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Hot Property

Went ape, then house hunting

May 29, 2005|Ruth Ryon | Times Staff Writer

Comedic actor-singer Jack Black, who just spent six months in New Zealand filming a remake of "King Kong," has purchased a home in the Beverly Hills area for more than its asking price of about $2.9 million.

Black bought a house built in the 1950s that was recently redone by Darryl Wilson Design. The midcentury modern home has three bedrooms and three bathrooms in nearly 3,000 square feet. It's on slightly more than an acre of lushly landscaped grounds.

The gated home, at the end of a long private drive, also has floor-to-ceiling walls of glass, 10-foot ceilings and canyon views. Black plans to add a screening room and a pool.

Black, 35, is lead singer of the rock-comedy band Tenacious D, and he is known for his costarring roles in such movies as "Shallow Hal" (2001), opposite Gwyneth Paltrow; and "Envy" (2004), with Ben Stiller. He earned an MTV Movie Award for best comedic performance in "The School of Rock" (2003). He also was the voice of vegetarian shark Lenny in the animated feature "Shark Tale" (2004).

"King Kong," starring Black as an adventurer-filmmaker and Naomi Watts as the heroine, is due out in December.

Darryl Wilson of Keller Williams Realty, Beverly Hills, had the listing, while Richard Ehrlich and Jon Bronson of Westside Estate Agency represented the buyer, according to the Multiple Listing Service.

A three-pointer for sports agent

Karl Malone, who spent 18 seasons with the Utah Jazz before announcing his retirement in February after one final season with the L.A. Lakers, has sold his Salt Lake City-area home for $2.75 million at an auction.

The buyer was sports agent Dwight Manley of Newport Beach. Manley, who has represented Malone and such other basketball stars as Dennis Rodman, bid on the house by phone from California.

The home attracted 12 bidders from Utah, California and Florida. The property was auctioned after it failed to sell on the market. The eight-bedroom log-and-stone house, on slightly more than two acres, was listed at $6.1 million when Malone, 41, was playing for the Lakers.

Malone built the 19,000-plus-square-foot house in 1996. It has five fireplaces, a game room with a basketball half-court, a steam room, an indoor shooting gallery, an outdoor pool, a pool house and a 100-foot park-style waterslide.

J.P. King Auction Co. of Gadsden, Ala., managed the sale.

Architecture buff goes for Schindler

Michael J. Murray, a screenwriter-producer of TV movies, has purchased the Rodriguez House in Glendale for its asking price of $2 million. The house was designed by architect Rudolf Schindler.

Murray, who sold his 1906 Greene & Greene home last month, plans to restore the four-bedroom, 2,400-square-foot Schindler house, built in 1941 for Jose Rodriguez, who hosted a classical music program on radio station KFI, and his wife, June Giesler Rodriguez.

Her sister, Margaret Giesler Buxton, worked with the late designer Tony Duquette on nightclubs and department stores. Buxton designed the copper fireplace panels in the house's master bedroom and a gazebo where the swimming pool is now.

Jose and June Rodriguez moved into the home the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked and sold the house in the mid-'60s. Jose Rodriguez died in the late '70s. June Rodriguez lives in Oakland and will turn 99 this year, according to her granddaughter, Meg.

Murray is president of the board of directors of the Friends of the Gamble House, a Greene & Greene landmark at which he has been a docent since 1990.

He is working on the Lifetime movie "The Christmas Wish," about a house owned by one family for more than 100 years. He wrote three CBS Christmas movies starring Peter Falk. They are: "When Angels Come to Town" (2004), "Finding John Christmas" (2003) and "A Town Without Christmas" (2001).

Peter Martocchio and David Goldberg of Sotheby's, Pasadena, had the Schindler listing.

Where classic film stars took a dip

A West Hollywood compound owned at one time by actress Loretta Young, who died in 2000 at age 87, has been sold for $4.5 million.

Michael Kilroy, a 41-year-old Palos Verdes Peninsula-based investor, bought the compound. His holdings include the Jack Benny estate and the John Lautner-designed Elrod House, both in Palm Springs, as well as multifamily housing, retail complexes, office buildings and a wireless-data venture.

The compound was built in 1952. Designed in Hollywood Regency style by John Elgin Woolf, it has a six-bedroom main house, staff quarters, a pool, a pool house, a 10-garage motor court and a number of apartment-style units. Guests are said to have included Joan Crawford and Rock Hudson.

Ron De Salvo of Coldwell Banker, Beverly Hills, represented the buyer, and Peter Schwartz of Prudential California Realty, John Aaroe division, West Hollywood, had the listing.

Live next door to

the Nelson house

The Craftsman-style Hollywood house next door to Ozzie and Harriet Nelson's home, made famous on their '50s and '60s TV series, has come on the market at $4.2 million.

Sydney Thornbury, who became the inspiration for the Nelsons' TV and radio neighbor "Thorny," purchased the house, built about 1916, in 1944. David Kohan, executive producer and creator of "Will & Grace," bought the house in 1997. Several other owners have also been in the entertainment industry.

The house was purchased in 2003 by designer-Realtor Billy Rose, who undertook a major renovation and expansion, focusing on maintaining its Craftsman-like character. The house has four bedroom suites, a maid's quarters, a new kitchen and family room, a pool, a gated motor court, a loggia with a fireplace, a guesthouse with a living room and kitchen, and city views.

Rose has the listing at Westside Estate Agency, Beverly Hills.

To see previous columns on celebrity transactions visit

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