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Comedian's Number Is Up in 90210

June 09, 2002|RUTH RYON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Comedian Rita Rudner and her husband, producer Martin Bergman, have sold their Beverly Hills home for close to its $2.4-million asking price.

Rudner has just begun her second year of a $20-million, four-year contract to appear as a headliner in Las Vegas at the Cabaret Theatre of New York-New York Hotel & Casino.

The couple are getting ready to move into their newly built three-bedroom, 5,000-square-foot penthouse overlooking the Las Vegas Strip, and they plan to retain their three-bedroom, 4,000-square-foot Palm Desert home, which they built in 1998. That home overlooks a private golf course and lake.

The Beverly Hills home that Rudner and Bergman sold has five bedrooms and 6.5 baths in 6,000 square feet, including a guesthouse. The Mediterranean-style estate also has a pool, media room and indoor driving range. The couple had owned it since it was built in 1992.

Rudner, in her mid-40s, appeared in the Broadway productions of "Mack and Mabel," "They're Playing Our Song" and "Annie" before she became a stand-up comedian in 1980. Since then she has starred in three solo HBO comedy specials and, in 1992, she wrote the first of three books. Her most recent, a comic novel, is "Tickled Pink" (Pocket Books, 2001).

Rudner and Berman co-wrote the screenplay for the 1992 movie "Peter's Friends," in which she co-starred with Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh, who directed the film. Rudner and Berman also co-wrote the USA Network movie "A Weekend in the Country" (1996). She co-starred in the film, which Bergman produced and directed.

Lauren Polan, an associate manager at Coldwell Banker's Beverly Hills North office, represented Rudner and Bergman in their sale. Danny Harvey and Joyce Essex of the same office represented the buyer, a TV executive.

The Storer House in Hollywood, designed by late architect Frank Lloyd Wright, has been sold for nearly its $3.5-million asking price.

Producer Joel Silver, who had owned the house for 17 years, sold the house to a business executive described as having "a great understanding and appreciation for historical landmark architectural property."

Silver, who produced the "Lethal Weapon" films and other movies such as "13 Ghosts" (2001) and "The Matrix" (1999), meticulously restored the house with the help of architect Eric Wright, Frank Lloyd Wright's grandson.

The house, an example of Wright's pre-Columbian or early Modernist architecture, is one of four houses built in L.A. by the late architect using patterned concrete blocks. Designed in 1922 for homeopathic physician John Storer, the house has three bedrooms, a den and three bathrooms in about 3,000 square feet. The home also has a pool, which was originally planned but not built until Silver bought the property.

Judy Feder of Hilton & Hyland, Beverly Hills, represented both sides of the transaction.

Northrop Chairman Kent Kresa has purchased a home on four acres in Beverly Hills for about $12.5 million.

During the early '90s, London financier Robert Manoukian, once an emissary of the sultan of Brunei, had plans to build a 46,000-square-foot estate on the site. Manoukian's plans caused a neighborhood furor. The home was never built.

Two houses on the four-acre site were built after the site was subdivided in 1953. One was built by architect William Pereira; the other was owned at one time by the late screenwriter Nunnally Johnson. Manoukian planned to build a pool and a tennis court in place of the houses.

The property bought by Kresa also still has its original 18,000-square-foot Spanish-style house, built in 1927. The 40-room house was once owned by actor James Coburn, who lived there for about 15 years.

Kresa plans to refurbish the former Coburn home and remodel the two houses on the remaining lots, Westside sources said.

Under Kresa's leadership, Northrop Grumman Corp. has taken over 14 companies in the last decade, amassing a business that has interests in every aspect of the nation's military. Northrop's recent bid to take over TRW is on hold until September while it reviews financial information.

Joe Babajian of Prudential John Aaroe Estates, Beverly Hills, represented Kresa in his purchase, sources said.

Tony Williams, a KCBS Channel 2 weathercaster, has sold his Hollywood Hills home for about $2.2 million.

Seen regularly on the station's weekend newscasts, Williams, in his mid-30s, is probably best known for his comfortable style during live weather remotes from various communities throughout the L.A. area.

Williams, son of the late legendary defense attorney Edward Bennett Williams (a former owner of the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Redskins), is looking to buy another house in the same area.

With the help of Beverly Hills designer Lynn Palmer, he completed a total renovation in 1997 of the house he just sold.

Built in 1976, the contemporary villa has three bedrooms and 3.5 baths in about 2,700 square feet. The house--which also has a gym, a pool and views from downtown L.A. to the ocean--is on a hill overlooking Sunset Plaza.

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