YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Thanks to a communique the other day from The Bizzy Boys at Celebrity Address Aerial and later confirmed with property records, Your Mama has learned that former teen idol turned reality tee-vee denizen Scott Baio and his Missus Renee Sloan recently put their toddler daughter in a papoose and decamped suburban Encino, CA for the even farther-flung Los Angeles suburb of Woodland Hills where they paid $1,850,000 fr a large house in a guard-gated community.
At sixteen, just a slim little thing with a Dorothy Hamil hair-do, Scoot Baio was baby-faced and fantastic as Bugsy in the 1976 film Bugsy Malone that featured only child actors. If any of the children have not seen the movie, do. It’s really quite a hoot. Young Mister Baio rocketed to the top of the Teen Idol heap with his next role as Chachi Arcola on Happy Days. After that there was the Happy Days spin off Joanie Loves Chachi, the proto–Skins film Foxes with Jodie Foster and a couple of Emmy nominations for lead roles in made-for-tee-vee movies (Stoned, all the Kids Do It). Then came Charles in Charge, an insufferable sitcom on which he portrayed a manny–that’s a man-nanny–that somehow ran for five seasons.
After Charles in Charge closed up shop in 1990 Mister Baio’s showbiz career in front of the camera kind of hit the skids and he began doing a little directing (The Wayans Bros., The Jamie Foxx Show, The Parkers). Sure, there were a couple of short-lived series (Diagnosis Murder) and a slew of small parts on various boob-toob programs (The Nanny, Veronica’s Closet, Touched by and Angel) but, really kids, in all honestly, by the mid-1990s Mister Baio was all but washed up in Tinseltown. It wasn’t his fault, really. No matter how hard he worked or talented he may have been, the public, his still moistened and turgid fans, clung to their Teen Beat fantasies and didn’t allow Mister Baio to become a full-grown man-actor.
In 2005 Mister Baio secured a recurring and well-done role on Arrested Development but, like so many others on the shady-slope celebrity nowadays, he quickly veered towards reality tee-vee. He did not, to his credit, attempt to revive his career on that disturbing but outrageously popular Dancing With The Stars program. Instead he opened the doors to his own “real life” on Scott Baio is 45…and Single on which he’s portrayed as a slightly bitter golf-playing commitment-phobic lady’s man in his mid-forties with a girlfriend who wants to marry him. The girlfriend finally gets her heart’s desire to be betrothed to Mister Baio in November 2007, about a month after the birth of the baby they made out of wedlock.
A bit over a year ago Your Mama discussed Mister Baio’s long-time home, a gated mini-estate in Encino, CA he bought in 1994 for $1,385,000 and had listed with an asking price of $2,895,000. Property records show the single-story 4 bedroom and 4.5 pooper pad sold in late September 2010 for $2,500,000. Two months later, according to records, the couple closed on their new crib in the Westchester County Estates, a gated community in hot as Hades Woodland Hills. Oh, pleeze property developers. That has to be about the most mind-boggling and stoopid name for a gated community in California that Your Mama has ever had the misfortune of coming across. All the children who passed sixth grade geography will already know that Woodland Hills in in Los Angeles County in California and that Westchester County is a (mostly) upscale and bucolic bedroom community just north of New York City.
Anyhoo, listing photos for Mister and Missus Baio’s new 5 bedroom and 4.5 bathroom mock-Med digs shows a couple of lonely and precarious-looking balustrades that flank the front walk that streaks across the slim yard and passes through an archway into a covered porch. The front door opens to a predictably “classic” mcmansion-style impress-the-guests entry with double-height ceilings and a curved staircase that attempts but fails to project wealth and stateliness. Instead it screams, “I’m a really boring suburban mcmansion!”
Since listing photos of the 6,312 square foot mcmansion reflect the impossibly bland decorative taste of the seller Your Mama is refrain from any discussion of the agonizing lack of color throughout the entire house, nor will we speculate on how it came to pass that a Shabby Chic-y and hat-festooned armoire wound up smack in front of a pair of French doors in the master bathroom. And do not, children, even get Your Mama started on that miniature grand piano in the living room or all the furniture that was set unnecessarily catty-wompus like the desk in the office/library and the hand-painted armoire stuck up into an awkward corner in the master bedroom.
Adjacent and open to the entry, a sunken formal living room has “dramatic” double-height ceilings, perfectly lovely if slightly under-scaled herringbone-patterned wood floors, a fireplace and a pair of towering arched windows. A set of French doors with side lights connects the formal living room to the formal dining room that has a mirror installed on the ceiling that, we imagine, allows diners on one side of the table to peer directly down into the décolletage of a female diner on the opposite side of the table.
A bedroom suite with private facilities on the main floor gives guests or a live-in domestic a modicum of privacy. The main floor is completed by an office/library with some built-in cabinetry, a powder pooper, laundry room, three-car garage, family room with fireplace and a commodious center-island kitchen with a view of the backyard and an–ach!–sensibly neutral beige tile floor installed on the bias.
Upstairs three family bedrooms share two bathrooms and the expansive master suite features an acre of pale beige wall-to-wall carpeting, a raised sitting area with fireplace, French door that open to a narrow balcony, dual walk-in closets and a sizable but unimpressive bathroom with separate tub and shower.
A set of double doors, also upstairs, lead to a home theater room with milk chocolate brown leather reclining seats with cup holders conveniently built into the arms, a built-in snack counter and an eye-popping 123-inch screen.
A thick ring of trees surrounds the backyard of the .41 acre lot and provides privacy for the swimming pool, spa, Mexican tile terraces, various grass patches and a sunken dining terrace shaded by a hip-roofed canopy held up by classical-ish column that are in direct architectural vernacular combat with the (faux-) Mediterranean-style mcmansion.
Your Mama can’t fathom why a person would trade a gated mini-estate in Encino–already far more suburban than we care for–that has a long celebrity-style gated drive, a wide swathe of lawn, elevated swimming pool, spa, gazebo with home-theater equipment, barbecue area, Koi pond with waterfall and a lighted damn tennis court for a big ol‘ beige “Mediterranean” mcmansion with fewer amenities on less than half the land in downmarket Woodland Hills. Such are the ways, butter balls, of the rich, the famous and the “famous.”
listing photos: Sotheby’s International Realty