Monday, May 17, 2010

Pia Zadora Lists Pacific Palisades Pad

SELLER: Pia Zadora
LOCATION: Pacific Palisades, CA
PRICE: $10,000,000
SIZE: 9,268 square feet, 4 bedrooms 5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Last night, while sipping down our third gin & tonic desperate to forget the horror we'd just witnessed on The Real Housewives of New Jersey–that piece of dried up turkey jerky Danielle really is some kind of narcissistic sociopath, isn't she?–Your Mama was flipping through the newest real estate listings in Los Angeles when we stumbled upon Pia Zadora's Pacific Palisades, CA pad that she listed this week with a nice round asking price of $10,000,000.

Surely all the children know who Pia is. Yes? No?

As a child, Hoboken, NJ born Pia Zadora (nee Pia Schipani) appeared on stage with the late, great Tallulah Bankhead in Midgie Purvis and a few years later she worked the boards of Broadway in Fiddler on the Roof. Yes puppies, young Pia wanted to be an actress. But alas, poor Pia grew up only to become an ack-tress, a beloved but campy caricature of a Hollywood starlet.

In 1977, with her only film role a 1964 sci-fi catastrophe called Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, Pia married much older Israeli multi-millionaire Meshulam Riklis. Mister Riklis boosted the essentially non-existent "career" of his young bride in the late 1970s when she became the 'Dubonnet Girl,' appearing in idiotic adverts for the wine-based apértif distributed by a company owned by–you got it–Mister Riklis. A little nepotism never hurt anyone, right? Now children, Your Mama confesses that we didn't know what Doo-bow-nay is before we started looking for dirt on our Pia. A wee bit of poking around on the internets informed us that the Doo-bow-nay a favorite boozy beverage of the Queen of England who apparently likes a little Dubonnet and gin before lunch. Who knew the Queen and Your Mama had so much in common?

In the early 1980s, Mister Riklis financed a film called Butterfly, a bizarre and silly thing about father-daughter incest starring Pia. The movie was a universal flop but it earned Pia a Golden Globe Award in 1982 as the 'Best New Star of the Year," a bestowal widely believed to have been granted not by Pia's abilities as a ingenue but rather by Mister Riklis glad handing the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. A few more equally unimpressive attempts at acting followed the Butterfly debacle but Pia's career as an honest to goodness actress never materialized.

Ever the enterprising lassie, Pia plunged head first into making music, a venture that resulted in some success in Europe, an album of standards with the London Philharmonic, a duet with Jermaine Jackson, and little respect from the music industry. If the children haven't seen the video for Pia's little disco ditty with Jermaine, they really should because it's just so wonderfully awful you'll want to watch it twice.

By the late 1980s, despite appearing in John Waters' Hairspray in 1988–the original one, not one of those stoopid remakes–what little career Pia had as an ack-tress and singer had done swirled down the terlit of Hollywood hard luck.

Although Pia effectively disappeared from the silver screen, she and Mister Riklis remained in the gossip glossies and tabs in part due to their 1988 purchase of Pickfair, the legendary Wallace Neff designed Beverly Hills estate built by silent film stars Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford. Pia and Mister Riklis paid around $7,000,000 for the storied estate on Summit Drive, purchasing the 22-room residence from L.A. Lakers owner Jerry Buss.

Claiming the existing house was riddled with termites and beyond repair, the couple razed the residence and built a beastly 25,243 square foot mansion designed by architect Peter Marino. Based on what Your Mama has read and heard we think that all that remains of Pickfair are the driveway gates, an unrecognizable portion of the guest wing, and the swimming pool, believed to be one of the first swimming pools on private property in all of Los Angeles. Although we don't know if it's true, it has also been widely reported that Mister Riklis commissioned a nude portrait of Pia that was hung in the entrance hall so that all guests were greeted by Pia's nipples and naughty bits.

In 1995, Pia and Mister Riklis went splitsville. She quickly remarried a writer/director named Jonathan Kaufman. Records show that during the time she was married to Mister Kaufman, Pia owned a big house up in Beverly Park, the famous guard gated Beverly Hills community of steroidal mansions. Pia and Mister Kaufman got a dee-vorce 2002 and Pia sold her palatial Beverly Park mansion in May of 2003 for $5,850,000. The vampy vixen also owned a 16th floor condo at the star studded Sierra Towers building in Los Angeles that records show she also sold in 2003 for an even steven $1,000,000. Sometime around this time Pia and her three children moved back to Pickfair, reportedly occupying the main house while her first ex-husband Mister Riklis resided in the guest house. So remained the living situation until 2005 when the 17 bedroom and 30 pooper property was sold for $17,650,000 to Korean biznessman Corry Hong who re-listed the property September of 2008 with the psychically unsettling asking price of $60,000,000. The property was not sold is currently off the (open) market.

