Actor, musician and oil heir Balthazar Getty, great-grandson of philanthropic oil tycoon J. Paul Getty — L.A.’s Getty museum is named after his family, has long sought to sell a crisply contemporary, ridgeline villa in the upper reaches of Nichols Canyon in L.A.’s Hollywood Hills that’s been on and off the market for about five years and has recently come back up for sale at $9.25 million.
Perhaps best known for his roles in the 1990s film “Lord of the Flies” and the mid- to late-Aughts primetime series “Brothers and Sisters,” Getty and his wife, fashion designer Rosetta Getty, first set the gated and heavily fortified, city-view property out for sale in 2015 with an in-hindsight too high ask of $10.5 million. The price dropped to $10.25 million before it was taken off the market later in the year, and the gleaming, white-stucco villa was again put up for sale in 2017 with a still too optimistic $9.85 million asking price. In addition to their several unsuccessful attempts to sell, over the last handful of years the Gettys have also made the property available as a high-end rental at prices that have ranged from $35,000 to, most recently, earlier this year, $40,000 per month. (Gossip columns around the world went berserk in 2015 when pop heartthrob Joe Jonas briefly rented the property at a reported rate of around $2,600 per night.)
Tax records indicate the Gettys acquired the nearly three-quarter-acre property in 2003 for $2.15 million. Some years later, the couple radically transformed and substantially up-sized what was a fairly modestly sized and light-filled, late 1950s modern residence into a striking collection of boxy volumes broken up by vast expanses of glass and surrounded by minimalist landscaping. Inside, there are pale wood floors, gallery white walls and full-height doors that lend a sense of grandeur to the urban loft-inspired space. According to listings held by Brett Lawyer of Hilton & Hyland, between the two-story main house and the single-level guesthouse there are a total of seven bedrooms and eight full and three half bathrooms in about 6,000 square feet.
Just inside the front door, spacious living room and dining areas are contained in a huge, L-shaped space that features high-ceilings and huge expanses of full-height windows that, when completely open and hidden in the walls, turn the luxuriously spare space into huge, stylishly deluxe porch. In the living room area, built-in bookshelves extend all the way to the ceiling on either side of a double-sided fireplace that is shared with the master sitting room of the master suite.
With both marble and honed soapstone countertops on unadorned wood cabinets, the sleekly appointed kitchen is open to a cozily proportioned lounge were a wall of glass completely disappears into the walls to unite the space with a entertainment terrace complete with swimming pool and outdoor kitchen. The main floor is completed by a two-car garage that appears to have been converted to a media lounge with a built-in entertainment unit and a long wall of windows that open to the driveway.
The main residence’s half dozen bedrooms include an arguably less than ideally located and somewhat unusually configured main floor master suite; the suite is entered though a private sitting room that benefits from a fireplace and a wall of windows, but it seems the separate bedroom is only and awkwardly accessible by passing through the precisely tailored combination dressing room and bathroom. Five additional guest and family bedrooms on the second floor, all with expensively appointed private bathrooms as well as unobstructed mountain, canyon and/or city views, include three where floor-to-ceiling glass sliders open to a slender shared balcony.
Separated from the main house by a manicured expanse of emerald lawn, the guesthouse contains an art/design studio, a couple of bathrooms and a bedroom that opens to a secluded private patio.