The longtime Manhattan home of Swedish-American silver screen legend Greta Garbo popped up for sale last month at $7.25 million — it remains for sale at the same price — and this month, one of the famously reclusive star’s many Los Angeles crash pads, albeit one that has been radically altered since she resided there more than 80 years ago, has come to market at $12 million.
Starting in the mid 1920s, the four-time Oscar nominated “Ninotchka” star bounced around to various residences across Los Angeles. Initially she stayed in a simple apartment at the Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica, and later in a bungalow at the much more deluxe Beverly Hills Hotel. By the early 1930s, as Tinseltown transitioned from silent films to talkies, Garbo began to rent homes while in town. And, so the stories go, for a short time in 1937 and 1938 she lived in the Crest Streets neighborhood of Beverly Hills, in a home that was then owned by her friend (and rumored paramour) Leopold Stokowski, the famed British orchestra conductor who later married late American socialite Gloria Vanderbilt.
Tax records show the property was acquired by designer/builder Nicole Sassaman in 2003 for $1.4 million. Sassaman did what high-end designer/builders typically do; she radically transformed the once humble hillside home into a three-story contemporary villa with six bedrooms and five and a half baths in almost 4,700 square feet before she sold it in 2006 for almost $7.5 million to its current owner, a Nevada-based corporate concern connected in public documents to Russian film producer and tech investor Arcadiy Golubovich.
Set close to the winding street, on a steeply sloped parcel of more than one-third of an acre, the triple-story home boasts a leafy, canyon-framed view of the knot of towers that comprise the Century City skyline. Beyond the curvilinear façade, there are adjoining living and dining rooms and a spacious eat-in kitchen. One set of glass sliders in the living room opens to a semicircular balcony, while another allows one to step from the living room directly into the infinity-edged swimming pool and spa.
There are two bedrooms on the main floor, one with a bow-fronted concrete fireplace and an attached bath that features a shower sheathed in buff-colored rough-cut stone tiles. Upstairs are two more bedrooms that share a bathroom, along with a primary bedroom that offers ample closet space, a private bath and huge terrace with unimpeded mountain, canyon and city views.
Listings held by Mark Mintz at Compass show the sixth bedroom is nipped down a secondary staircase on the lower level, beneath the attached two-car garage. The secluded suite offers an attached bath and large private balcony nestled in the treetops. Steps lead down from the balcony outside the living room to a flat and grassy yard, a coveted and rare feature for a home set on a such a steep slope.
Garbo, who retired at the peak of her fame in 1941, at the age of 36, after she starred in George Cukor’s box-office flop “Two-Faced Woman,” was known to squirrel away at the Chateau Marmont Hotel from time to time but among the many homes in the L.A. area she is said to have briefly lived are: the renowned Villa Vambrosa, in Hollywood’s Whitley Heights neighborhood; a grand Spanish mansion in Bel Air she rented from silent film star Colleen Moore; a home in Brentwood that once stood on a now vacant parcel of land that Tobey Maguire bought in 2008 for $10 million and, after about two and a half years on and off the market, sold last year for $10.75 million.