One of the most famous and storied homes in the U.S., Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills was built in 1928 by oil tycoon Edward L. Doheny as a 46,000-square-foot residential gift to his son, Edward Doheny, Jr., and his family. It was just a few months after Junior, known as Ned, his wife Lucy and their five children moved into the 55-room Tudor Revival behemoth that he and his secretary, Hugh Plunkett, were found dead of gunshot wounds in one of the mansion’s many guest bedrooms. Though rumors of love triangles and other such conjecture still circulate about the mysterious event, their deaths were officially determined to be a murder/suicide.
Sometime before Ned and Hugh met their mutual fate in Beverly Hills, the property-developing scion acquired a vast tract of oceanfront property in Orange County’s Dana Point. Though Ned was found dead before his planned development of the Capistrano Beach neighborhood went into full swing, he is often cited as the neighborhood’s founder. Ned’s Capistrano Beach project was carried on by his father and indeed, the Doheny family was so instrumental in the development of Dana Point — meaning, they once owned a ton of property there — that in 1931 Edward donated a stretch of prime coastline for public use. The land became California’s first state beach and it was officially named Doheny State Beach in 1963.
Now situated in a guard-gated enclave of homes that are lined up cheek-to-jowl along a two-mile stretch of sandy beach, one of the original Doheny-built homes along Capistrano Beach, completed in 1928 as an example to entice potential buyers and retained for private use by the Doheny family, has come to market at $6.5 million with Justin Alexander of Compass.
The vintage Spanish Colonial Revival residence has been owned for the last 25 years by veteran actor Anthony Edwards, who used the courtyard-style home as a low-key family getaway. Less a show palace designed to impress friends and guests, it is more of a casually appointed home designed to provide a peaceful and comfortable respite far from the maddening crowd of Tinseltown.
Beyond the arched and curlicued wrought-iron gate, a walled courtyard garden leads to a vast, sunny, and wind-protected courtyard filled with potted plants. An outdoor fireplace is tucked into one of the several covered porches that ring the courtyard, while Spanish tiles add eye-catching authenticity.
Inside, a trio of arched French doors open to a broad and flat beachside backyard, while the up-to-date galley-style kitchen, under a barrel-vaulted tile ceiling, opens at one end to a dining room, which in turn opens to the beachside yard through French doors. At the opposite end, a short snack bar divides the kitchen from a cozy lounge with French door access to the courtyard.
Five bedrooms and five bathrooms are dispersed throughout the U-shaped residence. Two bedrooms are connected to a Jack-and-Jill bathroom bedazzled with a bespoke under-the-sea mosaic tile motif, while two others are separately perched atop their own exterior staircases and under an exposed-wood vaulted ceiling with horizon views over the tiled rooftops.
Simple and low-maintenance with tiled terracing and a bit of patchy grass, the backyard also offers a tiled spa. It’s a quick hop over a concrete sea wall and an easy scramble down a rock revetment to the sand and surf.
Best known for his role as Goose in the original “Top Gun” and his Golden Globe-winning portrayal of Dr. Mark Greene on “ER,” Edwards eloped in late 2021 with his longtime friend and fellow actor Mare Winningham. Shortly before they ran off and got married, tax records show they jointly plunked down $2.7 million for a two-bedroom co-op in an elegant prewar apartment house on New York’s lower Fifth Avenue. Tax records also indicate Edwards took in $6.9 million on the recent sale of a duplex penthouse on the Upper East Side, a small fortune below the $8.5 million paid in 2015. He still owns dozens of remote acres and a small, simple cabin in California’s Plumas County.