It’s no secret that the mountains above Beverly Hills are chock-full of Hollywood veterans. And there’s hardly a more ideal illustration of that fact than the cul-de-sac we shall discuss today. Located in the Coldwater Canyon area of Beverly Hills Hills Post Office (BHPO), the barely-there street contains just six homes. According to Yolanda’s research, all six of them are owned by people who make their living in the entertainment industry — one way or another.
Anyway, the largest and most expensive house on the wee street recently sold for $4,900,000 to a blind trust. So Yolanda did some sniffin’ around and discovered that the folks listed above have a very famous new neighbor. His name is Lee Daniels.
Born and bred in Philadelphia, our Mr. Daniels grew up being physically abused by his police officer father. But after his dad was killed in the line of duty, Mr. Daniels experienced freedom to put his vivid imagination to profitable use. He matriculated to Lindenwood University in Missouri, of all places, where he continued to seek an outlet for his creativity.
Mr. Daniels began his career as a nursing agent — like a talent agent but dedicated to “casting” nurses in hospitals and such — before becoming a casting director after a chance meeting with a Hollywood producer. Eventually, after he had amassed sufficient capital, he founded Lee Daniels Entertainment, his own production outfit. Monster’s Ball, his first film production, proved critically successful, and through it Halle Berry became the first black woman to ever win a Best Actress Oscar. He also produced and directed Precious, for which he received a Best Director nomination at the 2009 Academy Awards.
But Mr. Daniels’ most profitable work has almost certainly been on the small screen. He is the co-creator and producer of both the Fox shows Empire and Star, both of which have become commercially successful and spawned multiple seasons.
Now in his late 50s, Mr. Daniels is openly gay and in a longterm relationship with a much younger man named Jahil Fisher. And though he has no biological children, he did adopt his niece and nephew many years ago (the kids are now in their 20s).
While he has spent most of his adult life living in New York City, it appears Mr. Daniels has finally dove headfirst into Lalaland with his impressive new BHPO home. Or maybe this is just a part-time residence and he’ll remain bicoastal. Who knows? Not Yolanda, that’s who.
The unique structure is ideal for a celebrity like Mr. Daniels: set way down a long driveway and behind a hulking gate and a dense tree canopy, the entire house is invisible from the cul-de-sac out front. As y’all might expect, the nearly $5 million property is equipped with a sophisticated security system.
According to records, the house was originally built in 1952, but it’s obviously been redone multiple times in the 65+ years since. The .82-acre mini-estate was last sold back in 2015 for $1,750,000 to a non-famous gentleman who gave the ol’ gurl a radical makeover. Check out the nipped-and-tucked result above.
A large motorcourt rests outside the two-car garage. The charcoal-colored house (ooh, sultry!) features loft-like living spaces spread over multiple levels. Per the listing, there is a generous 5,245-square-feet of living space with 4 beds and 4.5 baths.
Inside, the home aims to impress with huge amounts of slate, granite, marble and exotic-lookin’ hardwoods throughout. Large windows flood the property with light, and open-concept living makes the property appear even larger than it actually is. The massive kitchen directly overlooks lush Coldwater Canyon and features a vaulted ceiling and one of those ultra-chic La Cornue ranges that probably cost more than a new Camry.
We really like the hardwood choice for the kitchen cabinets. Yolanda never would’ve thought that particular wood would look good in a kitchen, but somehow it works. (Or maybe that’s just the alcohol talking.) Oh, somewhere by the steel-and-wood stairwell is an indoor fountain stocked with koi fish.
The lavish upstairs master suite is all-new and spans 1,000-square-feet — or about one-fifth of the entire home. Prairie-like areas within include a bedroom with direct access to a private balcony, a double-sided fireplace, and a massive closet/dressing room area equipped with a skylight. The master bath includes a soaking tub, walls of glass, and a novel shower “cube” smack-dab in the middle of the room.
Personally we prefer a little more privacy with our shower situation, but that’s just Yolanda. Take no heed of our prudish self, Mr. Daniels.
The other three bedroom suites are much smaller but outfitted in a very similar luxe manner: glassy showers, Toto toilets, walls of glass and the like.
In addition to the upstairs deck (equipped with yoga mats), there’s also a huge 2,500-square-foot deck off the lower level that includes a classy rectangular swimming pool and tons of space for outdoor furniture and entertaining.
Also in the backyard is an adorable wee box that functions as a standalone library, per the listing. We must admit that Yolanda would love to curl up in here on a rainy day (like today) with a good Agatha Christie mystery and a bottle of perfectly aged port. Mmmm.
It’s widely known that Mr. Daniels also keeps a home in New York City, but if your gurl is being completely honest — and we always are — we confess that we don’t know a damn thing about that place.