Yolanda would like to profusely apologize for not uploading anything this past week. It was not our intention to go on the lam, but our stomach and health clearly had other plans.
We have a whole bunch of fun stories sitting on our desk, but at the moment we’re a bit off our game and need to write something quick ‘n dirty before we return to kneeling in front of the porcelain god. TMI? Sorry. We promise to be back in top form shortly, but at the moment this ditty will have to hold you over.
Got some free time? Well, if you’re like Yolanda and you’ve a taste for bizarre documentaries, have we got a doozy for you today. And this one is all about luxury real estate, so even better.
A wee background: if you’ve ever cruised down iconic Mulholland Drive near the main entrance to the fabled (and guard-gated) Beverly Park community, you’ve probably spotted a massive contemporary mansion sitting just off the road, behind a long gated driveway. It’s highly visible from the street out front. And it’s all-white-everything and huge.
The palatial estate is occupied by a woman named Susan Hannaford. While most of us Yanks have likely never heard of our Ms. Hannaford, she was once a celebrity in her native Australia. Way back in the 1970s, she starred on the long-running TV show The Sullivans, though she mostly disappeared from view after that folded.
Now in her mid-60s, Ms. Hannaford recently agreed to do her first televised interview in more than two decades. She invited cameras from a prominent Australian news network into her manor — which has a retractable glass roof, FYI — and the result has gotta be one of the wackiest things Yolanda has ever witnessed.
Watch and see. Even if y’all don’t know or care about Ms. Hannaford, the interview is still worth peepin’ for the tour she gives of her 14-bedroom home, which she has christened Palazzo Beverly Hills and shares with her two young grandchildren. She also gushes about her famous neighbors.
By the way, the interview was conducted several months ago but was apparently removed from YouTube after Ms. Hannaford — upset with her portrayal — filed a $100 million lawsuit against the network. But it was re-uploaded a few days ago and has already amassed nearly 600,000 views. The lady is once again a star, though probably not in the way she hoped.
Y’all’s first impression of Ms. Hannaford may be that she’s just a ditzy blonde, but it quickly becomes clear that she’s something much more than that. Be warned, though, it’s a 42-minute video.
After her TV series folded and with acting opportunities drying up, Ms. Hannaford — who it does not appear has ever been married — came to Los Angeles practically penniless, by her own account, and yet was somehow able to amass a substantial property portfolio of 22 homes worth nearly $250 million — according to her — at the 2007 peak (before the ensuing recession crash). But now all those homes are gone, lost to foreclosure.
Anyway, we watched the cringe-tastic whole thing — at one point, Ms. Hannaford is asked “Do you have difficulty, Susan, with telling the truth?” to which she fires back “Do you have difficulty with your IQ?” — and came away incredibly confused. Judge for yourselves, if y’all are interested. By the way, Ms. Hannaford refers to her neighborhood as “Billionaires’ Row“, which it kinda is.
Quite possibly the strangest topic discussed in the interview, however, is the ownership of the 90210 mansion where Ms. Hannaford currently resides.
Property records show the lavish spread — set on a multi-acre lot — was acquired by Ms. Hannaford back in 2003 in a bankruptcy sale. She paid $2,690,000 and it appears the deal may have been all-cash. The house has likely appreciated substantially in the 15 years since.
But anyway, Ms. Hannaford no longer owns the home. In 2009, she transferred ownership of the house to her elderly mother Norma Parry. In the interview, however, 96-year-old Ms. Parry does not appear.
The interview questions whether Ms. Parry is still alive and there seems to be a not-so-subtle suggestion that she may already be (secretly) deceased. Of course, Yolanda has no idea what the true case may be, but how bizarre is that?
Anywho, if you ever happen to be driving by the BHPO manse, take a quick gander at the place and let us know whether you see an old woman propped up in an upstairs window. Hitchcock vibes, anyone?