In January of 2005, shortly before selling the new and not necessarily improved Pickfair, Pia purchased a 7 bedroom and 9 pooper mansion on .7 acres in posh Pacific Palisades for $8,300,000. Although the Tudor Revival residence has an architectural patina about it, listing information shows the 9,268 square foot mansion was actually built in 1992. Listing information also indicates the house, all done up and did over in a monochromatic, dignified and boring palette of beige, buff and biscuit, has 4 bedrooms and 5 poopers plus 2 guest houses.

A double height, paneled entrance hall with parquet de Versailles style hardwood floors and massive crystal chandelier gives way to the impressively scaled formal living room with its enormously high beamed ceiling, gigantic bay window where Pia has hung another crystal chandelier and placed an antique piano, massive stone and carved wood fireplace surround, and a series of French doors that open to the rear terrace. It looks like the sort of room that no one but the vacuuming and dusting gurls ever go into except at Christmastime when Your Mama imagines ol' Pia transforms it into an extravaganza of nutcrackers, white lights and glittery ornaments.

Pia's dining room, wrapped in half-paneling, heavy moldings and some kind of abstract wallpaper that makes Your Mama kind of dizzy, has a circular table that seats eight or 10 and is fitted with a Lazy Susan. A Lazy Susan? Now listen celery sticks, as far as Your Mama is concerned, Lazy Susans are just fine in barbecue restaurants and dim sum parlors but they do not belong in formal dining rooms of any home that aspires to elegance. We just have a difficult time imagining someone like Betsy Bloomingdale saying, "Pia, hunny, could you please spin that Lazy Susan thing around here so mother can have another helping of that truffled pasta thing Chef Seamus whipped up?" Even Your Mama, who is as lazy as they come, isn't so indolent we can't pass a bucket of peas around the damn table.

Therefore, Rule #367 in Your Mama's Big Book of Decorating Dos and Don't states that "No private residence of refinement and universally recognized good taste, regardless of architectural category, shall have a Lazy Susan installed in the formal dining room."

Other rooms at Pia's place in the Palisades include some sort of sitting room with a heavily coffered ceiling treatment, fireplace and a couple of comfy looking leather sofas with chocolate brown velvet cushions, a massive movie theater with a lot of matching tan furniture, a billiard/game room, a home gym set up, and a massage room.

The backyard, completely surrounded by mature trees that offer oodles of privacy and shade, has several terraces that stretch out from the back of the house, large expanses of lawn, and a stacked stone wall tucked into a slope from which a waterfall tumbles into the free form shaped swimming pool.

As it turns out, we've learned from the boys at Celebrity Address Aerial that Pia is also selling her house up in Lake Arrowhead, CA that records show she purchased in July of 2001 for $4,400,000. Listing information for the property, currently listed at $4,450,000, shows the lake front house has 5 bedrooms and 7.5 poopers including a master pooper that is, ugh, carpeted. Besides its very challenging day-core other features of the house, according to listing information, include a formal living room, family and game room, each with fireplace and a home gym and something painfully described as a "Unique Spa Room."


Anonymous said...

Pia Zadora exemplifies that all of the best talent and best homes originate in New Jersey! Pia's entry hall, with its parquet de Versailles flooring, English wall panels, and Irish crystal chandelier represents cultural diversity at its best. The half wall in the dining room, referred to a chair rail in Trenton, is installed to prevent drunken diners from smashing the plaster, er wallboard, when they push back in their chairs after the cheese course. All of the better NJ homes have chair rails and drunken diners. And we just say no to misogony in NJ, where a Lazy Susan is now a Lazy Sam.
Hedda LaTess

Jeannified said...

So THAT'S how she got all of her money (first husband.) I wondered how she could have afforded a house like this, being that she hasn't done much in Hollywood.

Anonymous said...

Another humor gem found by Mama! Thanks for directing me to that hilarious video with Pia Zadora and Germaine Jackson. Haven't seen so many porn 'stashes since .... dunno when.

chris said...

For your enjoyment.

Anonymous said...

hi mama,
you mentioned jerry buss buying pickfair,
so it's worth dredging up that the press "renamed" the home bussfair!
also, iggy pop and deborah harry (from blondie) made a record mocking pia for tearing down pickfair cuz of termites (!)

iOnDesign said...

Had the mis-pleasure of seeing Ms. Zadora live in Vegas on New Year's Eve in early 1990s. Opening act for Sinatra. Oy. Who knew Riklis owned a stake in the hotel. Proof, as the late great Larry Gelbart said about another Hollywood couple, that love is deaf.

