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Hot Property: Walt Disney's Los Feliz home lists at $3.65 million

August 06, 2011|By Lauren Beale, Los Angeles Times

Walt Disney's onetime residence in Los Feliz, the wonderful world where his daughters grew up, has come on the market at $3.65 million.

The two-story French Normandy-style house, built in 1932, sits behind gates on an acre with views to downtown.

Disney, not one for retaining walls or formal gardens, according to a 1940 interview in Better Homes & Gardens, often picked native plants over imports and created informal terraces using rocks to hold back soil.

The property, then an acre and a half, was home to foxes, quails, opossums and rabbits. When World War II started, the Disneys added a victory garden and kept chickens.

Though pieces of land have been sold off over the decades, the rugged heart of the lot that daughter Diane Disney Miller called "the canyon" as a child remains with the house.

Inside, original features include the rotunda foyer, vaulted beamed ceilings, stained leaded-glass windows, two bars and a Juliet balcony overlooking the two-story living room from the second floor hall. It was from this vantage point that Miller would look on Christmas morning at the tree below surrounded by gifts.

During the rest of the year, Disney had a chair in front of the large living room window, where he would sit and read scripts and books, Miller said. "He also loved to sit outside and read in the summertime."

One Christmas, a storybook playhouse appeared in the backyard. Today the miniature cottage sits beside a swimming pool, which was added later near a terrace off the living room. The pool from Disney's day belongs to the house next door.

The house for sale has four bedrooms and five bathrooms in about 6,000 square feet. What is now a billiards room with a sleeping porch over the garage originally was Disney's workout room with a punching bag hanging from the ceiling and pictures of his polo ponies on the walls. Later, it was converted to a nursery.

"My sister and I spent most of our young lives there," said Miller, who was born in 1933. The Disneys remained in the house into her teenage years.

When he got into live-action films, Disney decided that he needed a projection room at home to view the daily filming, Miller said. It was part work space and part family film room.

What had been a guest room, bath and charming little library became a screening room, a booth with 35-millimeter projectors and a small bar, Miller said.

"My sister and I saw 'Citizen Kane' and 'Gone With the Wind' there and then current movies," she said. The room had a separate entrance with a bathroom for the projectionists. The small sink still sits behind a wooden door.

Another change to the house during the Disneys' time there: the decorative painting on the ceilings, which are intact.

Disney, who in the 1920s co-founded what would become the Walt Disney Co. with his brother Roy O. Disney, died in 1966 at 65.

Patricia Ruben of Sotheby's International Realty, Los Feliz, is the listing agent.

Transported out of the Hollywood Hills

Update: Actor Jason Statham of "The Transporter" movies has sold his contemporary home in the Hollywood Hills for $2.7 million. The house came on the market in May at $2,749,000 and was in escrow within a week.

The post-and-beam house, built in 1957, has floor-to-ceiling glass walls at the back that open to a pool area. There are three bedrooms and three bathrooms.

Statham, 43, stars in this year's films "Blitz," "The Mechanic" and "Killer Elite," due out next month. He starred with Sylvester Stallone and Jet Li last year in "The Expendables."

Public records show Statham bought the property in 2005 for $2.4 million.

Peter Lorimer of Peter Lorimer Group Estates, Beverly Hills, was the listing agent, according to the Multiple Listing Service, while Rayni Romito and Branden Williams of Hilton & Hyland, Beverly Hills, represented the buyer.

'Ninja Turtles' co-creator sells his shell

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" co-creator Kevin Eastman has parted with a Beverly Hills Post Office-area home for $2.9 million, the Multiple Listing Service shows.

The five-bedroom, five-bathroom contemporary Mediterranean is in a gated community. The 5,458-square-foot house sits on nearly three-quarters of an acre on two lots with a pool, spa, a guesthouse and a detached recording studio.

The comic book that Eastman, 49, created with Peter Laird was made into several movies and television series over the last 21/2 decades.

Michael Eisenberg of Keller Williams Realty, Beverly Hills, had the listing. Stan Hackney of Nourmand & Associates, Beverly Hills, represented the buyer.

Rocker is set to Jet from Hollywood Hills

Australian rocker Chris Cester has listed his Hollywood Hills home at $1,135,000.

The gated Spanish-style home, built in 1937, sits on a cul-de-sac. There are three bedrooms and two bathrooms, including a lower-level master suite with an office, a three-quarter bathroom, a separate entrance and deck.

The house, surrounded by mature landscaping, has a two-car garage with extra storage and a two-space carport.

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