The Beverly Hills, Calif., estate of prolific late film and television producer Chuck Fries, in a particularly posh pocket of the 90210, has been put up for sale just a handful of months after his death, at 92, by his surviving wife and heirs with an asking price pressing up on $25 million.
Considered the godfather of the television movie, Fries pioneered the still popular genre in the 1970s. His dozens upon dozens of TV movie and miniseries includes “Small Sacrifices” (1989) starring Farrah Fawcett and Ryan O’Neal, “Leona Helmsley: The Queen of Mean” (1990) starring Suzanne Pleshette, and the 1989 cult classic comedy film “Troop Beverly Hills,” which was inspired by his wife Ava’s real-life experience leading a Girl Scout troop.
Elaborate wrought iron gates swing open to a wide red-brick drive that makes a broad sweep up to a massive motor court and three-car garage. Built in the early 1930s, the more than 13,000-square-foot Mediterranean influenced traditional was once owned by Paramount pictures, according to listings jointly held by David Parnes at The Agency and Jade Mills and Coldwell Banker Realty.
Interiors are spacious and lavish (if somewhat dated) with public rooms that include grandly proportioned living and dining rooms, and an intimate library wrapped in lustrous burled wood paneling, and an office that opens to a large loggia. The lower level is a leisure and recreation paradise with a games room, a huge wine cellar, a second kitchen, a gym, and a plush, 20-plus seat home theater that oozes with opulent Old Hollywood glamour
Three of the mansion’s six bedrooms are staff rooms, two on the main level and a third on the lower level, while the two dedicated guest suites each have their own bath and the primary bedroom comprises a sitting room, fireplace, two walk-in closets, a marble bath, and balcony ornamented with wrought iron detailing.
The estate’s most notable feature, however, isn’t the main house, but the bijou poolside pavilion designed by legendary architect Paul Revere Williams. Fluted columns flank the pavilion’s inset loggia, and the interior includes a lounge flanked by a couple of changing rooms. The grounds additionally include a bougainvillea-draped pergola surrounded by thick foliage next to a flat patch of grass and a lighted tennis court.
Less than a mile from The Beverly Hills Hotel, the Fries Estate is surrounded by the homes some of L.A.’s richest and most influential. Neighbor Irving Azoff is in the process of rebuilding his long-time mansion next door, Ari Emanuel bought his stately spread across the street last year for $27.5 million, and last year Jeff Bezos paid David Geffen a record shattering $165 million for his ten-acre spread just a short block away.