SELLER: Dan and DeeDee Cortese
LOCATION: Malibu, CA
SIZE: 6,322 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: There are a number of reasons regular people and rich and famous folks in particular sell there homes. Besides the all too frequent and often incurable cases of The Real Estate Fickle there are what’s known in real estate industry lingo as The Three Ds: death, diapers and divorce. In the case of television presenter and actor Dan Cortese–that’s pronounced core-tez and not core-teez, thank you very much–and his real estate agent wife DeeDee, married since 1994, it’s divorce. Perhaps (and probably) having something to do with the impending dissolution of their near 20-year marriage Mister and Missus Cortese have (re-)listed their Malibu, CA mansion with an asking price of $2,949,000.
The chisel-chinned, wisp slim, and fiddle fit Mister Cortese, a fratty sort of fella who might call friends and strangers alike “bro,” started up his ladder of fame in the early 1990s and through mid-1990s as the jocky host of MTV Sports. That success led to recurring roles on a number of sitcoms and evening (melo)dramas that include Melrose Place, The Single Guy, Veronica’s Closet, What I Like About You, and Surviving Suburbia. Along the way Mister Cortese hosted a couple of (very) short-lived game shows (My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad, Crash Course) and appeared in a number of made for the boob-toob movies (Ball & Chain, Brain Trust) and on the silver screen in silly movies we’ve never heard of and hope never to be subjected (Everybody Wants to Be Italian, Soccer Mom). In addition to purveying property in Malibu, soon to be ex-Missus Cortese paints portraits of children.
The erstwhile Corteses acquired their then brand spanking new gated mini-estate in Malibu, nestled into a short cul-de-sac of like-minded mansion due north of Point Dume, in April 1998 for an undisclosed price, or at least a price we couldn’t tease up out of the internet with a few minutes’ effort.
As it turns out Mister and soon to be ex-Missus Cortese first hoisted their mock-Mediterranean manse on the market in May (2011) with a slightly higher price tag of $3,250,000. Information readily available on StreetEasy shows the property was put in escrow in early October but the deal, alas, quickly came to naught and by Halloween the house was back on the market.
Listing information shows the C-shaped two-story pile, which sits on .82 acres and curls around a parking lot-sized gated motor court with attached 3-bay garage, measures 6,322 square feet and includes, in the main and attached guest houses, a total of 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, and 3 fireplaces.
The double-height foyer has a sweeping staircase with scrolled wrought iron banister and several wide archways that lead to the various rooms of the house that include a formal living room with fireplace and French doors with backyard access and a formal dining room with tiled floor, French doors and, framed in a faux stone archway, a wall mural that depicts some Italian seaside scene, probably someplace in Sicily where Mister Cortese’s people come from. We are certain there are those children who will find the wall mural charming or quaint or Old World or whatever but, generally speaking, we find wall murals decoratively despicable. We’re sure there’s a hard and fast rule about such thing in Your Mama’s Big Book Of Decoratin’ Dos and Don’ts but we just cain’t be bothered to look it up right now.
Anyhoo, another archway connects the formal dining room to the family quarters that include a generous breakfast room with backyard access and, through yet another stone encrusted archway, a sizable center-island kitchen with vaulted ceiling criss-crossed by wood beams (that look to our untrained eye like they were painted to look rustic and old but really are neither of those things), brown and beige flecked granite counter tops, a plethora of high-grade stainless steel appliances including separate full-sized fridge and freezer that flank the six burner range, and miles of raised panel cabinetry done up with articulated pediments, fluted columns and a mottled faux finish.
The nearby family room has another fireplace, wood floors, French doors that swing open to a large entertainment terrace that overlooks the resort-style backyard and, for the hooch hounds, a built-in wet bar with granite counter tops and a couple of cushioned wrought iron stools. Listing information shows the house also includes a den, attached guest/staff quarters, and office, and interior laundry room.
The second floor includes various family and guest bedrooms and bathrooms that include the Cortese bambinos’ theme decorated bedrooms, his like a surf shack/tiki hut and hers all pink and princess-like. A small, semi-circular sitting room adjacent to the master has narrow arched windows and a wee balcony that allow for a panoramic over the tree tops view that includes a sliver of the Pacific Ocean. The spacious (but far from huge) master suite offers a high ceiling, a curvaceous fireplace, French doors that open to a private covered balcony with mountain view, and a classic (and cliché) mock-Med mcmansion-style bathroom with elaborate custom cabinetry, twin sinks and vanities, a vaulted ceiling, and a separate shower and soaking tub for two.
Kitty Hazclaus, a phrase-turning real estate insider with whom we’re acquainted in The Bu summed it up best perhaps when she briefly but cattily described the over all decorative scheme of the Cortese crib to Your Mama as, “”Like Costco and Victoria Gotti designed a signature line of furnishings.” Did any of y’all gasp out loud the first time you read that like Your Mama did? Have mercy and pass the nerve pills, please. We remain in breathless awe of the bare naked and wicked wicked wicked sharpness of Miz Hasclaus’ assessment of the situation but we can’t really argue with her tough judgement since she’s sort of pinned the tail on the donkey, you know? Then again we would never, ever, in a million years disagree publicly with out Miz Hazclaus because, well, as y’all can see, the old bird has a rather withering tongue.
Moving along into the outdoor areas at that encompass numerous and various patios, balconies and terraces that extend off both the upper and lower levels of the rear of the house. Steps from the main terrace off the kitchen descend into a thicket of pencil-thin palm trees that surround the elevated party-sized spa and lagoon-shaped swimming pool. Some of the stone paved terraces around the spa and pool have built-in bench seating and others are better suited for pool-side dining and sun basking. Well-watered lawns swoop, swirl and undulate around the swimming pool and spa and provide plenty of room for an assorted number of outdoor activities that could (but do not, as far as we can tell, currently include) a shuffleboard court, horse shoe pit, and super-sized sand box. Some things for the next owner to think about as they consider what they might do to customize the property.
listing photos: Coldwell Banker / Malibu West