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Hot property: Where Frank Sinatra lived his way; Johnny Depp lair for sale
June 26, 2019

After listing his five penthouses in the Eastern Columbia Building in downtown Los Angeles for a collective $12.78 million last year, box-office star Johnny Depp just sold the fourth for $1.82 million. The loft-style units, which total about 11,50

If these walls could talk. A scenic retreat built for legendary singer and actor Frank Sinatra in the mountains above Palm Desert has come back on the market in its entirety for $3.9 million.

The midcentury lodge was previously offered a year ago for $3.95 million, without surrounding parcels of land now being included in the sale, said listing agent Markus Canter of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties.

Named Villa Maggio by Sinatra in recognition of his Oscar-winning role in "From Here to Eternity," the estate on roughly 7.5 acres was custom-designed with privacy and entertaining in mind.

Native landscapes and rock outcrops surround the home, which sits at an elevation of 4,300 feet on the sunrise side of the San Jacinto Mountains. A gated road and a private on-site helipad provide access to the property.

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"Sinatra specifically worked with architect Ross Patton to build a comfortable home where he could entertain his friends and family," said Canter. "This is where (Sinatra) could just be Frank and live life his way."

During his dozen years of ownership, Sinatra used his sanctuary to host a variety of guests. Members of his inner circle known as the Rat Pack, as well as an endless stream of celebrities and dignitaries, were known to frequent the property. There were countless female visitors, too, before his marriage to Barbara Marx in 1976.

The current owners, who knew Sinatra from his days performing in Las Vegas, have meticulously maintained and restored the 1967 property, keeping its original vibe. Vintage details include beamed and vaulted ceilings, locally sourced stone fireplaces and wood-paneled walls. Multiple viewing decks and balconies take in sweeping desert panoramas.

Three structures sit on the property and can comfortably sleep as many as 20 people. A rustic main lodge, a two-story guesthouse and a pool house with a great room and two saunas combine for more than 6,400 square feet. Each building has its own kitchen, and there are nine bedrooms, 13.5 bathrooms and nine fireplaces in all.

Outdoors, a dance floor sits between the tennis court and a lighted swimming pool and spa. Nearby, a large patio surrounds a fire pit.

Sinatra, who died in 1998 at age 82, had timeless hit songs that include "Strangers in the Night," "My Way" and "New York, New York."

Last year marked the 100th anniversary of his birth.


After doubling down on his French village earlier this year, Johnny Depp is ready to part with another piece of his exotic real estate portfolio. The actor-producer-musician has listed his collection of residences atop the Eastern Columbia Building in downtown Los Angeles for sale at $12.78 million.

Depp's properties include five multifloor penthouses within the art deco building, originally designed by Claud Beelman and modernized in 2007. The downtown landmark is distinguished by its exterior of teal terra cotta and gold-leaf tile and a four-sided clock tower that tops the 1930s structure.

Kept largely separate during the actor's ownership, the residences include multiple kitchens, living areas and lofted spaces decorated in a colorful, bohemian style. Perhaps more unusual than Depp's extensive art and furniture collection, one unit displays a framed Miami Dolphins jersey with a letter signed by Dan Marino.

The loft-style penthouses, which total about 11,500 square feet of space, were designed to function as individual rooms, each serving a particular purpose.

Certain units connect on the upper level, including a pair reached through salvaged bank vault doors.

Terraces of various sizes invite outdoor entertaining and dining. The outdoor spaces as well as rows of steel-paned windows take in sweeping downtown views.

The 53-year-old actor has been in sell mode of late but is hardly looking to sell short.

Earlier this year, Depp put his compound in Plan de la Tour, France, back on the market for around $55 million - double what he asked for the 47-acre Provencal village a year ago.

Known for his offbeat roles, Depp has starred in more than 50 major motion pictures, including "Edward Scissorhands," "Donnie Brasco" and the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films.

He gained recognition among television viewers in the 1980s series "21 Jump Street."

More recently, the actor starred in the fantasy flick "Alice Through the Looking Glass."

The penthouse listings also can be purchased individually.


More than 60 years after it was subdivided, the Buster Keaton estate in Beverly Hills is back together, nearly as it once was.

Bill Guthy, co-founder of the TV direct-marketing company Guthy-Renker, and his wife, writer and makeup entrepreneur Victoria Jackson, bought a property that was once part of the silent-film comic's former home for $16.2 million through a probate sale. The purchase reunites the property with the main Keaton estate, which the couple acquired in 2002 for $17 million, public records show.

Originally built for Keaton in 1926, the storied estate has a chain of ownership that also includes leading man Cary Grant and his wife, Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton, and, later, actors James and Pamela Mason.

Actress Marlene Dietrich made a cameo in its history as a former tenant, and Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole stayed as guests of the Masons when they first came to Hollywood.

It was during the Masons' ownership that the estate was split into three parcels, including the one just sold to Guthy and Jackson.

The roughly half-acre property had been owned by longtime Beverly Hills resident Lillian Portnoy, whose family had a home built there in 1954.

Portnoy told the Los Angeles Times in May that the house became a gathering spot to the stars over the years. Among guests were Sean Connery, Charlie Chaplin Jr. and Jean Ronald Getty. Portnoy said her former beau Elvis Presley often enjoyed the cabana houses and the 60-foot-long swimming pool - structures retained from the original estate.

"This is the best part of the original estate that is going to be reunited," listing agent Aitan Segal of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices said. The formal gardens, an exterior staircase, a fountain and a covered pavilion are other holdovers from the original property, he noted.

The 3,007-square-foot house was placed in a conservatorship prior to listing for sale in May for $8.795 million. The situation allowed prospective buyers to present higher offers at the courthouse, even with a pending contract, according to Linda Cotterman, the conservator for Portnoy.

With the purchase, Guthy and Jackson now own more than two acres of the original 3.5-acre estate, including Keaton's former home, an Italian villa of about 11,000 square feet.

The third, unincorporated parcel was never developed during Keaton's ownership, which extended through the early 1930s, and was sold vacant by the Masons.

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Built in 1954, the low-slung midcentury home sits on part of the original Buster Keaton estate in Beverly Hills. Longtime owner Lillian Portnoy entertained such guests as Sean Connery, Charlie Chaplin Jr. and Jean Ron Getty. Her former boyfriend, singer Elvis Presley, also frequented the grounds. Direct-marketing entrepreneur Bill Guthy and his wife, writer and makeup artist Victoria Jackson, paid $16.2 million for a home that was once part of the original Buster Keaton estate. The couple also own the main part of the Beverly Hills estate, which includes an Italian villa owned by the silent-film comic during the 1920s and '30s.

OCTOBER 09, 2016 | 10:57 AM
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