For the past decade, film and television treasure Cloris Leachman, an Oscar winner for her role in “The Last Picture Show” (1971), has lived quietly in the mountains above Malibu, in the rustic community of Topanga, where she’s listed a charming, cabin-style cottage for a little over a million dollars. First popular in the 1920s as a weekend getaway for silent film stars, the semi-remote community still has a reputation as a secluded and free-spirited refuge from the hurly-burly of Los Angeles. “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” alum and star of its mid-1970s spinoff “Phyllis,” likely never occupied the shingled home, which was purchased in late 2012 for just over $720,000 and occasionally came up as a rental, most recently at $6,000 per month.
Humbly proportioned at an apartment-sized 1,100 square feet, the warm, woody and amiably bohemian cottage has two (and potentially more) bedrooms and three bathrooms, one of them updated with marble tile work and the other two, according to listings held by Catherine Campbell at Sotheby’s Intl. Realty, ready for a redo. Wood-paneled walls and a soaring exposed-wood cathedral ceiling add rustic grandeur to the airy living room where a clever assemblage of vintage windows form the entire wall behind a wood stove and drench the room in soft, tree-filtered natural light. Open to the dining room and decked out with a stained glass window and a two-stool snack bar, the relatively petite but up-to-date kitchen features antique leaded glass cupboards and bluestone countertops. French doors in the dining room lead out to a partly trellis-covered and bougainvillea-festooned deck perfect for fragrant al fresco dining and lounging. Beyond the deck, a tire swing hangs from the sturdy branches of a massive pepper tree.
The nearby home the now 94-year-old showbiz veteran lives in, an impeccably maintained high-end farmhouse-meets-Zen-inspired loft of about 4,000 square feet on an acre of idyllic grounds, is also for sale, now at just under $3 million after it was initially listed at $3.4 million.