BUYER: Lorraine Bracco
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 1,872 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: It had been a while since Your Mama had heard word from real estate yenta Yolanda Yakketyyak. As that sassy queen Miss Quad from Married to Medicine would say, “She is verrah bizzy, honey, verrah bizzy, indeed!” Yesterday, praise whatever you praise, the recently elusive but ever-reliable tattletale sent a missive by invisible pigeon to let Your Mama know that New York City-based Oscar-nominated actress Lorraine Bracco somewhat unexpectedly bought a house on the Left Coast. Miz Bracco can do whatever she wants. And we mean that with honest respect, of course. But she seems like a real damn Noo Yawka and Your Mama, perhaps unfairly, just can’t see her fitting comfortably in the sunny, plastic hills and LaLa Land. It’s a little bit like snow skiing naked. It’s doable, but do your really want to do that? Anyways…
Miz Bracco—who for years kept and may still keep, for all we know, a rented place in the same New York City building where Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter lived for years in un-wedded bliss (or whatever)—has tooled around Tinseltown since the early 1980s. In 1990 she was cast in the Martin Scorsese-directed mobster movie Goodfellas, a role that earned her an Oscar nomination and in the late 1990s she popped up as mobster psychiatrist Jennifer Melfi on The Sopranos, a plum role for which she was nominated for four Emmys and four Golden Globes. (Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.) In 2011 she was again cast in a mob-related television series (I Married a Mobster)—anyone else see a pattern here?—and for the last four or so years she’s shaken her money maker as a quirky cafe owner/blogger on the female-driven police procedural Rizzoli & Isles, soon to air its fifth season.
Yolanda did much of the leg work on this one, bless her perfectly preserved puss and stented heart, but Your Mama none-the-less spent a few minutes on the internets and confirmed that in early April (2014), via a corporate entity she controls, Miz Bracco quietly shelled out $1.62 million for a renovated, 1960s residence perched just above the Sunset Strip where it enjoys—on a clear day—all but unobstructed city to sea views.
Listing details show the two-story hillside house was originally built in 1962 and has been completely updated and upgraded in a mostly but only semi- modern manner. There are just two bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms in 1,872 square feet and, like many houses in the hills of Hollywood, Miz Bracco’s new West Coast outpost sits hard up on a windy and narrow street. A two-car garage and a high, featureless wall with secured gate present a forbidding and private face to the street as they enclose a slim, flagstone paved entry courtyard.
Inside the gate, a wide bank of glass panels and a glass front door exposes a small but light and airy entry with a descending staircase. It’s a few short steps past the kitchen into an unfortunately low-ceilinged but unexpectedly expansive combination living/dining area fitted and kitted with gleaming yellow-toned hardwoods, an asymmetrical fireplace with minimalist surround, and a continuous ribbon of floor-to-ceiling windows that provide a sweeping view over Los Angeles.
Next to the main living area a wide, galley style kitchen has stone-like tile floors that Your Mama feels are inappropriate for this house and a full suite of high-grade commercial-style stainless steel appliances. Counter tops are of unknown material that may or may not be some sort of tile and the un-painted Shaker style oak cabinetry probably cost a small fortune but—we have to be honest—just don’t feel quite right for the house.
Both bedrooms are downstairs and one has a fireplace flanked by bookshelves plus a full wall of fitted wardrobes and an entire wall of floor-to-ceiling windows and glass sliders open to a veranda. The adjacent and spacious bathroom also has a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows. Those big ol’ windows might be a real wow factor and really let the sun shine in but they won’t be so cute when Miz Bracco or one of her overnight house guests forgets to pull the shades and steps out of the shower or pads into the bathroom in the their birthday suit and there’s the immigrant gardener watering plants on the veranda. Awkward!
The other bedroom does not have a fireplace, as far as we can tell, but does open through glass sliders to the same veranda as the other bedroom. A private, adjoining study/dressing room connects the bedroom and the small but efficiently arranged bathroom where listing photos show a well-ventilated, semi-private cubby for the crapper and a glass-doored and tile-lined steam shower.
Some of the home’s extra-special upgrades include electronic window coverings—handy since the setting sun could scorch the interiors of this house, a surround sound system, a comprehensive security system including surveillance cameras and intercoms, and custom-fitted closets in both bedrooms.
Due to the precipitous slope of the parcel, outdoor space is limited to the slender, flagstone paved walled entry courtyard at the front and a lower level veranda off the bedrooms that stretches the width of the residence.
Your Mama first (and briefly) discussed Miz Bracco’s real estate doings back in January 2007 when she listed her approximately 4,500 square foot house in Bridgehampton, NY, with an asking price of $3.25 million. She paid $1.6 million for the private property in the fall of 2004 and property records show she still owns it—and again in February 2007 when she listed a celebrity pedigreed property in the scenic and celebrity-approved enclave of Snedens Landing for $3.2 million. Miz Bracco and her then boyfriend, Oscar-nominated actor Harvey Keitel, bought the Hudson River front property from soo-blime Oscar-winning actress Ellen Burstyn. Miz Bracco finally unloaded the property in August 2009 for $2.7 million to Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio.
listing photos: Horizon Realty