The Bel Air home was built in 1955 by eccentric playboy, wealthy businessman and aviator Howard Hughes — romantic friend of Ava Gardner, Katharine Hepburn and several more Hollywood stars.
It was later Elvis Presley’s home who entertained The Beatles there in 1965.
Zsa Zsa Gabor bought it in 1974 and stayed until she died in 2016. Guests who have visited the property include Queen Elizabeth, Ronald Reagan, Elizabeth Taylor and Frank Sinatra. A house well-known in the film industry, it was the location for the movies Behind the Candelabra, starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, and in the Oscar-winning film Argo, starring Ben Affleck.
Zsa Zsa was on her sixth of nine husbands when she purchased the house, married to Jack Ryan, the creator of the Barbie doll, Hot Wheels and Chatty Cathy. They were divorced two years later, but as Zsa Zsa was fond of saying, “I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man, I keep his house.” She continued to live in the house for 40 years and three more husbands. Zsa Zsa decorated it lavishly from the era and place in history to which she felt most connected, the French Court of Louis XV, with touches of gold leaf, elegant furnishings and her ultra-feminine dressing table. When Zsa Zsa died, so did part of the legendary Old Hollywood glamor.
Sited on over an acre, it is now being offered with two options. The first with approved permits and plans from the award-winning architectural firm Harrison Design to construct a new 24,000-square-foot, two-story residence including a 4,100-square-foot garage as well as a pool and covered loggias. The plans for the new residence feature an open-plan living/dining room, study, grand circular staircase, family room and the kitchen with two islands and a butler’s pantry completing the first floor. The second floor plans include a master suite with a sitting room and adjoining covered terrace, his-and-her baths, his-and-her closets plus four ensuite bedrooms and a playroom. The lower level offers a recreational room with a bar, a screening room, a gym and a steam room. The plans for the new residence offer seven bedrooms and 10 baths.
For those who want to preserve the feel and actual touch of this historic home where celebrities roamed and famous movies were made, the second option offers the opportunity for remodeling and updating the existing Hollywood Regency-style home while preserving most of the home’s elegant attributes. The current residence features spacious rooms with high ceilings, a main level that opens into a circular foyer to a grand living room, formal dining room, six bedrooms including a master suite with a two-room closet, seven bathrooms, office, breakfast room, and chef’s kitchen with a butler’s pantry. The large, upper-level bonus room opens to a Monte Carlo-style rooftop terrace with commanding views ideal for entertaining. The grounds feature expansive patio space and a pool, all overlooking the city views.
The ultimate celebrity property located in the East Gate area of Bel Air that was once owned by Elvis Presley and Zsa Zsa Gabor and has welcomed top celebrities from musicians and actors to world leaders is listed at $23.45 million. The real estate agent is Jade Mills of Coldwell Banker Global Luxury, Beverly Hills.
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EDITOR’S NOTE: Adam Latham took the photos that accompany this story.