Anonymous said...

Your Mama,

How do I obtain a copy of your Big Book of Decorting Dos and Don'ts? Lazy Susans are uber-tacky.


Village said...

She must be out of spending money.

Anonymous said...

At the very least, the house is far more tasteful than the monstrosity that was and is Pickfair redux...

Candi Speling said...


Anonymous said...

I still laugh whenever I hear the famous story about Pia Zadora's starring role in the stage production of The Diary of Anne Frank.

Madam Pince said...

Excuse me while I show my age, Mama, but I remember when Pia and her first hubby demolished Pickfair -- and even in my boozy twenties, I held the opinion that, if the original was indeed beyond repair, the Riklises should have rebuilt it exactly to the original plans. That, however, would require dignity, style and an appreciation of landmark architecture -- qualities that Pia and both her huzbeens have never possessed.

Unknown said...

The house looks like what I would have expected after running into her on the slopes of Aspen, my friend and I rode up in the same gondola as Pia, when we exited we grabbed our skis and started walking away, Pia yells at us "are one of you my maid?" I have long dark hair and my friend has long blond hair *wtf moment there* we looked at each other and then Pia and just laughed at her and she said "my maid carries my skis can you get them for me?" we laughed at her hysterically at this point and said "aaaahhh NO! you dumb ****" and went off to enjoy the day as the gondola took off with Pia's skis still aboard. Every time I hear her name I still laugh at what a stupid ass she is.

The house is horrendous, proving once again if you have no taste or class that no matter what designer you end up hiring, or how much you spend, your home will reflect your lack aesthetic.

Lurve your blog!

Anonymous said...

This place looks like a country club where you'd hold wedding receptions.

Butterfly is so amazingly awful that its kinda worth viewing at some point in your life. I mean a film that brings together talent such as Orson Welles, Lois Nettleton, Edward Albert, James Franciscus, Stuart Whitman, June Lockhart, and Ed McMahon must be something, right?

Anonymous said...

Zandra, you are my kind of woman, you calls'um like you seez'um. Bless yo heart. Ann

organbrett said...

This time when I reread the original PickFair post, I followed it to the video tour of the inside. OMG, my eyes are still burning! Would you believe I have in my LP collection that record with the London Philharmonic? (Of course I'm dating myself a bit here!)

"Pia, hunny, could you please spin that Lazy Susan thing around here so mother can have another helping of that truffled pasta thing Chef Seamus whipped up?" OMG - I laughed my ass off! I'm with I.E., I would love to read a compilation of your decorating dos & dont's. Maybe on a slow r.e. day or for the Holidays???

Joe said...

I am supurised that your mama didn't meantion the "she's in the attic" story on here.

It is so amusing!

Anonymous said...

Down to her last 100m. Sigh.
People get nervous when they get down to their last 100m and they don't see another 100m on the horizon.
Time to contract.
That being said, it's all about the cash flow for these folks. If the assets aren't throwing off cash, there's no flow. Thus the house (houses) sucking up the cash must go.

pollylanda said...

eeeech, i was in this house about 4years ago. the newest husband was a cheesy ex bodyguard, Ms pia had all of the drapes drawn , supposedly she cannot have light on her, she even wore these hideous blinders around her eyes, such a joke, the father was buying the little creatine daughter a 5million dollar condo at the beach, she was there, she worked as a hostess at daddys restaurant, the whole house, the mother , the daugher the tacky gold covered husband with his new cheesy sports car Ms pia bought him, it was too much, sent me into a week long depression. this house is horrible, they should stay there.

lil' gay boy said...

"...a favorite boozy beverage of the Queen of England who apparently likes a little Dubonnet and gin before lunch. Who knew the Queen and Your Mama had so much in common?"

Need I point out the key word in that phrasing?



Seems the only thing little girl has ever really been successful at is gettin' out of Jersey & marrying money. I too can claim ownership of the London Philharmonic disc (yes, vinyl) --- which proved that yes, with millions behind you, you too can aspire to technically "competent" vocal wizardry...

The video (how on earth did any '80s breeder manage to get laid with those hairdos?) only goes to prove that, even if she can't sing (or even lip-sync, apparently), at least like any other respectable Jersey Girl it seems Ms. Piggy can at least throw a punch.

Anonymous said...

This house should sell for around 6-8 million, not 10 mil.

Value could be even way less in a year or two.

Also, most of the houses in PP are original homes and not tear downs. That is WHY people like PP.

I wonder what beautiful and stately 1920s house was torn down to build this ugly mess!