Word on the celebrity real estate street is smoky-voiced film and television actor Maria Bello, most recently on the CBS primetime police procedural “NCIS,” has quietly acquired a contemporized, late 1960s ranch-style home above L.A.’s fabled Laurel Canyon. The $2.67 million sale price is more than half a million bucks below the over-optimistic original price tag of almost $3.2 million and just as notably slightly above the final asking price of not quite $2.6 million.
Set behind mean-looking spiked wrought iron fencing and an also-spiked driveway gate on a flat, one-third acre elevated parcel, the entirely updated, mountain-view residence measures in at a not-exactly-tiny but by-Hollywood-standard fairly modest 2,600 square feet with four bedrooms and three bathrooms. Just inside the front door, the otherwise relaxed combination living and dining room features bright white, art-friendly walls and unexpected and decidedly stately, chateau-esque inlaid parquet wood floors. There’s a simple fireplace trimmed in off-white stone tiles in the living area and, in the dining space, glass sliders provide convenient access to the backyard. The elegant parquet extends into a crisply tailored eat-in kitchen arranged around a center island with concrete colored countertops on snow-white cabinets, while a cozily proportioned adjoining family room opens to the pool.
There are three guest bedrooms, two with a shared, Jack ‘n’ Jill-style bathroom and all three with direct access to the outdoors through glass sliders. Behind an wooden, barn-style sliding door, the light-filled master bedroom also opens to the backyard and includes a not especially spacious and casually stylish bathroom with walnut wood double-sink vanity and skylight topped shower behind a sheet of glass.
Designed for casual outdoor living and entertaining, with panoramic, over-the-hedgerow views, the backyard offers vine-draped pergolas, a trellis-covered dining patio and a swimming pool and spa surrounded by stylishly rustic flagstone terracing. The property’s great secret is the architectural pavilion discreetly nipped out of sight behind the master bedroom. The essentially triangular-shaped and wood-stove warmed detached studio building has vintage bricks on the floor, a high, exposed wood ceiling and gigantic, steel-trimmed casement windows and doors that beautifully frame leafy, cross-canyon mountain views.
The property was listed with Tori Horowitz at Compass; Bello was repped by Elizabeth Halstead at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties.
The two-time Golden Globe nominee, first for “The Cooler” in 2004 an then in 2006 for “A History of Violence,” has long bunked in Los Angeles where about six-and-a-half years ago she sold a 1915 Craftsman bungalow in a plum pocket of L.A.’s arty-farty Venice community for exactly $2 million to disgraced journalist turned attorney Stephen Glass, whose life as a young reporter caught fabricating stories at The New Republic was dramatized in the 2003 film “Shattered Glass.” And, since she was a child, Bello has summered in the southern New Jersey barrier island community of Sea Isle City, N.J., where tax records indicate she keeps a three-story townhouse just off a stunning, sugary stretch of occasionally hurricane battered beach.