Thursday, May 17, 2007

Double Whammy: Sherry Lansing and Billy Friedkin

This is a long, long, long post children. Y'all know how long winded Your Mama can be sometimes, so get yourselves a snack and something to drink before beginning. Or read it in shifts...

Once upon a time, and according to Ladies Home Journal in 2001, Sherry Lansing was one of the most powerful women in America. The lady clawed her way to the top of a man's world going from an actress/model to a 12 year reign as the CEO of Paramount Pictures. Impressive by any standard.

And certainly not bad for a woman many say slept her way to the top. Or at least used her feminine wiles to get to the top. Oh! Ouch you say? Well, although she was known to date many (many) high profile and powerful men such as Ray Wagner, former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and super star architect Richard Meier, Your Mama has some serious doubts about the rumors. And so what if she slept around anyway? Once Miz Lansing got to the top, she proved her mettle and might by green lighting some of the most successful films ever to hit celluloid such as the the incredibly annoying Forrest Gump and the cloying Titanic. Both films Your Mama hated, but both films that most of the world apparently did not. And both films that made mammoth mountains of money.

Perhaps the rumors are just sour grapes from Hollywood gentlemen who did not have the stellar success of Miz Lansing. Just a thought. No one in Hollywood thinks twice about the oodless of middle aged and hair plugged studio executives with fat bank accounts and a mid life crisis for a car who hump their way through every wannabe starlet under twenty years old. So why should anyone care if Miz Lansing might have had prodigious "needs" and a penchant for high profile men?

Miz Lansing went on to marry Academy Award winning Billy Friedkin, who directed The Exorcist, which is hands down the scariest movie Your Mama has ever seen. As a pre-teen Your Mama watched that movie with our Sister Woman even though our mama had forbid us watching it on the HBO. We are not ashamed to tell the world we had debilitating nightmares for a week which were not helped by Sister Woman hiding under our bed and grabbing our ankle as we got into bed one night. Y'all can imagine that scared the skin right off our body and had our 11 year old heart just about stopped. The very next day Your Mama had those mattresses off the frame and on the floor in the sincere hope of thwarting any demons who might have had a mind to get up under our bed in the future. We have goose bumps just thinking about it.

Anyhoo, today we bring the children the Sherry Lansing double whammy. Before we begin we would like to thank our fairy godmother for helping us out with some of the information on the real estate end of this post. We absolutely could not have done this without her help. First we are going to discuss the Bel Air mansion she and huzband leased for a long time and then we're going to discuss the extraordinarily private house high in the hills of Bel Air the couple purchased not too long ago..

WHO: Sherry Lansing and Billy Friedkin
LOCATION: 10451 Bellagio Road, Bel Air, CA
PRICE: $45,000/month
SIZE: 7,658 square feet, 8 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: One of a kind walled & gaed Country English, situated on 1.5 acres flat. Amazing front and rear yards, pool & tennis court. Interiors include fresh paint & gorgeous dark brown wood floors. New carpet in mstr. light creme/white neutral decor thru-out. Crown moldings, fr. drs., windows. His & hers baths & closest in mstr. 4 fplcs. Charming library, large liv. & dining rms. Superb for entertaining. Remodeled kitchen & most baths. Former home of Paramount Studios chairwoman and celebrity director. Prime loc.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: The price we show here is the price the homeowner was asking in March of 2007. We gather that Miz and Mister rented this house for about 10 years and our fairy godmother thinks they paid about $30,000/month. But children, do not quote us on that, it's totally unconfirmed.

The property sits on a very private acre and half of prime flat lands in Bel Air. Directly across the street is the Terry Semel compound. Semel is the very rich CEO and chairman of Yahoo! Inc., who Forbes shows as having more than $400,000,000 in stock options.

Unfortunately, we are a little non-plussed and have mixed feelings about this house. Let's start with the exterior. The house is at a disadvantage with Your Mama from the get go because we're not overly fond of the Tudor style. The long brick driveway is certainly impressive and we imagine it took a team of (hopefully legal) immigrants a couple months to install those thousands upon thousands of little red bricks. We might suggest someone get a landscaper up in there to work on the lawn which looks a little tatty and ghetto for Bel Air.

The expansive grounds are a real plus, and Your Mama is peeing our drawers over that simple, classic oval swimming pool. It's just so perfect and old school. We are pleased as punch not to see a big fountain shooting up out of the middle, or a crazy waterfall, or the worst swimming pool sin of all, a backyard water slide. Jeezis, we hate the backyard water slide. Maybe those of you with children think they're fun, but we'd be happy if there was an outright ban on those things.

We go inside and honestly, we just don't know what to think. The room with the stairs certainly looks acceptable, distinguished, and expensive. The floors are gorgeous. The library paneling is good, if not a little old fashioned. But the mauve carpeting? People everywhere have got to learn to just say "NO!" to the mauve carpeting. Mauve wall to wall is never acceptable. Do you hear Your Mama? Never. Ever.

The stare-ile all-white kitchen is perfectly suited to hired help preparing meals for wealthy tenants and their wealthy guests. We would prefer to see something other than an ordinary and not very expensive white tile on the floor in here, but honestly, the tenant is probably never going to go into the kitchen, so who cares, right?

