About six years ago, after a dozen years of marriage and a couple of kids, married actors Rachel Leigh Cook and Daniel Gillies sold Vila das Flores, a traditional home just above the Sunset Strip, for almost $3.1 million and shelled out $2.45 million on a vintage 1923 English Tudor residence in a more family oriented neighborhood in L.A.’s popular Studio City.
That the Studio City home’s new owners were of the showbiz ilk seemed perfectly appropriate. Gillies and Cook purchased the property from musician Ruth Underwood, percussionist for Frank Zappa’s band the Mothers of Invention. The home was previously owned by Sally Field, and, before that, late actor Frank Bonner, best known for his role as plaid suit wearing advertising salesman Herb Tarlek on the late ‘70s sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati.”
It was only few years, and an extensive renovation later that Gillies and Cook announced their separation. Then, in 2020, just as the COVID-19 pandemic began to sweep across the globe, their celeb-pedigreed family home came up for sale. Originally listed at a profitable $4.785 million, the price dropped to $4.295 million before it was set out as a rental at $20,000 per month and subsequently taken off the market in the fall of 2020.
The erstwhile couple’s divorce was finalized just about a year ago and now they’re back to trying to sell their former family home in Studio City, hoisting it back on the market with an even more reduced ask of $4.25 million. The property is jointly listed with Stephanie Vitacco at Keller Williams and Patrick Martin at Sotheby’s Int’l Realty.
Fortified behind a high wall and imposing security gates, and staged with generic furnishings for the selling process, the just over one-third acre spread includes a 4,214-square-foot four-bedroom main house hidden among mature oak, pine and eucalyptus trees. Restored to maintain a connection with its architectural roots, the two-story home has also been re-imagined for a modern-day lifestyle with open-plan living spaces, smart-home automation and a state-of-the-art security system. There are also two home offices and a huge kitchen and service area that comprises a mud room and butler’s pantry. A poolside guesthouse adds almost 600 square feet, with another bedroom and bath.
Huge, mullioned windows and French doors allow light to stream into the living room of the main house, with its wheat-colored wood floors and modern fireplace. The room does double duty as a screening with a screen that rolls down from the ceiling at the touch of a button. The expansive great room, which includes a lounge area and a couple of dining spots, also flows easily out to the gardens as well as into and the crisply modern kitchen that’s been juiced up with bold black and white tiles and toned down with rustic farmhouse-style sliding barn doors.
Numerous patios and sunken terraces surround the house, while the backyard is a grassy idyll complete with several children’s play structures and a cute-as-button treehouse. Somewhat unusually, the swimming pool is in the front of the house, just outside the front door and alongside the guest house.
The couple’s divorce documents state any profits from the sale of the home will be split, while Cook maintained ownership of a home in Redondo Beach, Calif., she picked up back in 2000 for $485,000.
Cook’s professional heydays were, arguably, in the late 1990s and early aughts when she was a darling of the Teen Choice Awards for her roles in “Dawson’s Creek,” “She’s All That,” and “Josie and the Pussycats.” She’s since appeared in a slew of Hallmark Channel romantic dramas, and most recently appeared in the 2021 “She’s All That” gender-swapped remake, “He’s All That” with social media superstar Addison Rae. Known for his roles on “The Vampire Diaries” and its spinoff “The Originals” as well as the Canadian supernatural medical drama “Saving Hope,” Gillies currently holds down a recurring role on the Netflix series “Virgin River.”