Though described in promo materials as “One of the most breathtaking estates on the west side,” which makes it sound pretty darn desirable, it nonetheless took about 5.5 years, numerous price chops, and several high-powered Platinum Triangle real estate agents for actor/singer-turned-pot-farmer Jim Belushi to unload his baronial estate in a plummy pocket of L.A.’s Brentwood Park neighborhood.
Initially made available in 2016 as a whisper listing, with an in-hindsight pie-in-the-sky price of $42 million, and officially put on the market in September 2017 at $38.5 million, by the spring of 2019 the price had plummeted to just under $28 million before it was taken off the market. During this time, in 2018, Belushi’s third wife, Jenny Belushi, filed for divorce but they soon reconciled.
The property was put up for sale again, in the fall of 2019, at a still-far-too-optimistic $38 million. The price dropped to $33.5 million before an as-yet unidentified bargain hunter — if anyone buying a house this expensive can truly be called a bargain hunter — swooped in and ponied up a discounted $30 million for the 1.3-acre spread. The sale comes on the heels of news that Belushi filed for divorce in August. It was pretty clear in a 2020 interview in The Hollywood Reporter that the couple led somewhat separate lives, with Jim spending much of his time growing pot at his Eagle Point, Ore., farm and Jenny in Southern California where she co-owns and operates several high-end children’s boutiques.
Belushi, who hauled in $500,000 an episode on “According to Jim,” which ran for eight seasons (2002-2009), but hasn’t appeared in a movie since 2017 and recently entered the reality TV genre with “Growing Belushi,” a DiscoveryPlus series that follows his trials and tribulations as a cannabis farmer, purchased the property in 2007 for about $8.3 million. The tony architecture firm Ferguson & Shamamian was commissioned to design a more-than 14,000-square-foot Tuscan-inspired pan-Mediterranean villa and separate guesthouse with a total of seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms, plus a couple more powder rooms, while high society decorator Michael S. Smith handled the elegantly proportioned interiors, which are both luxurious and homey (if a bit bland) with lustrous hand-rubbed plaster walls, a rustic-luxe mix of hardwood and tumbled stone floors, ceilings detailed with Gothic tracery, and numerous antique carved stone fireplaces, both inside and out.
Adjoining formal living and dining rooms spill out through a series of French doors to a dining and lounging loggia under a vine-laced pergola, as does the farmhouse-style eat-in kitchen and neighboring family room. Finished to the same high standards as the rest of the house, the finished basement contains a media lounge with a movie screen that drops out of the ceiling at the touch of a button as well as a separately ventilated pub lined with glass-fronted and climate-controlled display cabinets for wine, spirits and cigars.
The grounds offer a private idyll with plenty of room to wander and ponder while a team of landscapers keeps everything lushly watered and expertly trimmed. Surrounded by trees and privatizing foliage, there’s a soccer pitch-sized lawn, an open-air pavilion alongside the swimming pool, two outdoor fireplaces, and charming meandering paths, one that passes beneath iron arches dripping with wisteria, that lead to rose and herb gardens.
It remains to be seen who will get what in their divorce but, for now at least, Belushi hasn’t given up Los Angeles entirely; He still owns a roughly 3,500 square foot Mediterranean, also in Brentwood, that he picked up in 1997 for $660,000. He also maintains an 8.5-acre oceanfront spread on Martha’s Vineyard that previously belonged to his late brother, “Saturday Night Live” and “Blues Brothers” legend John Belushi, as well as his 95-acre pot farm along the Rogue River in on the rural outskirts of Medford, Oregon.