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Home of the Week

It's seen some lively times

August 24, 2003|Ruth Ryon | Times Staff Writer

Talk about a celebrity pedigree:

Actress Lily Tomlin and writer-director Jane Wagner lived here for about 20 years before they sold the home, in the gated Los Feliz area of Laughlin Park, four years ago. Australian actress Ann Richards ("Sorry, Wrong Number," 1948) and her producer-director husband, Edmund Angelo, called this place home from the late 1940s until the early '70s. W.C. Fields lived here from the late '30s until the end of his life in 1946. Carlotta Monti, the comic's girlfriend, wrote extensively about their time in this house in her autobiography, "W.C. Fields and Me."

About this house: When he moved into the house, W.C. Fields kept a rifle handy in case a hairy-nosed wombat might wander out of the zoo at Griffith Park. The only time Fields fired a shot, however, was when an air-raid warden appeared unannounced at the door one night. The warden was filmmaker and neighbor Cecil B. DeMille.

Fields liked to spy on his guests, and he often hid in a liquor closet with a peephole. He also liked to surprise people by disappearing, when they weren't looking, through a mahogany panel.

When the current owners moved in, the mahogany paneling was painted pink. Now it and the rest of the architectural features, finishes and details have undergone what is described as "a museum-quality restoration," bringing back much of the splendor of the home when it was built in 1920. Along with refurbishing, such features as five zones of heating and air conditioning and a new kitchen were added.

Asking price: $5,599,000

Size: The home has five bedrooms and 5 1/2 bathrooms in 6,407 square feet. It sits on two-thirds of an acre.

Features: Wraparound views of the city and hills complement the privacy of the grounds, which include a gated motor court, three-car garage, pool and 125-year-old olive trees. Each family bedroom has a fireplace. The Mediterranean-style home also has a lanai, a solarium, a billiard room/office, a music room, a balcony library, editing rooms with special wiring, and a climate-controlled wine cellar.

Where: The home is in the center of Laughlin Park in Los Feliz.

Listing agent: Richard Stanley, Coldwell Banker, Los Feliz, (323) 906-2417.

To submit a candidate for Home of the Week, please send color interior and exterior photos (copies only; we cannot return the pictures) and a brief description of the house, including what makes the property unusual, to Ruth Ryon, Real Estate Section, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012; or e-mail homeoftheweek@latimes.com.

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