Some time ago, we received an email from a reader. Let’s call this reader Amy because, well, that’s her name. Anyway, Amy wanted to know more information about a rather fetching house set in the Hollywood foothills, conveniently just above the ever-trendy Sunset Strip. This house was celebrity-owned and recently sold for nearly $8 million — $7,870,000, to be precise.
Yolanda is always eager to please, and plus we actually quite like this place — we could imagine ourselves living up in this ol’ gurl. She’s sleek and contemporary, yet still comfy and inviting. The garages, so often a blight with modern homes, are discreetly tucked away out back. And the house and grounds are not too big, yet not too small. It’s just right! So naturally we dove into a sea of property records to see who the lucky new owner was.
Unfortunately, the buyer’s identity is locked away behind a blind trust, but after some extensive researchin’ and askin’ around, Yolanda can tell y’all who it is. He is a Aussie guy named Sam Worthington, and he is married to an Aussie lady named Lara Bingle.
Ignoramus that we are, Yolanda confesses we had never heard of either Mr. Worthington or Ms. Bingle. But approximately 8.5 seconds of Googling reveals they are both quite famous. Our Mr. Worthington is a very noted Hollywood actor perhaps best-known for his role as Jake Sully in Avatar (2009), the highest grossing film of all-time. That movie was arguably his Hollywood breakout role — what a way to get your name out, right? — and led to many other successful action and drama film castings: Clash of the Titans as well as its sequel Wrath of the Titans, Everest (2015), Hacksaw Ridge (2016), The Shack, and Manhunt: Unabomber (both in 2017).
Nowadays Mr. Worthington is an A-lister, so it might surprise y’all that he came from very modest beginnings in humble ol’ Australia, and success did not come easily or quickly. In his late teens and early 20s, Mr. Worthington worked a variety of odd jobs — including as a bricklayer — to make ends meet. By 30, according to him, he was homeless and living in his car while spending his days auditioning for roles. It wasn’t until age 33 that Avatar’s massive success provided him the means to find a proper place to live.
Now in his early 40s and a multi-millionaire, Mr. Worthington has been married to successful model and makeup entrepreneur Ms. Bingle — a millionaire in her own right — since 2014. The couple now have two young zoomily-named sons: Rocket and Racer.
Last year, Ms. Bingle made headlines when she claimed (during a radio interview) that she and her hubby “aren’t rich“. Yolanda suspects (and hopes) she was being sarcastic, as only a few months later Mr. Worthington gifted her a Christmas present that she showed off on social media: a brand-new Porsche 911 Turbo, a car that can retail for well over $200,000 when loaded up with options. And then there’s the $8 million Hollywood Hills manse, of course.
Speaking of the house, the listing for the property says it is part of the desirable Bird Streets neighborhood, but the property does not actually have a Bird Street address. But it is so close to the Birds that we suppose our quibble is basically splitting hairs.
By the way, this pad was sold by British-born screenwriter Simon Kinberg. If you’ll recall, Mr. Kinberg recently made headlines when he paid a shocking $31,500,000 for a spectacular Hollywood Hills mega-mansion nearby. Thus he had no need for this place — his “starter” Hollywood Hills house, for which he paid $8.4 million in late 2015.
And yes, kiddies, Mr. Kinberg lost big on the sale of his house to Mr. Worthington — to the tune of $530,000. But we think that loss reflects not on any supposed failings of the house; rather, we suspect that Mr. Kinberg significantly overpaid for the property back in 2015. But who knows for sure, right?
Built in 2015 on speculation, the mini-compound includes a main house and a guest house centered around a pool and lawn area. There are a total of 6,300-square-feet of living space on the premises, with 4 bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms. Although the .3-acre lot is not particularly large, it is completely flat and the house is quite private. The front facade is all but obscured behind tall, sculpted hedges and a security gate. As previously mentioned, the three-car garage and driveway are located around back, on a hidden cul-de-sac and away from prying eyes. Perfect for a celebrity couple.
The front yard features a stone terrace and a lush lawn that continues around the side of the house to the pool/spa combo and the courtyard lawn. Off the guest house is a wooden terrace with firepit, and the main house additionally features a covered loggia with comfy-lookin’ settee benches. Just imagine kicking your feet up on that table while reading a good book, kids. That’s the life!
Inside the main house, the front door opens to an airy, double-height foyer facing the staircase. Immediately to the right is a formal dining room, with its trendy grey paint and sculptural chandelier. To the left is an open living/family room combo equipped with a marble fireplace and a disappearing glass wall that leads to the courtyard. Just around the corner is the very chic European-style kitchen, with its marble island, huge flatscreen TV, and top-of-the-line appliances.
Also downstairs are a screening room and a wine “gallery”.
Upstairs is the master suite, which includes his-and-hers closets, a bedroom with a sitting area and marble fireplace and a bathroom with a party-sized marble-and-glass shower. Both the bedroom and bathroom have access (via French doors) to a private outdoor balcony, as does the large office in the guest house out back.
Perhaps the only demerit to give this property is that it does not have a city lights view. Houses in the Bird Streets are famous for their jetliner vistas, but this house sits a bit too far down in the hills to take advantage of those sightlines. But you can’t have it all, kids. Not even for almost $8 million. That’s just life.
Although we could easily be mistaken, Yolanda believes this may be Mr. Worthington’s first-ever home purchase in Los Angeles. (Mazel tov!) At one point he owned a sprawling property in Hawaii, but that was divested back in 2015.
So there you have it, Amy. And for the rest of y’all, if you’re 30 and still living in your 1992 Camry — there’s still hope for you. Just look at Mr. Worthington now! But if you’re already 35, well, just forget it.
Simon Kinberg’s agent: Jory Burton, Sotheby’s International Realty
Sam Worthington’s agent: Jonathan Ruiz, The Agency