With the proliferation of antiseptic mall-sized ultra-modern mansions and cookie cutter “modern farmhouses,” with their acres of white walls, miles of pale French oak floors and vast walls of disappearing glass, the extravagant, playfully flamboyant more-is-better Bel Air compound of corporate housing magnate Howard Ruby and late actress-turned-artist Yvette Mimieux is a much-welcomed architectural and decorative antidote. Famous for his head-in-the-clouds more-is-more aesthetic, late and influential set designer and decorator Tony Duquette would certainly approve.
An L.A. native who passed in January, at 80, Mimieux was discovered in the late 1950s while horseback riding in the Hollywood Hills. She went on to appear in dozens of television shows and films, including “Where the Boys Are” (1960) and “Light in the Piazza” (1962). In 1964 she earned a Golden Globe nomination when she became what’s believed to be the first woman to bare her belly button on American TV when she guest-starred on “Dr. Kildare.”
After her 1986 marriage to Ruby, wealthy co-founder of Oakwood Worldwide, a provider of furnished short-term rentals, the fiercely private Mimieux, a globe-trotting collector of art and antiques, appeared on screen just twice more, in a 1990 “Perry Mason” TV movie and, her final role, in 1992, as a “thinly disguised” Ivana Trump in the high-camp Jackie Collins miniseries “Lady Boss.”
In recent years, Mimieux and Ruby pursued their personal passions and, though still very much in love, he told Mansion Global last year, lived separately; Ruby, who sold his stake in Oakwood several years ago, lost his sight and moved to his boat in Marina Del Rey, while Mimieux traveled frequently and, when in town, resided in the residence-turned-art studio next door to the Bel Air compound’s main house.
Dubbed Il Sogno (“The Dream”), the main residence was offered last year with an asking price of $45 million. And now, since Mimieux’s passing, the entire one-of-a-kind compound has come available at $49.5 million. The property is listed with a trio of powerhouse Platinum Triangle real estate movers and shakers: Linda May of Linda May Properties, Kurt Rappaport of Westside Estate Agency, and Jade Mills of Coldwell Banker Realty.