For the last eight years, Colombian-born “Modern Family” star Sofia Vergara has reigned supreme as the best-paid actress on television, obliterating her competition with nearly $300 million in pre-tax earnings that’s evenly spread out between her sitcom salary and myriad lucrative endorsement deals and entrepreneurial ventures, including a fashion line with Walmart and even a furniture collaboration with Rooms To Go.
Now Vergara and her husband, “True Blood” actor Joe Manganiello, have invested some of that coin back into real estate. Last week, the couple shelled out $26 million for a titanic house in Beverly Park, the guard-gated community famously full of steroidal mega-mansions sited high in the mountains above Beverly Hills.
While the 70-ish homes in Beverly Park tend to rarely change hands, Vergara’s new Tuscan-style manse is abnormally familiar with the real estate rodeo, having had no fewer than five different owners in the past six years alone.
From 2002 until 2014, the house was owned by former Giants slugger Barry Bonds, who significantly remodeled and expanded the property during his tenure. He sold the house for $22 million to a Russian businessman, who flipped it three years later for $26.5 million to a couple from Mainland China by way of Arcadia, Calif. But that family only owned the place for two years before they unloaded it, at a multimillion-dollar loss, to billionaire Diana Chen, China’s so-called “Steel Princess.”
Last year, Chen plunked the mansion back onto the market with a $30 million ask. Eventually, Vergara agreed to pay $26 million, a $3 million profit for Chen before the inevitable taxes, closing costs and hefty realtor fees.
Originally built in 1999, the sprawling compound today measures approximately 17,000 square feet of plus-sized living space, all of it set on nearly two acres of land and divvied up among the main house, guesthouse and a poolside cabana.
The gated property’s exquisitely manicured grounds were designed to evoke the gardens of a palatial estate in Italy, with emerald green lawns, a long allee of olive trees, and pathways leading past rigidly formal boxwoods and stone fountains. There are two motorcourts, with garaging for four cars and plenty of space for grand-scale entertaining. Out back, the Grecian-inspired pool is surrounded by a sunbather-friendly patio, and cool mountain breezes waft over the nearby sports court.
Photos included with the current listing do not unmask any part of the home’s interiors, but dated marketing materials from older listings show the ornate house is awash in crystal chandeliers, silk carpeting and imported limestone, plus travertine floors quarried in Italy.
There’s also a massive kitchen painted a surprisingly delicate shade of lavender, an Art Deco-inspired wet bar, a gym and an upstairs master suite with his/hers bathrooms and dressing rooms. Downstairs, the cavernous movie theater offers gold leaf appliqué and hand-stenciled ceilings that are nothing if not rococo.
Beverly Park, arguably L.A.’s most exclusive guard-gated community, is widely known for its many celebrity residents. Some of Vergara’s nearest new neighbors include Denzel Washington, Sylvester Stallone, Eddie Murphy, Kimora Lee Simmons, Mark Wahlberg, Rod Stewart and Paul Reiser.
For now, Vergara continues to maintain a large, Tuscan-style “starter” home in Beverly Hills, about two miles down the hill from her new Beverly Park digs. She picked up that property in 2014 for $10.6 million, prior to her marriage, and has recently been living the quarantine lifestyle there.
And back in early 2013, Vergara famously — and unsuccessfully — attempted to purchase the prime Bel Air estate of fellow actor Debra Messing, though she was ultimately outbid by an $11.4 million, all-cash offer from a New York-based financier and his wife.