Is there any moment in movie history more terrifyingly campy than Bette Davis, playing an aged “Baby Jane” Hudson, dressed in an adult-sized little girl’s dress, hair in curls and large bow, maniacally singing “I’ve Written a Letter to Daddy” while staring at herself in the mirror in “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” The infamous 1962 psychological horror film is chock full of similarly disturbing moments, truth be told, all set against the backdrop of a grand mansion said to have once belonged to silent film star Rudolph Valentino. In real life, the pad has no such celebrity pedigree, but its appearance in “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” has secured its place in the annals of Hollywood history.
Located at 172 S. McCadden Pl. in Los Angeles’ affluent Hancock Park neighborhood, the handsome pad set tongues wagging in mid-November when a three-day estate sale featuring jewelry, china and artwork was held on the premises. (Though no Baby Jane Hudson dolls were available, there were plenty of equally-terrifying moppets on hand.) And just last week, the residence made history once again when it hit the market for the first time in 48 years! (It last sold in September 1972 for $90,000.) Originally built in 1928, the property is being offered by Ari Afshar of Compass for just a tad under $3.8 million.
It is at the Mediterranean-style estate that former child star Jane holds her paralyzed sister, movie legend Blanche Hudson (Joan Crawford), captive in the film. Though a box office success and five-time Academy Award nominee, “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” is perhaps best known for its behind-the-scenes goings-on, which were famously rehashed in Ryan Murphy’s 2017 FX series “Feud: Bette and Joan.” Fraught with tension due to the contentious relationship between the two leading ladies, not to mention their relentless diva-ish behavior, the off-camera happenings have become the stuff of legend and helped the movie to achieve cult classic status.
For more Dirt on the “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” house, click over to the gallery.