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Moving Before 'The Hurricane'

December 12, 1999|RUTH RYON

Denzel Washington, who stars in the upcoming movie "The Hurricane," and his wife, singer-pianist Pauletta Pearson, have put their Toluca Lake home of about seven years on the market at just under $2 million.

Designed by architect Paul Williams and built in 1940, the traditional-style home has five bedrooms, a guest cottage and a pool with a cabana. The 6,000-square-foot-plus home is on a double lot.

The couple and their four children have moved in to a newly built home in a gated Beverly Hills-area community.

Washington, 44, plays '60s world middleweight boxing champion Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, who was unjustly convicted of the murders of three white men in a New Jersey bar. The movie is due to be released Dec. 29.

The Oscar-winning Washington (best supporting actor, "Glory," 1989) also stars in "The Bone Collector" as a quadriplegic New York City criminologist who helps uncover the identity of a serial killer.

Among his other films are "He Got Game" (1998) and "Courage Under Fire" (1996). He also provided the voice of King Omar in "Rumpelstiltskin," one of 13 ethnically diverse fairy tales presented in the HBO animated musical series "Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child" (1994-2000).

Barbara Robinson of DBL Estates, Beverly Hills, and Stephanie Jex of Fred Sands Estates, Sherman Oaks, share the Toluca Lake listing.


Mark Hughes, president and founder of Herbalife International, has purchased the Malibu beachfront home of Verna Harrah, widow of the late casino magnate William F. Harrah. She is also associated with Cinema Line Films Corp.

Escrow closed last week on the home, which Malibu real estate sources say sold for about $25 million, including furnishings. The last asking price was $29 million, unfurnished.

The selling price is the largest of a house that has closed escrow so far this year in Southern California, and it is the highest private-home sale ever in Malibu.

For the L.A. area, it is second to David Geffen's 1990 $47.5-million purchase of the late movie mogul Jack Warner's Beverly Hills estate. Geffen's purchase included scripts, Oscar statuettes and antique objects that he then sold. In a 1990 news story, he estimated his final price for the real estate at $36 million. Hughes' deal included household furniture but no art.

The Malibu house is on about 7.5 acres, with 300 feet of beachfront. Built by Verna Harrah in 1993 with interiors designed by Joanna Shimkus Poitier (wife of actor Sidney Poitier), the Mediterranean-style 18,000-square-foot main house has nine fireplaces and a screening room. The property also has a guest house, rose garden, pool, spa and covered parking for nine cars.

Hughes and his wife, Darcy, live primarily at Grayhall, a Beverly Hills mansion built in 1909 and leased by Douglas Fairbanks Sr. while he was refurbishing Pickfair.

Hughes is still trying to secure permits to build a 45,000-square-foot home on a Benedict Canyon knoll that he bought in 1997 from entertainer Merv Griffin.

Hughes, 43, announced in September that he would buy outstanding shares of Herbalife, his dietary supplement company, for $500 million. Herbalife became a Nasdaq publicly traded company in 1984; Hughes is its majority shareholder.

Barbara Duskin of Coldwell Banker Previews, Beverly Hills North, had the Malibu listing.

Conrad Lee Klein, Hughes' longtime business and real estate advisor, and Jerry Jolton of Coldwell Banker Previews, Beverly Hills South, represented Hughes in buying the property.


Dan Cracchiolo, co-producer of "The Matrix" and "Lethal Weapon 4" (1998) as well as executive producer of "House on Haunted Hill," has sold his Laurel Canyon home for $780,000 and bought a condo with city and beach views.

His former home, which he sold to New York stage actor Michael La Fetra, was one of the original Case Study houses when it was designed by architect Pierre Koenig and built in 1958. Case Study houses were a series of post-World War II model homes commissioned by Arts & Architecture magazine to introduce modern design to the United States.

Koenig oversaw the restoration, which Cracchiolo meticulously undertook. Later, the producer was quoted as saying, "The look of it really spoke out to me, [especially] the long straight lines. You walk into a room, and you can see everything. . . . I'm hoping the simplistic form can have some effect in my personal life."

The 1,320-square-foot house has floor-to-ceiling glass, a stainless-steel kitchen and two bedrooms next to an open-air atrium.

Judy Feder of Nourmand & Associates, Beverly Hills, had the listing.

Kyle Grasso and Joe Babajian of Fred Sands Estates in Beverly Hills represented the buyer.


Kevin Wendle, a founder of CNet and the Fox TV network, has listed his Laguna Beach house, a getaway home for actor John Barrymore during the 1930s, at just under $6.6 million.

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