Hollywood scion Natasha Gregson Wagner has been in the public eye her entire life. That’s a natural byproduct when one is the elder daughter of beloved, iconic Tinseltown star Natalie Wood, who mysteriously perished off the coast of Catalina Island in 1981 — a case that’s still unresolved.
Now in her late 40s, Wagner has acted part-time, appearing on the small screen (“ER,” “House M.D.”) and in ’90s films (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “High School High”). But she’s perhaps most successful on the real estate front, having exponentially grown her multimillion-dollar fortune through a series of shrewd property investments.
In 1996, Wagner bought an oceanfront Malibu cottage that was sold in 2013 for $5.2 million, more than quadruple what she originally paid. And last year, she unloaded an inland Venice architectural home — designed by the acclaimed Marmol Radziner firm — for an eye-popping neighborhood record of $6.8 million, to a still-unidentified Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur.
Now Wagner has selected her snazziest investment yet, the stunning A. Quincy Jones-designed Richard and Helen Arens house in Brentwood. The timeless midcentury structure, a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Landmark, was commissioned and built in 1950 for the Crestwood Hills Mutual Housing Association, perhaps the only successful large-scale cooperative housing development in all of California.
Tucked into the hills high above Sunset Boulevard, not far from the Getty, the low-slung villa packs in four bedrooms and two baths into 2,200 square feet of living space, relatively modest proportions by modern standards. Though the house isn’t completely original — and some renovations are obvious, particularly the redone Poliform kitchen — every update has been quite tasteful and in keeping with the original intent of the property.
Walls of glass and clerestory windows flood every room with light. Cement-block walls and the wooden tongue-and-groove ceilings lend the place an industrial, loft-like vibe that is further enhanced by the property’s hillside perch — its sweeping vistas take in a huge, cinematic swath of the L.A. basin. On a clear day, the views stretch to the Pacific Ocean and Catalina on the horizon.
Best of all, the property has its own swimming pool — something of a rarity in these tightly-packed hills — and it’s a doozy: a sultry, simple oval that perfectly compliments the elegant, pared-down nature of the house. Patios and drought-tolerant plantings complete the thoughtful package.
Besides her new Brentwood gem, Wagner also maintains a vacation getaway in the spectacularly scenic town of Ojai, Calif., about 1.5 hours northwest of L.A. by automobile. And in 2017, she bought a multi-acre lakefront retreat in Northport, Michigan, with 400 feet of water frontage and a private dock. That secluded estate is not far from Traverse City, where her husband — “7th Heaven” actor Barry Watson — spent his early childhood.