detective Telly Savalas was an ABC News director before he got into acting--and moved to a Bel-Air mansion!

Such Hollywood trivia is offered in "The New Star Guide to Celebrity Homes," which has been arriving at book stores for the last month.

From Desi Arnaz to Pia Zadora, the Guide divulges addresses, square footage, architectural features and purchase prices in more than 200 entries detailing property either currently or previously owned by notables in television, music, sports and movies.

Take the Hollywood case of "Friends" star Matthew Perry: "This single-story stucco home" has 10 rooms, three baths and "a skinny-dipping pool with a view of the city"--among other apparent views.

At first blush, author Bruce W. Cook seems a curious candidate for authoring this guide to ogling Southland homes of the famous. He is publicist for the venerable Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach, where stars of past generations escaped the limelight.

And the book, Cook admits, has been dubbed by a few media wisenheimers as "the stalker's guide to Hollywood."

Cook and New Star CEO Ron Lightstone insist that encouraging the obsessed fan was not the intent of the guide, which notes that all information was scooped up via public records. The book intro urges the reader to "be respectful of the privacy and the property of those you are about to check out . . . as you explore the homes and habitats of your famous friends."

Cook's employers did not know much about his celebrity book but must recognize his abiding interest in entertainment. His resume boasts a career spanning radio talk shows and TV: writing for "Lassie" and "As the World Turns," and producing and directing the 1989 Super Bowl halftime show and "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous."

Has baring the real estate nitty-gritty of the rich and famous alarmed the private membership?

"I guess," Balboa Bay Club owner Beverly Ray says. "It sort of goes with the territory of a public figure."

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