Due to its convenient proximity to Hollywood studios, along with the gorgeous canyon, mountain, and city views that the hillside neighborhood affords the homes that line its sinuous streets, the Outpost Estates neighborhood, in the foothills above Hollywood’s western flank, has always been a favorite among Hollywood elite.
Nestled into the steep ravines that climb from Franklin Avenue to Mulholland Drive, and once the retreat of General Harrison Gray Otis, founder of the Los Angeles Times and the Chandler dynasty, the area was developed into a luxury residential enclave in the 1920s and ‘30s by Charles E. Toberman. To compete with the nowadays iconic Hollywood Sign, which was erected in 1923 to advertise another subdivision over in Beachwood Canyon, Toberman had a 30-foot-high red neon sign that read “Outpost” built to promote his development. Bits and pieces of the long ago demolished sign were re-discovered about 20 years ago along the trails that wind through neighboring Runyon Canyon.
Despite the Great Depression, rich and famous folk moved in. Early Tinseltown residents include Bela Lugosi, Buddy Rogers, and Dolores Del Rio. And in the 1950s, Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio rented a multistory house cleaved to a precipitous slope on Castilian Drive. Another of the homes, a 1930s traditional angled like a boomerang to fit snugly into the swooping curve of a quarter-acre corner parcel, was owned for decades by late and prolific television director, producer and writer Gene Reynolds and his wife Ann.
Though probably little known to anyone under the age of 50 and/or outside of Hollywood, Reynolds is credited with co-developing, directing and producing the groundbreaking 1970s sitcom “M*A*S*H,” as well as “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” spin-off “Lou Grant.” Both shows received prestigious Peabody Awards and for his efforts making television that addressed important and potent issues of the day, Reynolds received a total of six Primetime Emmys, plus another 18 nominations. His accolades also included a trio of awards from the Directors Guild of America, an organization for which he served as president in the mid 1990s. Reynolds passed, at 96, in early 2020.
Sold in early 2020 by the heirs to Reynolds’ estate in a $2.1 million off-market deal, the entire property inside and out has been thoroughly overhauled and fashionably gussied up in a manner that honors the villa’s architectural spirit but with all manner of new-fangled creature comforts, premium finishes and high-tech necessities buyers of multimillion-dollar homes expect. Newly listed with Lauren Reichenberg of Compass, the home is priced at $7.649 million.
The shape and plan of the house was mostly retained, with fine finishes and fittings added, including large-scale herringbone white oak floors and wide banks of nearly floor-to-ceiling custom windows that fold open accordion-style. The most radical and spectacular addition, however, are the infinity-edge pool and spa that make a dramatic jut out over the hillside amid the surrounding treetops.
Discreetly tucked behind a clipped hedge and secured gates, the home measures in at a comfortable but well short of stupidly huge 4,700 square feet with three bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms. An additional bedroom and bathroom for staff or guests has an outside entrance. The home’s perch just above the surrounding treetops and it’s long slender form — it’s no wider than one room at any point — mean almost every room has a terrific canyon-framed city view.
Highlights include a 28-foot living room with a minimal-minded stone fireplace, an oak-paneled library with a second fireplace, and a dining room that is open to the chef-quality kitchen that features boldly veined (and increasingly popular) Calacatta Viola marble counters, backsplash and shelving. The adjacent family room is cozily proportioned. All three secondary bedrooms, including the guest/staff suite that’s nipped behind the kitchen and family room, are en suite, while the main bedroom, in a wing of its own, showcases a vaulted oak-paneled ceiling, bespoke walk-in closet and lavish bath.
Today, Outpost Estates still draws in big name showbiz movers and shakers. Indeed, many homes have been sold by one celeb and bought by another. Charlize Theron, Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy, and David Lynch have all made the neighborhood home for many years. And Johnny Galecki just sold a 1929 Spanish Revival-style home that had previously been owned by Jason Statham, Ben Stiller, and Lou Diamond Phillips. Given the enduring popularity of the neighborhood, no one, not even a jaded a property gossip, would be surprised if the newly revamped old Reynolds’ home winds up in the hands of yeet another showbiz mover and shaker.