BUYERS: Ed Norton and Shauna Robertson
LOCATION: Malibu, CA
SIZE: 3,366 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms,
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: “Fight Club” actor Ed Norton shelled out $11.8 million for the so-called Stevens House, an iconic, ocean-front architectural behind the guarded gates of Malibu’s Hollywood-hallowed Colony enclave. The three-time Oscar nominee, most recently nominated in 2015 for “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” and previously for “Primal Fear” and “American History X,” drove a hard bargain for the sensuously sculptural residence that was last listed at $13.75 million after first popping up for sale almost four years ago with a pie-in-the-sky price of $22 million. Situated on 37 prime feet of beach with five bedrooms and five bathrooms in 3,366-square-feet, the eye-catching glass, concrete and timber residence was designed in 1968 by maverick California architect John Lautner.
The seller was Michael LaFetra, an occasional film producer and well-known serial collector/restorer of architecturally significant homes in the Los Angeles area. Unfortunately for Mister LaFetra, a scion of the Azusa, CA, based Rain Bird sprinkler fortune and a producer on the 2010 documentary “Kevorkian,” his bank account suffered a multi-million dollar gut punch on the property he bought in 2007 for $13.8 million and subsequently spent what was surely another small fortune on an extensive restoration and update that included the installation of cork floors and conversion to solar power.
The spectacularly eccentric, split-level residence includes an entrance gallery/dining room under a soaring, exposed concrete ceiling, a cave-like family room/media lounge with wet bar, a galley-style kitchen with built-in dining banquette and an airy, glass-walled living room with fireplace and ceramic floor tiles laid in a herringbone pattern mirrored by the cedar cladding on the ceiling. A covered area alongside the house has a long, slender swimming pool and opens to a grassy yard and spacious beachside deck.
Bing Crosby, Gary Cooper and Merle Oberon once maintained homes in the Colony enclave where current owners include Sting, Rob Reiner, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, John McEnroe and Patty Smyth, Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, Jason Statham and Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Jane Leeves, Pam Anderson, and Paul Reiser.
Mister Norton, a committed environmental and social activist, and his wife Shauna Robertson, a former movie producer whose credits include a bunch of Judd Apatow comedies, “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and “Pineapple Express” among them, already own a much less architecturally dynamic oceanfront duplex on Malibu’s Las Flores Beach that was acquired in 2008 for $2.72 million as well as a not-quite 2,500-square-foot, 1920s Spanish cottage set behind a towering privet hedge on an unassuming street in the Fairfax area of Los Angeles he bought in 2001 for $611,000 from Drew Barrymore. As noted by the celebrity property gossip gal at Trulia, who first turned up Mister Norton’s purchase of the Stevens House, the bi-coastal couple also own a penthouse apartment in a distinguished pre-war building in New York City’s Greenwich Village. Previous residents of the building include Susan Sarandon and Richard Gere and another of the penthouses has been owned since 2007, when it was purchased for $3.2 million, by writer Jay McInerney and media heiress/philanthropist Anne Hearst.
Listing photos: Douglas Elliman Real Estate