Thursday, January 14, 2010

Robert Downey, Jr. Gets Horsey in Malibu and Goes Modern in Venice

BUYER: Susan and Robert Downey, Jr.
PRICE: $13,443,800
SIZE: 6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: From the moment Your Mama first recalls laying our eyeballs on Robert Downey, Jr., way back in 1987 when he staggered and heaved his way across the screen as Julian the junkie in Less Than Zero, the iconic and cinematic ode to a glittery and druggie 1980s Los Angeles, we were hooked on him. We can't help it. We can't even explain it. We like him, even if we haven't seen 87% of the many dozens of films and tee-vee programs in which he's appeared.

Mister Downey, Jr.'s traumas and troubles with drugs, guns and and other destructive demons have been extensively documented in all the tabs and gossip glossies over the years so there's really no need for Your Mama to discuss his many arrests, relapses, and rehab stays. What's far more interesting, really, is how the former Brat Packer has managed to repeatedly rise Phoenix-like from the hot mess of his life to receive an Emmy nomination (Ally McBeal), three Golden Globe nominations (Sherlock Holmes, Tropic Thunder, Chaplin), two Golden Globe awards (Ally McBeal, Short Cuts), and two Oscar nominations (Tropic Thunder and Chaplin). Your Mama only wishes our good friend Queen Victoria could figure out a way to get his damn act together like Mister Downey, Jr., but that's really another sad saga for another day and another blog.

Anyhoo, let's get back to the real matter at hand, which is the real estate. Back in July of 2009, Your Mama heard from Latwana Letsthecatoutofthebag who tattled and tittered in our big ear that the alleged closet conservative was humping around for a new and expensive crib in the Los Angeles area. Miz Letsthecatoutofthebag also told us that Mister Downey, Jr. had his eye on a Ray Kappe designed number in Brentwood that was listed for a bone chilling $13,950,000. But alas butter beans...that deal didn't, in the end, go down.

More recently, Your Mama received a missive on the topic of Mister Downey, Jr., from Malibu Marcy, a gal with her lavishly lacquered fingertips on the pulse of all things real estate in the star laden seaside enclave. Malibu Marcy snitched to Your Mama that Mister Downey, Jr. did indeed buy a new house and puppies it's a far cry from the massive modern in Brentwood he didn't buy. According to Malibu Marcy, Mister Downey, Jr. and his wife, film producer Susan (Levin) Downey (The Book of Eli, Sherlock Holmes, RocknRolla, House of Wax, and Gothika), went country and bought themselves a horsey hideaway in the foothills of Malee-boo.

Property records show that the three parcel and seven acre spread above Zuma Beach was purchased through a trust way back in September of 2009. Now chickens, we're not able to link Mister Downey, Jr. to this property through public records, which kind of makes this just rumor and gossip. However, we did manage to get a second confirmation from our wickedly well-informed informant Lucy Spillerguts who backed up Malibu Marcy's real estate snitchery. What records do reveal is that the equestrian equipped estate, which was once listed as high as $15,900,000, was purchased for the perplexing and complicated amount of $13,334,800.

Listing information we were able to tease out of the interweb indicates the two-story California ranch meets a wishes it was a European manor house was all did up and done over by a well-known ladee dee-ziner named Kelly Harmon with bleached oak floors, antique limestone fireplaces and lots of creamy-beige colored furniture. Miz Harmon, the children might be amused to know, not only hawked Tic-Tacs on tee-vee commercials for 20 years, she's also the seller of the property, actor Mark Harmon's sister, and the ex-wife of former automobile executive John DeLorean. For what it's worth, she and Mister DeLorean went kaput a decade before he was arrested, tried and declared innocent of drug trafficking charges in 1982.

The main house, which records show measures 3,538 square feet even though it looks much larger, contains 4 bedrooms and, according to listing information, there are another 2 bedrooms in a barn converted to a guesthouse. Altogether there are six poopers on the property, according to listing information, as well as a home gym set up where Mister Downey, Jr. can keep his 40-something year old pectorals pumped and ready any future sequels to the insanely successful Iron Man film franchise in which he stars.

