SELLER: Mike and Irena Medavoy
LOCATION: Beverly Hills, CA
SIZE: 6,200 square feet (approx.), 4 bedrooms 7 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Since sometime in 2001, movie mogul Mike Medavoy and his former ack-tress wife Irena (Dallas, The Love Boat ) made a multitude of attempts to unload their 6 bedroom and 10 pooper quasi-Cape Cod style crib in the guard gated Beverly Park community high in the hills above Los Angeles. They had a real devil of a time, puppies, and over the years the asking price for the 11,729 square foot sprawler spiked as high as $23,500,000 and dipped as low as $15,750,000. Finally, in September of 2009, the Medavoys managed to unload their real estate white elephant for $12,500,000. Twelve and a half million clams is a ton of money by any real estate standard, but according to Your Mama’s bejeweled abacus, it’s fully 47% less than the twenty three and a half million they were asking in late 2007.
Mister Medavoy, for those who live under a rock, has had a hand in producing more than 300 films including (but far from limited to) One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Rocky, Annie Hall, The Terminator franchise, The Silence of the Lambs, and Sleepless in Seattle. In more recent years, as the co-founder and head honcho of Phoenix Pictures, Mister Medavoy has brought a large number of films to the silver screen that include The People Vs. Larry Flynt, The Thin Red Line, All the King’s Men, Zodiac, and the Martin Scorsese directed thriller Shutter Island. He is also, for anyone who might care, the father of Emmy winning tee-vee producer Brian Medavoy (Dharma and Greg, Just Shoot Me, American High), and a co-executor of big ol‘ Marlon Brando’s estate.
Anyhoo, at about the same time Mister and Missus Medavoy sold their Beverly Park pad to some corporation with an Indian sounding name–Indian as in India–they snatched up a much more modest residence in the Trousdale Estates area of Beverly Hills. Records show the Medavoy’s new mini-manse, built in 1965 for an MGM studio head according to listing information, was purchased for $5,850,000, a million clams less than the original $6,900,000 asking price.
Thanks to our informant Jimmy Jibberjabber, Your Mama learned that Mister and Missus Medavoy caught a case of The Real Estate Fickle and recently flipped their new and newly rehabbed house back on the market with an asking price of of $7,495,000. A few quick flicks of the well worn beads on Your Mama’s beloved and bejeweled abacus shows that figure is an eye popping and ballsy 22% increase over what Mister and Missus Medavoy paid for the place just 9 months earlier.
Listing information indicates the south facing single story residence measures (approximately) 6,200 square feet and counts 4 bedrooms and 7 full poopers including the master bedroom with its bland ecru colored carpeting, ebony built-in bookshelves, and glammy terliting facilities that feature marble floors, double sinks and vanities, a large spa tub for two set into a curving wall of sliver windows, and a glittery crystal chandelier hanging over a large, square, white tufted poof. The bedroom count also includes, according to listing information, a separate guest or office suite, den, and staff room.
Double drive gates slide open to a circular drive and small motor court with a pair of side facing two car garages. The entry, flanked by a dizzying number of columns, sits smack in the center of the symmetrical front façade. The double front doors open to a curving, marble floored entry where two mirrored pedestals topped with tall and tight boo-kays of white roses mark the entrance to the oval-shaped formal living room. Your Mama loves us some fresh flowers in the house, but upon our first boozy glance at those’ big ol boo-kays in the Medavoy’s entry Your Mama thought we were peering inside the front hall of some uppity funeral home on Long Island. The large living room, open to the view and backyard through a trio of French doors that pierce the curving back wall, includes a chunky fireplace, heavy moldings and plush slate gray carpeting that looks to be set into the marble floor. Iffin that carpet is silk–and for seven and a half million bucks we hope it is–it would most certainly feel dee–lishus under bare feet.
The deep pile slate colored carpeting continues into the adjacent and oddly shaped dining room where someone has made the wrong choice to attach a dark, carved wood mantel piece around the fireplace and fill the room with a florist shop’s worth of blood red roses that, unfortunately, only furthers the unintentional but distinct and disturbing funeral parlor motif. The kitchen, a long and lean affair with a landing strip like work island, has a generous amount of ebony cabinets, a full complement of high grade stainless steel appliances, and acres of mottled beige and black granite counter tops with a bull nosed edge.
The best room in the Medavoy house, at least as far as Your Mama is concerned, is the oval-shaped library. The dignified but not stuffy and cozily scaled room is lined floor to ceiling with custom built, book filled wood bookshelves (maybe they’re maple or pecan?) and glass display shelves full of knick-knacks, paddy-whacks, and other objet d’art. However, someone might want to tell the Medavoy’s nice, gay decorator that karate chopping decorative pillows is just not done anymore. In fact, Your Mama’s Decorative Rule #17 has long stated that decorative cushions of any size, shape or pattern are not, under any circumstances, to be karate chopped in the middle.
Many of the Medovy’s main rooms open to the large, flat, south facing backyard. The palm tree dotted yard has large and well clipped expanses of unnaturally green lawn that stretch out on either side of the swimming pool and attached, circular spa and, according to listing information, and outdoor sauna with shower and bath, whatever that means. And then, of course, there is the unobstructed view that are wide and long to drop the jaw of even the most jaded hillside dwelling Angeleno, at least on the days when the smog and the fog roll out.
The Trousdale Estates neighborhood, which winds up into the hills at the eastern border of Beverly Hills, has a long and rich history of rich and famous residents. According to property records and our knowledgeable compatriot Heidi Hightower, Mister Medavoy’s immediate neighbors are a real who’s who of Tinseltown, just as they were when he lived up in Beverly Park. They include Gilligan’s Island and Brady Bunch creator Sherwood Schwartz, heavy hitting artist Ed Ruscha who owns über agent Irving “Swifty” Lazar’s old place, celebrity photographer and prolific music video director Matthew Rolston who now owns former Tonight Show producer Freddy deCordova’s old house, super producer Gavin Palone (Curb Your Enthusiasm, My Boys, Zombieland, The Showbiz Show with David Spade, Gilmore Girls), and Andy Sidaris, pioneering director of TV sports programs such the Olympics and the NFL Monday Night Football juggernaut.
With such an abrupt real estate change of heart, Your Mama wonders where oh where will Mike and Irena Medavoy go next? Are they looking to downsize even further? Have they decided that 6,200 square feet is simply two small and are sizing up again? Going condo? Leaving Los Angeles? Bueller? Bueller? Anyone? Bueller?