Although it’s a bit surprising that the king of Malibu Colony himself — casino kingpin Sheldon Adelson — hasn’t snapped it up already, the prized oceanfront estate of late soap opera creator Lee Phillip Bell is available for billionaire grabs. Sited on an unusually spacious .29-acre lot and offering nearly 3,300 square feet of living space, the casually plush property is one of only seven estates in the tightly packed, 120-home Colony guard-gated community that offers its own private swimming pool.
Set privately behind a whitewashed wall and tall tropical plantings, the traditional-style beach house is accessed through a grassy courtyard that spills into a a nearly all-white living room with a fireplace. There are seafoam-green floors in the kitchen — which includes high-end stainless appliances — and the adjacent breakfast nook, and the upstairs master bedroom has a fabulous ocean view, plus a private sitting area with another fireplace.
There’s also a two-story guesthouse on the property, and the unusually expansive backyard includes a wideset brick terrace, perfect for entertaining, that leads to the lagoon-style pool. Further beyond that, a steep set of stairs leads down to the Malibu Colony sand, where one is liable to spot some of the famous neighbors — Sting, Tom Hanks or John McEnroe — frolicking in the freezing, rocky surf.
Raised during the Depression in 1930s Chicago, Bell and her eventual husband William J. Bell would ultimately craft a billion-dollar soap opera empire that was built on “The Bold and the Beautiful” and “The Young and the Restless.” Over their decades of success, they amassed an enviable collection of trophy real estate that included a lavish compound in the mountains above Beverly Hills — still owned by the Bell family — a historic estate up in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and at least one luxe residence in Aspen, Colorado.