The sprawling and gated property includes a picturesque, tree lined driveway, several riding rings, a number of fenced pastures with ocean views–lucky damn horses, and 12 rose-covered horse stalls. Your Mama does not care for horses or roses for that matter–we happen to think they both stink–but we're not sure we've ever seen more romantic looking stable facilities. Clearly Miss Harmon and, apparently, Mister and Missus Downey, Jr. believe in coddling their equine friends in the lap of luxury.

With a little leg up from the lovely Lucy Spillerguts and a wee bit 0' research on the interweb, Your Mama has discovered that at just about the same time Mister and Missus Downey purchased a pad for the ponies in Malee-boo, he and the Missus also scooped up a very contemporary 3-story live-work residence in arty-farty and somewhat gritty Venice, CA where Mister Downey has lived on and off since at least the 1990s when he reportedly lived in an apartment on the Boardwalk. Listing information we dug up reveals the super modern manse includes 3 bedrooms, 2.5 poopers, 2 private office spaces, 3 private garages, a Balthaup brand kitchen with sleek gray cabinetry, Brazilian slate and tile poopers, a living room with a built-in leather sofa and projection screen, and seamless glass doors that open to a sizable third floor terrace with built-in beds, fire pit, barbecue and an infinity edged swimming pool. Records show that although the property was listed as high as $7,995,000, Mister and Missus Downey snatched it up for $5,600,000. Interestingly the building was used to film the recent–and ridiculously tedious–reality tee-vee program Chef Academy.

Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter both wish Mister Downey, Jr. continued sobriety and success and we hope the Downey, Jr. clan settles smoothly into both of their new homes.

photos: Nick Springett


Anonymous said...

Mr. Robert Downey Jr. was interviewed in the December Esquire,
in part about his new Venice home.

Anonymous said...

Funny, Less than Zero is first film that comes to mind when he comes to mind...I think we're aging ourselves Mama..

David Alexander, Toluca Lake said...

Looks a bit white wash Shabby Chic. Tired.

Robert should keep the barn and raze the house.

Start over and build what you like.

Kitty St. Cloud said...

Who says there are no 14th Acts in life? Robert Downey, Jr. does, that's who. Darling, this boy is a stratospheric talent whose natural kinetic energy is unbridled by the harness of heroin these days. We forgive those geniuses among us who give sterling artistic performances betwixt the vomit and depravity of their personal lives. It has always been thus. I just wonder what it costs to insure him on a film. The house is almost as charming as Mr. Downey! How do you go from waking up in a neighbor's son's bed to a $13.5 million house in less than a decade? Talent, darling. And Determination. Bravo.

Chesty Morgan said...

so much biege, like a giant canvas of beef stroganoff. A splash of color, Bueller?

Anonymous said...


I know which Venice house this one is. Beautiful. I looked at it in mid 2009. Pricey for it's locale, but I loved it.

Madam Pince said...

Love the house -- RDJ deserves it. I've never been happier to see a hot mess rise from the ashes.

Anonymous said...

I adore him and his amazing talent. That is all.

Anonymous said...

Did he buy this before or after his visit to Reese Witherspoon in her country digs in Ojai? A bit of realestate rivalry, perhaps? PS Kitty: he's good as actors go, but they are all ridiculously overpaid. Acting is not hard work. As Hepburn said, Shirley Temple was doing it when she was four.

Anonymous said...

I'm in love with that barn. And the terrace/back yard. Shameful, I know. Hugs to Our Mama from Sunny in Colorado!

Anonymous said...

This is a really awesome property, as in a piece of land, but the house is not much more than a dump, and is set way back on the land.

Basically, if you were not a privacy interested celebrity you would find the property very disappointing... the horses get the awesome view, the people get a blah view.

For reasons I won't say, it's not a good house in terms of paparazzi. The small street it is on becomes dangerous with both excess traffic and cars parked on the shoulder.

MH Critic said...

Robert Downey Jr. is worth every penny that he is paid. I admire him for turning his life around. He has a beautiful, intelligent wife. He deserves a ranch above the hills in Zuma and a house in Venice, CA. Staying sober is a major accomplishment too. And he has a wonderful singing voice. The beige house is too beige, and I'm sure he and his wife will add some color to it. More power to him!