Although the sale actually transpired several months ago, it’s only now that veteran music video director (“Waterfalls” by TLC, “Ms. Jackson” by Outkast, “It Was a Good Day” by Ice Cube) turned major-league blockbuster filmmaker (“Friday,” “The Italian Job,” “Straight Outta Compton,” “The Fate of the Furious”) F. Gary Gray’s stealthy acquisition of a large Tuscan villa-style mansion in the semirural outskirts of Calabasas has become publicly known.
Though the $2.9 million transaction went down off-market, previous listing details and other online resources reveal the house sits on a hilltop lot of more than 2.6 acres, surrounded by open land and the occasional large estate — Will Smith’s titanic compound is just a quick skip away.
Spanning more than 6,500 square feet, the beige two-story structure was built in 2010 by the non-famous seller. Set behind a long gated driveway, the house features a grand double-height foyer, hardwood and stone flooring inside, and a living room festooned with columns, an oversized chandelier and massive fireplace. The kitchen offers an island with granite countertops, copper sinks, built-in wine rack, custom wood cabinetry and the expected collection of high-end Viking and SubZero appliances. Upstairs, the master suite contains a dual-sided fireplace and his/hers walk-in closets.
Connected to the kitchen is an irregularly-shaped family room with a stone fireplace. French doors provide convenient access to the resort-style backyard, equipped with a dark-bottomed pool, a raised spa with waterfall feature, grassy lawns and an outdoor kitchen with built-in BBQ. Impressive 180-degree views take in a wide swath of the Santa Monica mountains.
Gray, now in his 50s, continues to own a perfectly ordinary ranch-style abode in the unheralded San Fernando Valley neighborhood of West Hills. Records show that he forked out $210,000 for that 1,300 sq. ft. house, way back in 1999.
On the professional front, the acclaimed director was just 16 when he decided to become a filmmaker. Thirty-four years and one Hollywood Walk of Fame star later, the South L.A. native has set box office records — the films he has directed boast a cumulative gross exceeding $2 billion — and “The Fate of the Furious” ranks as the 18th highest-grossing film of all time.