By Lauren Beale, Los Angeles Times
September 30, 2012
The membership roll in Malibu's unofficial Billionaire's Beach club is shrinking. Former Yahoo Inc. Chief Executive Terry Semel and his wife, Jane, have sold their spot to Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison, who already has eight other houses along Carbon Beach.
The couple, who had most recently priced their Michael Graves-designed oceanfront compound at $40 million, sold for $36,943,890. The sale is the most expensive so far this year in Malibu.
The three-quarter-acre lot includes three structures. The main house is entered through a three-story rotunda crowned by a skylight. Circular windows and openings throughout the contemporary home lend it a nautical vibe. A copper-roofed screening pavilion doubles as the family den. There is also a two-story guesthouse for a total of nine bedrooms, 13 bathrooms and 10,317 square feet of living space.
A gazebo for outdoor dining sits by the swimming pool and a lawn, which stretches along the 151 feet of beach frontage.
Among the neighbors in the billionaire's enclave are entertainment mogul David Geffen, former Dodgers Chief Executive Jamie McCourt and business magnate and former junk bond king Michael Milken.
In addition to the Carbon Beach houses, Ellison owns commercial property along the sand that includes the Nobu Malibu restaurant.
Ellison, 68, is ranked as the third wealthiest person in the U.S. by Forbes with a net worth of $41 billion as of September. He made an estimated $500-million deal this year to buy 98% of the Hawaiian island of Lanai.
Richard Hilton, Judy Feder and Jeffrey Hyland of Hilton & Hyland were the Semels' listing agents. Hilton represented Ellison in the purchase.
Diller estate comes with a few gags
Filled with laughter for decades, the longtime home of comic Phyllis Diller has come on the market in Brentwood at $12.9 million.
The Country English-style house sits among mature trees on 1.23 flat acres. It was built in 1914 as a summer home for Lawrence C. Phipps, who made his fortune in the steel industry and went on to serve as a U.S. senator from Colorado from 1919 to 1931.
Diller bought the 9,266-square-foot house in 1965 and personalized it to reflect her varied pursuits.
An upstairs gallery is filled with Diller's artwork in oil, acrylics and watercolor, and the walls in many rooms of the eight-bedroom, five-bathroom home are lined with art. Her son and executor, Perry Diller, plans to sell the home's contents at auction.
He lived at the house during his high school years and recalls the kitchen as being at the center of their family life. "She was a great cook, and that's where a lot of the activity was," Perry Diller said. "We'd sit down and giggle a lot."
Among her signature dishes was a Depression-era concoction called "garbage soup," he said, which involved any sort of leftovers that were on hand. Chili, spaghetti and pork chops and sauerkraut were family favorites. There was also "heartburn salad," so called because it had a kick of heat in the vinaigrette, Perry Diller said, not because it caused an upset stomach.
When someone new moved in nearby, his mother would bring food over to welcome them to the neighborhood, he said. "She got along with everybody."
In the years she owned the house, Phyllis Diller named many of its 22 rooms. The living room became the Bob Hope Salon after the comic actor she considered her mentor. He gave her a large oil painting of himself, which stands on an easel in the room near a concert grand. A classically trained musician, Diller played the piano, organ and harpsichord.
The Bach Room doubled as her office and a salon. Her baby grand sat on a stage at one end of the room.
Some room names were takes on sight gags: A yellow guest room was called the Canary Suite; the red-walled kitchen became the Scarlet Scullery; a room with an organ in it was the Pump Room. More than one room was devoted to Diller's wigs and costumes.
But perhaps most reflective of her comic sensibilities are these two: a powder room named the Edith Head for the Academy Award-winning costume designer and a mirrored telephone room called the John Wilkes Booth.
Phyllis Diller died this year at 95.
Bruce Nelson and Raymond Bekeris of John Bruce Nelson & Associates are the listing agents.
Characters and plot in the 'birds'
Actors Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally have put their house in Hollywood Hills West up for sale at $12.65 million, and they might want to send a thank-you card to the new neighbors for the great "comp."
Last month, 31-year-old entrepreneur twins Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss — who won a $65-million cash-and-stock settlement in 2008 over claims that Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea to create Facebook — bought the contemporary house next door in the celebrity-populated "bird streets" area for $18 million.
The twins' newly constructed two-story has retractable walls of glass opening to views of downtown L.A. and an infinity swimming pool with a shallow-water shelf for chaise longues. A living room wall of sleek stone containing an extra long fireplace and spots for flowers bears some resemblance to a mausoleum wall. Counter seating for five sits off the sleek white kitchen. A waterfall fountain creates a backdrop for a spot of lawn, and a metal sculpture provides a focal point for a reflecting pool on the third-of-an-acre lot.
Offerman and Mullally, both of whom have appeared on "Parks and Recreation," are selling a contemporary that sits behind walls on about a quarter of an acre. The 3,803-square-foot home has three bedrooms, 31/2 bathrooms and city views. There is a swimming pool.
But the pair aren't going to be hanging around to get to know the twins. They already have another house in hand.
Purchased at the end of last year for $4.15 million, their new place in Bel-Air is described as having museum-quality finishes, soaring ceilings and high-end details. The nearly 5,200-square-foot contemporary features a flexible floor plan, four bedrooms and 31/2 bathrooms on a single level. There is a solar-heated swimming pool on the nearly half-acre canyon-view lot.
Offerman, 42, has played parks department director Ron Swanson on "Parks and Recreation" since 2009. Mullally, 53, was a regular on "Will & Grace" from 1998 to 2006, had her own talk show and stars on the comedy "Childrens Hospital" (2008-present).
Michelle Nelson of Sotheby's Sunset office had the listing on the house Mullally and Offerman bought. Rory Barish of Keller Williams in Beverly Hills represented them in the purchase and is their listing agent.
Kobe's old place is up for grabs
Vanessa Bryant has put a Newport Coast house up for sale at $3.75 million. The Mediterranean-style house was signed over to her as part of her divorce settlement with Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant.
The mountain-view house, built in 1999, sits on slightly more than a quarter of an acre in a gated community. Among its features are an office/library, five fireplaces, balconies, five bedrooms, a bonus room and 51/2 bathrooms. There is a spa, an outdoor fireplace and a built-in barbecue.
The house is one of three the Bryants own in Newport Coast.
Public records show they bought the property in 2003 for $2.65 million.
Jordan Cohen of Re/Max Olson & Associates is the listing agent.
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