Upstairs to the dual master bathrooms and we are stiff with shock. These bathrooms are like punishments for the eyes. Your Mama is so frightened and upset by the bathrooms that we can hardly breathe. Those fun house mirrors in the "his" bathroom, which probably allow for a distorted 360 view, would have us slitting our wrists instantly. And the too decadent pink marble and gold fixtures in the lady's bath? Are there words to describe our horror? What woman, man, child, or tranny hooker could strip down nekkid or take a crap in there without having a psychic melt down?

Is the place worth the $45,000/month asking price? Probably. It's a monster estate in preemo Bel Air. But we imagine this is only for someone who likes showering, grooming, and evacuating amid a 1980s sort of opulence.

BUYER: Sherry Lansing and Billy Friedkin
LOCATION: Levico Drive, Bel Air, CA
PRICE: $15,000,000 (list)
SIZE: 5.25 acres, 10,043 square feet, 7 bedrooms, 8.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: The ultimate in privacy and security: gated estate up a long private palm-lined drive within a guard-gated enclave. Wonderful panoramic and canyon views in this stunning Gus Duffy-designed estate, built in 1990. Superlative and secluded on a 5 acre promontory, this residence combines stylish European detail and luxurious contemporary amenities. The grounds contain sun-drenched terraces, sparkling pool pool, spa, north/south tennis court and tennis pavilion. No expense has been spared.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: In October of 2005 this Hollywood power couple finally purchased a home of their own. And what a home they purchased. Located up Stone Canyon on a private and gated street, the house is accessed down a long, palm lined driveway and occupies five spectacular acres on a promontory that provides the couple extreme and delicious privacy. There are a few other homes on Levico Way, but really, Miz and Mister have no neighbors. The couple could live up there stark naked and nobody would be the wiser except for the staff.

The decor we see in the photos belongs to the previous owners. As the children probably already know, we're not too keen on that sort of decorating style with the heavy drapery and Louis the 14th or 16th (or whatever) style chairs that are gilded to within an inch of their lives. But we grant this place is well done, no doubt by a big name and very expensive interior decorator.

For our taste the entrance is too grand. We don't really understand these vast halls meant to impress the guests, who are already impressed with the address long before they get to the front door anyway. We do appreciate the red runner down the stairs and even the gargantuan chandelier is alright in our book. But the pink chair and floor lamp make us queasy and we're not in love with the green marble detail in the floor.

We could easily lose the lion statuettes by the pool, but otherwise we imagine this would be a lovely and relaxing place to spend a weekend afternoon sipping mai tais and getting a plein air rub down or maybe a hot stone treatment by Sven the traveling masseur.

The master bedroom is huge, we adore the fireplace, and the grey velvet chair is yummy. But the carpet is dizzying and looks like it would be more suited to a hotel lobby in a pleasantly shabby and genteel hotel in London.

But the location. Children the location is worth every penny Miz and Mister paid for this property. Just a hop, skip, and a jump from the very dig-nee-fied Hotel Bel Air, and just another few minutes from the even more dig-nee-fied Bel Air Country Club. Had we $15 million we'd have ponied up in a heart beat and hired a nice gay decorator to drive up to Bel Air and work this place into a warmly contemporary Mediterranean with white sofas, cool blue rugs, dark floors and some large and richly colorful photographs by some of our favorite artist friends.

We hope Miz Lansing and Mister Friedman are happy in their new home. We have a bottle of Moet and Chandon chilling in the fridge for them if they'll invite us to their next pool party.

Sources: Internet Movie Data Base, Cine-Scene, Fairy Godmother


Anonymous said...

Bellagio is in Bel Air, not Beverly Hills.

Your Mama said...

oh, of course. we got it right in the body, but fucked it up at the top. thanks for the correction.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why anyone would lease a place for ten years at $30K a month. Just buy a damn house already. First house needs to be redone, blech. Second house, um, well, it has some good elements, but needs to be redone. I don't mind the lions; definitely better than waterslides.

Anonymous said...

As a straight white male, I had to pull out a dictionary to confirm that mauve = light purple. And I wonder if that's just the result of a funky color cast in that photo. But yeah, yucky if true.

Also, as a straight white male, the interiors on that second house are screaming "brothel."

Anonymous said...

Regarding the buy/lease question, I have run into situations in the past where bigwigs are given housing in their contracts. Sherry's rental may have been a part of her long Paramount deal.

Anonymous said...

Mama, what's going on over at 345 St Pierre Road in Bel-Air? Does Helen Hunt still own that place? It's listed for rent over at the West Side Estate agency for $45K a month, plus there's a great website for the property too, would love for you to find us the scoop as to what's going on with it!

Anonymous said...

"Regarding the buy/lease question, I have run into situations in the past where bigwigs are given housing in their contracts."

That makes sense.

Anonymous said...

My first post, but you're bookmarked now, so hopefully not my last... I just had to laugh when I saw those lion statues, LOL!

Your evaluations and comments are spot on and I really enjoy what you bring to the genre that is special and unique. This site is a MUST for anyone interested in high profile real estate. Not only your great references and photos but your comments are just to die for. Wonderful!